How Long Does A Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?
Getting injured in a motorcycle crash puts you in a sudden high-stress situation.
Between medical bills, missed work days and painful injuries, you might be struggling to make ends meet.
On top of that, if someone else’s carelessness caused your accident, you’ll have to deal with their insurance carrier or even potentially sue for the compensation you deserve.
All of these could make you wish that you could do away with the legal hassles in a snap.
Unfortunately, the process of getting compensated rarely happens quickly. You can, however, prepare for the procedures, whether you’re only pursuing an insurance claim or considering to file a lawsuit. Here are the timelines you can expect.
How Long It Takes To Settle Your Motorcycle Injury Claim
The first course of action for most accident victims is to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. In theory, the process should be straightforward: you file an initial claim specifying the amount you believe you are entitled to; you and the insurer negotiate this amount; the insurer pays you a satisfactory settlement.
In reality, however, this process is riddled with delays and disagreements. The insurance company will likely contend that your claim is of lower value, that your injuries are not that serious, or that the accident didn’t cause your injuries at all.
Insurance adjusters can also prolong the negotiation using delaying tactics to possibly wear down their claimants. These tactics are why many injured individuals choose to have a lawyer in their corner.
Note also that before you settle, you must have a clear understanding of your past and future expenses related to the accident. With your attorney, you’ll want to be thorough in valuing your medical costs, and this might mean waiting until you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). Timing is essential because once you sign on any settlement amount, you won’t be able to change it even if, for instance, you incur an additional medical expense later on.
One nationwide survey found that it took an average of 11.4 months for injury claimants to get a payout, but the waiting really ranged from two months to over a year. That is, if they arrived at a settlement at all. Other injured individuals didn’t receive anything, or had to proceed to filing a lawsuit.
Timeline Of A Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
If you pursue your injury case in court, you must be ready for a lengthier, more costly process. Here is an overview of the litigation process, from filing to trial.
- Filing and service. Once you’ve filed your case with the court, you’ll have to “serve” or deliver it to the other party. They then have 30 days to file their response.
- Discovery. This is the process in which both camps gather information regarding the accident and the resulting damages. You and your attorney will collect documents, witnesses, doctors’ statements, expert testimonies, and more. This phase might last anywhere from six months to a year.
- Trial setting. The court will schedule your trial date and other pertinent court dates. In California, it is common for trial dates to be scheduled 12 to 18 months in the future due to the number of cases on court dockets.
- Alternative dispute resolution. Before the trial begins, the court may order you and the at-fault party to go through an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process such as mediation. This could help both parties arrive at an agreeable settlement and resolve the claim. Many mediated cases are resolved after a few one-hour sessions, though this will vary from case to case. If you settle your case through ADR, the lawsuit can then be dismissed.
- Trial. If your case does go to trial, be prepared to invest more time, money, and energy into the legal process. Personal injury trials can take as long as two years or even longer. It is best to have a highly competent attorney, because going to trial essentially means you are taking your chances with a judge or jury.
Contact a California Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorbike accident don’t hesitate to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your best next steps.
In San Diego County and throughout Southern California, riders trust Robert Hamparyan from Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers, APC as their go to lawyer for motorcycle injury claims. Call (619) 550-1355 today for a free injury case consultation.
Robert Hamparyan is one of California’s most accomplished personal injury lawyers. Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego was founded so that Robert could bring more of his skill and knowledge to personal injury victims in all types of cases. Robert and his team have dealt with semi truck accidents, wrongful death cases, brain & spine injuries, and many other types of personal injury cases with soaring success.
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