When you think about seeking compensation after a motorcycle accident, you may imagine being in court, on the witness stand, recounting the accident to a jury. While this is the scene regularly portrayed in movies and on television, personal injury trials are surprisingly rare in real life. This is because the large majority of accident cases are resolved in other ways1 without the need for a trial.
If another party caused your motorcycle accident, you can file a claim with that driver’s insurance company to seek coverage for your medical bills, lost income, and similar losses. The insurance company will likely offer a settlement that is lower than you deserve, however, your motorcycle accident attorney can offer evidence to negotiate for a higher amount.
If your attorney is able to obtain an insurance offer that is adequate to cover your losses, you can accept the offer and your case will end there. In fact, your legal rights to seek compensation through other means will also cease to exist once you accept an insurance offer. For this reason, you should never accept an offer that has not been carefully reviewed by an experienced lawyer.
If the insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your losses or if the insurance company refuses to offer you an adequate amount, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver in civil court. While lawsuits are often associated with trials, there is a long litigation process before a trial date is even set.
During the pretrial process,2 an attorney will gather evidence of the driver’s negligence and will use that evidence to engage in settlement negotiations with the other party and their attorney. If the evidence is in your favor, the other party will likely agree to a favorable settlement to avoid losing at trial. You can reach a settlement up to the date of your trial verdict and these negotiations can be ongoing throughout the litigation process.
If the party responsible for your accident refuses to agree to a sufficient settlement, it will be necessary to present your case to a jury at trial. You need an attorney with the trial experience and skill to represent your rights in court so that you can prevail in your case. It is important to have an attorney on your side who will not hesitate to go to trial when needed and who will never push you into accepting a low settlement offer just to avoid a trial.
Motorcycle accident cases are often extremely complicated, and whether your case will go to trial depends on a number of factors. Regardless of whether it does, however, you need to be ready to take it to court, both to strengthen your bargaining position and to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled under Florida law.
The motorcycle accident lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are aggressive personal injury advocates who do not back down from a fight and are willing to go up against insurance companies who refuse to make a reasonable settlement offer. To schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced lawyer, call us today at 727-222-6922 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712