Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents cause both personal injury and property damage. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to make both a personal injury claim and a property damage claim.

What Is A Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?

Your physical injuries and mental health problems caused by an accident are called personal injuries. You have a right to file a personal injury claim to receive financial compensation for these damages, including 

  • Bodily injury
  • Medical expenses
  • Disability
  • Lost wages
  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Inconvenience 
  • And other losses

Personal injury claims are generally settled separately from and much later than motorcycle property damage claims. Settling your property damage claim early will assist you by getting your vehicle repaired or replaced and back on the road.

What Can a Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do for Me?

Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers will give your case credibility and let the insurance company know you’re serious about your claim for the compensation you deserve.

A personal injury attorney is a lawyer who concentrates or limits his or her practice to accident and injury law. Here’s what they can do for you:

  1. They can give you legal advice and help you get money for your injuries.
  2. Motorcycle accident lawyers in Seattle can
    • Get a police report
    • Find and talk with witnesses
    • Collect medical records
    • Take care of finding coverage for medical bills
    • Gather employment information
    • Explain insurance policies
    • Prove lost wages
    • Write a settlement demand letter
    • Advocate for you
    • File a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out
  3. A Seattle motorcycle accident law firm can help you tell your story and get the insurance company to listen and take you seriously.
  4. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Seattle can negotiate a fair settlement or, if necessary, take your case to court.

Do I Need an Attorney After a Motorcycle Accident, or Can I Do It Myself?

Your need forthe assistance of a personal injury lawyer depends on you and the severity of your injuries.

If you have only motorcycle repair issues and no injuries, you can probably do it yourself. If necessary, you could use small claims court. Pay attention, be careful, and consult with a lawyer here or elsewhere, and you should be able to settle your claim.

If you’re facing:

  • Serious injuries
  • Wage loss
  • Liability issues
  • Injured passengers
  • Or a cagey insurance adjuster who wants a recorded statement

DIY is a risk. You will likely do better with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Seattle.

How Much Will it Cost to Hire a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident in Seattle?

Most law firms have a contingent fee agreement for personal injury cases, meaning they charge a percentage of the money they recover for you. If they don’t recover money, you don’t pay. 

No matter how much you trust your lawyer, you will want to get your contingency fee agreement in writing, carefully read it, and ask questions. The fee agreement is a contract; know what you are signing.

The other thing you need to expect to pay is case costs—these are different from attorney fees. Case costs are the expenses incurred while handling your case. For example, at our law firm, we order the medical records, review the records, and use these records as part of your case. This is our job; it is not a cost. However, if the doctor charges a fee for a copy of the records, that charge is a case cost. 

The client is eventually responsible for paying case costs. Costs are paid either in advance, as the case proceeds, or at the payout of the settlement award.

If you hire a lawyer, the fee agreement presented to you will provide the specifics about attorney fees and case costs. Read it with care. Ask questions. Know your rights and obligations before you sign.

Your Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Help Prove Who is at Fault in an Accident

Comparative fault is the law in Washington State. Fault for a motorcycle accident may rest with one party, such as in a typical rear-end collision. If you were rear-ended, the other driver is likely entirely at fault and liable for 100% of your damages.

In other circumstances, the fault for an accident may be apportioned between responsible parties on a comparative negligence basis. Comparative negligence means that if you are 30% at fault, you would hope to be paid for 70% of your damages and owe the other party 30% of their damages.

Seattle motorcycle accident attorneys will help to prove who is at fault so you receive fair compensation.

Proof of Fault

Fault depends on what happened and who can prove what happened. For example, was the other driver distracted while on their cell phone? If so, can you prove it? Do you know how to subpoena cell phone records? Fault is important.  Proof of fault is what wins cases. They are two different things.

Your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will investigate your claim thoroughly, and you can help them with some of this: 

  • Take photos
  • Gather physical evidence
  • Send for police reports
  • Consult with an expert accident reconstructionist
  • Identify and take witness statements

If fault might be questioned in your case, you must be able to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, your version of how the accident happened. If you need legal help, get it.

Can I Get Legal Advice About My Motorcycle Accident?

Anybody can give you their opinion, but only lawyers can provide legal advice. If you want answers to your questions, you do not have to hire an attorney to settle your claim. You can get a free consultation. You can get answers to all of your accident questions from attorneys who have answered these questions many times before, including:

  • What is a fair settlement for injuries, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and a lifetime disability?
  • How much do I ask for?
  • How much should I get?
  • How do I get the insurance company to take me seriously?
  • Can I prove negligence?
  • Should I take the offer or go to trial?
  • What do I do next?

While you don’t have to hire an attorney, you may want to. The insurance company is unlikely to compensate you fairly unless you do. Experienced personal injury lawyers will often obtain substantially more for you—even after fees and costs are paid–than the insurance adjuster would ever offer you.

Contact Us if You Have Questions About a Seattle Motorcycle Accident

Your questions answered by phone 206-456-2700

Your questions answered via email at info@sharpelawfirm.org

Major Differences Between Motorcycle Accident Claims and Car Accident Claims in Washington

Most legal principles apply to both motorcycle and car accidents in Washington State. However, there are differences, particularly concerning the nature of the accidents and the associated risks.

  1. Motorcycle accidents often result in more severe injuries than car accidents due to the lack of protection for riders. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and road rash.
  2. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars, making them more prone to accidents caused by other drivers’ lack of awareness or failure to yield right-of-way. These visibility issues can affect liability determinations in accidents involving motorcycles.
  3. Lane splitting, where motorcycles ride between lanes of traffic, is not explicitly legal in Washington State but is also not expressly prohibited. This practice can sometimes lead to accidents and may impact liability considerations.
  4. Washington State has mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders, requiring all operators and passengers to wear helmets. Failure to wear a helmet can affect liability and compensation in an accident.
  5. Motorcyclists are generally required to have specialized training and a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. Courts may consider a rider’s experience and skill level when determining accident liability.
  6. Motorcycles have different handling characteristics compared to cars, which can affect accident causation and liability. Factors such as braking distance, maneuverability, and stability may be relevant in determining fault.
  7. Given the severity of injuries often associated with motorcycle crashes, the potential damages and compensation sought in motorcycle accident cases may be higher compared to car accident cases. This can impact insurance coverage and the value of personal injury claims.

What is My Seattle Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?

A personal injury claim is for bodily injury, medical expenses, disability, lost wages, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and other losses. The amount of money you receive depends on various factors. 

All these factors are essential. Together, they add up to the value of your personal injury case, including

  • Medical Care: The kind and amount of medical care motorcycle accident victims need affects the value of your claim. If you need a lot of medical help, your claim will be worth more.
  • Liability: Who’s at fault for the accident, and how much of the accident are they to blame for? If it’s clear that someone else caused the accident, it’s easier to prove your case and you mayget more money.
  • Wage Loss: If you’ve lost money from missing work because of the accident, that can make your claim worth more, including money you’ve already lost and any money you might lose in the future.
  • Insurance: Read your insurance policy to find the coverage you have. Look to the at-fault driver for insurance. Without any insurance, your claim may be worthless.
  • Disability and Impairment: The more serious your injuries and the longer it takes to get better, the more money you may be able to get.
  • Yourself: Whether people believe you and they like you can make a difference in your claim’s value.
  • Witnesses: If there are people who saw the accident and can tell what happened, that’s good for your claim. The more believable they are, the better.
  • Your Attorney: A good lawyer who knows what they’re doing can help you get more money.
  • Documentation: Keeping records of everything related to your accident, like photos, videos, and medical records, can help prove your claim and get you more money.
  • Your Situation: Every accident is different, and the circumstances of your case matter. Tracking how your injuries affect your life shows that your claim is worth more.

Motorcycle Damage

With the correcttype of insurance, your motorcycle damages should be taken care of, as long as:

  • The other party is responsible and has liability insurance or
  • If you have collision insurance.

But, if there is no insurance, then there is a problem.

Motorcycle and other property damage claims can be handled early, often within weeks of the motorcycle crash. The smart plan is to settle your motorcycle damage claim early to save on expenses. A rental car or a motorcycle towed to storage costs money. Get your vehicle damage settled, get your vehicle on the road, and then settle your personal injury claim later.

Towing and storage are part of a property damage claim. Be careful of storage fees because they can add up quickly. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is liable for towing and continued storage until they make a reasonable offer for your vehicle and other property damage. After an insurance company makes a fair offer, they usually won’t pay additional storage charges, so the towing and storage company will then look to you for payment.

You may be entitled to a rental vehicle from the date of the accident until the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes a fair offer to repair or replace your vehicle.

What About Passengers of a Motorcycle Accident?

Passengers in a motor vehicle accident often have a good case. 

They can make a claim against either or both at-fault drivers and possibly others. If the at-fault driver(s) are underinsured, a passenger may even have a claim against their own policy. 

You should make decisions about which policy to collect under and whether or not to sue your driver who may be a friend. We can help with those decisions. Passengers should get legal advice that is independent of the advice their driver gets.

If you are the driver at fault and have an injured passenger, they have a claim against you.

Don’t Settle Too Early

Settle your personal injury claim after you complete medical treatment, and you know the extent of your injuries and other losses.

Knowing the value of what you have lost (bodily injury, future medical expenses, disability, lost wages, pain, suffering, and inconvenience) will help you figure out what your claim is worth. 

Most claims should not be settled until after your doctor has written his final report. If you settle too early or without knowing the value of your claim, you lose money.

Statute of Limitations (SOL) – Time Limits on Your Claim

After an accident, you have limited time to claim your losses. 

The deadline for settling or filing a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations (SOL). If you miss the SOL, you lose your claim. The length of the SOL varies among states and by type of claim. 

  • In Washington State, the statute of limitations for accident and injury claims caused by negligence is usually three years. 
  • The same claim against your own insurance company may be three or six years. 
  • Intentional injuries in Washington State usually have a two-year SOL. 
  • Job injuries in Washington State usually have a one-year statute of limitations. 
  • Occupational disease claims have a SOL of two years or more. 
  • Other claims will have different deadlines, some of them very short. 

Don’t procrastinate or fool around with this. Don’t guess about your statute of limitations. Get specific legal advice about your particular time deadlines. Wait too long, and you lose your rights.

Legal Information and Legal Services

Free information. The information on this website is provided as a free service. With this information, you can make informed choices about your situation and what you’re going to do about it. If you contact us, we will answer your phone or email questions.

Want to Talk to an Attorney? If you want to talk to an attorney, we will make that happen. Initial attorney consultations are free.

Want to Do It Yourself? If you want to do it yourself, you can still contact us. We’ll give you some advice, point you in the right direction, and wish you the best of luck.

Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyer- FAQs

How do I prove I was not at fault in a motorcycle accident?

The elements of proof needed for a successful motorcycle accident case include:  

  1. Show that the other driver was negligent and that they did not fulfill that duty to exercise reasonable care when driving. 
  2. Shows that the driver’s negligence was the cause of the wreck. 
  3. How the driver’s negligence physically or mentally damaged you. 

You can help yourself with proof by gathering the evidence: 

  • Take pictures
  • Exchange contact information
  • Contact the police
  • Speak to witnesses
  • Retain an attorney

What can be taken from me if I’m being sued for a motorcycle accident?

If you have enough insurance, they will take that and nothing more. If you are uninsured, they can get a judgment for all they have lost. If you are underinsured, they can get a judgment for their losses minus insurance payments. 

How much can someone sue for a motorcycle accident?

The damages for a motorcycle accident are limited only by what can be proven. You can sue for any amount – but what you can prove is what counts. 

How do I get money from a motorcycle accident without a lawyer?

The more your case is worth, the easier it is to settle for peanuts. Insurance companies don’t want you to get a lawyer, so they might offer you a small amount and hope you are desperate enough to take it.

DIY is a risk if you have serious injuries, wage loss, liability issues, injured passengers, or a cagey insurance adjuster who wants a recorded statement

You will likely do better with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Seattle, WA.

How to get a Free Consultation and Case Evaluation.

There are 4 different ways you can get a free initial consultation. Take your choice:

  1. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form below
  2. Call / text: (206) 343-1988
  3. Email us: info@sharpelawfirm.org
  4. Schedule an appointment via Calendly

We usually reply to forms, texts, and emails within 1 business day.

Free Case Evaluation Form

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The Smart Way to Find Out If You Have a Good Case.

Get a free consultation from a lawyer: Tell us about your concerns and let us show you some smart choices you can make for your claim. At the end of the call, no matter what you decide to do, you will have fresh ideas and an action plan. You will know that you have taken important steps to get your claim moving in the right direction. Protect yourself and your L&I or Personal Injury claim with a free case consultation.

Don't Guess

Don't guess about the value of your claim. Don't compare your claim to someone else's. Get an expert opinion about your claim, from an experienced lawyer. Expertise counts, so use it to your advantage. Consultations are free. This strategy session will help you get informed.

Are Attorney Consultations Really Free?

Yes, they are. Because both you and the attorney want to know if your case is any good. A free phone consultation or email gets that figured out quickly.  Questions are answered and no time is wasted. Call 206-343-1988 or email and let us help you figure it out with a free consultation.

Chris Sharpe

Meet Chris Sharpe

Christopher Sharpe is the go to attorney for injured persons. His law firm is helpful, honest, and knowledgeable about workers' compensation and personal injury law in the State of Washington. Chris has been helping injured Washington State workers for over 40 years. He has built a successful law practice by thoroughly educating, honestly helping, and successfully representing workers throughout Washington State.

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