3 Effective Tips for Choosing a Westminster Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Typing “best motorcycle accident lawyer” into a search engine will produce ample results for the supposed “best” candidates in Westminster (as well as throughout Orange County) to manage a personal injury case.
While it’s great to have options, it can be extremely overwhelming to narrow down the pages of search results of listed attorneys claiming to, in fact, be the “best.” What is the criteria based on–the most positive reviews, how long a law firm has been in business, or the attorney’s success rate?
Every case is unique and every client possesses unique interests. Therefore, the key to finding the right motorcycle accident attorney is dependent upon individual standards. However, to ensure your standards are met, it is vital to consider these effective tips for choosing the right Westminster motorcycle accident attorney for your case.
1. Confirm the Attorney Actually Specializes in Cases Involving Motorcycle Accidents
The world of personal injury law is a competitive and vast field. Because of this, many “personal injury attorneys” will claim to be experts in various types of cases–especially for motorcycle accidents in Southern California.
Recent data shows that there were over 12,400 motorcycle accidents statewide that resulted in serious injuries, which can be linked to the fact that California also has the most registered motorcycles in the US. This is likely attributed to the sunshine state’s comfortable year-round climate.
This also means that there is a lot of opportunity for attorneys to take on motorcycle accident cases, even if they may not be the most experienced for the job.
To avoid falling into a contract with a law firm that may not be the most well-equipped to handle a motorcycle accident case, research the company’s track record. This can be done by simply asking for testimonials of similar motorcycle accident cases the firm has worked on in the past.
Then, defer to online reviews to do some fact-checking. The number of review sites dedicated to building trust between consumers and brands is readily available through the infinite World Wide Web. Review what former clients had to say about a personal injury firm and if the end results were up to standard or if they were subpar.
The case proceedings for most motorcycle accidents are very different from other motor vehicle accidents, so it is absolutely imperative to invest in a motorcycle accident attorney who has provable experience winning cases similar to yours.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Must Be Backed by Ample Resources
Insurance companies are supported by legal teams who are prepared to draw out cases, pressuring injured motorcycle riders into settling for quick options, instead of the best options. However, an established law firm that has worked on similar motorcycle cases will know how to counter these tactics.
Additionally, experienced motorcycle accident lawyers maintain working relationships with expert witnesses who can help prove fault and confirm the severity of damages in a personal injury claim.
For instance, these experts can recreate the accident scene, provide medical testimony, or offer motorcycle mechanical insight. This evidence strengthens cases, validates damages, and supports the motorcycle accident claim in the victim’s favor.
2. Ensure the Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Is Relentless in Negotiations
In a personal injury case–especially a motorcycle accident case–a strong negotiator is essential.
Unfortunately, there is much bias surrounding motorcyclists and fault after an accident. The immediate assumption is that motorcycle riders are reckless thrill seekers, and therefore, likely responsible for causing most motorcycle crashes.
An insurance company is more than aware of this and will thrive off this notion. This can result in paying back minimal (if any) compensation to injured motorcycle riders.
California is an at-fault state, which means that all parties responsible for causing a crash can be held liable for damages, including the plaintiff (the person filing the motorcycle accident claim).
However, when a skilled negotiator is assisting with the motorcycle accident claim, clients increase the likelihood of recovering the compensation they deserve. Specifically, here is how a knowledgeable lawyer will improve the outcome of a motorcycle accident case.
Obtain a Higher Settlement
Working knowledge of proven strategies for obtaining maximum compensation for motorcycle accident victims is an essential trait that an attorney must possess.
Common motorcycle accident injuries can traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injury, road rash, and internal injuries. As a result, motorcycle accident injuries can result in significant medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses. In addition to physical injuries, some injured motorcycle riders may also undergo psychological trauma.
Even if it may not appear that a severe injury was sustained, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can confirm the damages and fight to get clients fair compensation.
Assistance with Medical Treatment
Sometimes an injured motorcycle rider will not seek medical treatment required to overcome serious motorcycle accident injuries due to the cost of medical bills. Not only is this a detriment to a victim’s health, but it affects the outcome of the personal injury claim as well.
Instead, medical expenses can be reimbursed through a successful settlement–something motorcycle accident lawyers assist with. Compensation for physical therapy, surgery, medication, and other ongoing care can all be included as damages in a personal injury case.
Avoid Accidentally Falling into Contractual Agreements
Because a motorcycle accident lawyer understands the value of a personal injury claim, he or she will not settle for an inadequate offer from the insurance company.
Additionally, motorcycle accident attorneys provide clarity on settlement agreements before victims sign paperwork or are pressured into settling for less than what they deserve.
Overall, an attorney being a strong negotiator is essential in a motorcycle accident claim, as this helps victims obtain the fair compensation they deserve and protects them throughout the legal process.
3. Ask About the Law Firm’s Billing Structure
There is not necessarily an ideal option when it comes to legal fees, but we have found that contingency fee arrangements tend to suit most clients’ needs. Here is an overview of the most common types of billing structures.
This is the most traditional type of legal billing, where lawyers charge clients an hourly rate for work invested.
The rate is typically determined by motorcycle accident lawyers’ experience, expertise, and the type of work being performed. Hourly billing is often used for complex or unpredictable legal matters, as it allows motorcycle accident attorneys to be compensated for their time even if the case takes longer than expected.
The drawback to this pay-as-you-go structure is that it can put clients in a financial hole when the case does not result in a win or if the settlement is not enough to cover the legal fees.
Fixed Fee Billing
This is also known as flat fee billing. It is when a motorcycle accident lawyer charges clients a set amount for a specific legal service. Unlike hourly billing, this type of structure is used for routine legal matters, such as drafting a demand letter.
Instead of paying for the attorney’s services from start to finish, it is intended to only pay for a portion of the work. Sometimes, submitting a demand letter to the insurance company with a law firm’s letterhead is enough to recover damages for a motorcycle crash without having to proceed with negotiations or litigation.
Fixed fee billing can provide clients with certainty about the cost of legal services, and it can also encourage lawyers to be efficient with their time.
Retainer Fee Billing
This is a type of legal billing where clients pay lawyers a set amount of money in advance, typically on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Retainers are often used when clients need ongoing legal assistance, such as for business transactions or estate planning, and are not common for personal injury claims.
However, some prefer this method, as it does not require additional payments for legal fees and ensures that the attorney will be available when needed.
Contingency Fee Billing
This type of legal billing varies from other payment structures the most because the lawyers are only paid if they are successful in winning the case.
Contingency fees are typically used in personal injury and other civil litigation cases, like motorcycle accidents. Under this type of billing arrangement, lawyers typically receive a percentage of the client’s recovery, ranging from 25% to 40%. (This percentage should be confirmed before the start of the case.)
Contingency fee billing makes legal services more affordable for clients, but what is most beneficial is that it will not put them into financial debt, as legal fees are not collected upfront.
Another factor to keep in mind is that attorneys will only accept a case under a contingency agreement when certain that the case can be won. Otherwise, they will not be compensated for their services.
How Motorcycle Accident Victims Can Gauge an Attorney’s Skills and Capabilities
To ensure an attorney has the qualifications to negotiate for maximum compensation for your motorcycle injury, take note of the following:
- Ask about the attorney’s experience in negotiating personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents and what the outcome was.
- Ask out what percentage of motorcycle accident cases that were settled out of court.
- Observe the attorney’s demeanor and confidence. If he or she appears confident and capable based on previous experience, this will be a good indication that they have handled similar cases and knows how to approach this one.
- If attorneys bring up going to trial because the insurance company is not proposing a fair settlement, this indicates that they are vigilant in obtaining maximum recovery–whether that be in negotiations or in court.
Contact an Experienced Westminster Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one are suffering from severe injuries from a motorcycle crash, contact a qualified personal injury attorney for help. But, where to start?
Our law firm understands that with so many options to choose from in Westminster, it can be difficult to narrow down the best selection.
West Accident Law Group is comprised of a team of experienced legal professionals who speicalize in cases involving motorcycle accidents. We are skilled negotiators and offer a client-friendly contingency fee arrangement.
We’ll work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation you deserve, as well as the medical care needed to make an effective recovery.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more.