If you watch TV, you may think that any type of lawsuit ends up in front of a jury. The truth is that only happens in a small number of cases. Here are some of the other ways to resolve a motorcycle accident claim.
Letting Your Insurance Company Handle It
You always have the option of letting your insurance company handle your accident. While you pay them your monthly premiums, there's an important difference between them and an accident lawyer. Your insurance company is still out to make a profit, and their profits decrease when they pay you more. Your accident lawyer has a legal obligation to consider only your best interests.
The insurance companies follow a rulebook when they decide how much to pay, so in a simple claim, you will often get a settlement offer for what you deserve. The problem in a motorcycle accident is that you often have severe injuries with potentially lifelong consequences. These are hard to value with a rulebook, so you may not receive enough compensation unless you have someone fighting to pay you more.
If you don't want to take the insurance company's offer, you have the right to negotiate. If you try this on your own, they will often cite their company policy as the reason for sticking with their initial offer. To get them to move, you will usually need a strong legal argument based on past cases and possibly specific additional evidence to support your argument. This is where an experienced accident attorney can help you receive more.
Arbitration is a formal process in between a settlement and going to trial. You present your arguments as you would during settlement talks and then agree with the insurance company to let the arbitrator decide how much you're owed. Arbitration can sometimes be unfavorable in a motorcycle claim, because some arbitrators see motorcyclists as risk-takers and therefore necessarily at least partially at fault. Your accident attorney can help you understand how local arbitrators typically resolve these cases.
Going to Trial
If you're unable to settle your case to your satisfaction, you have the right to go to trial. The downside to going to trial is that it can take months if not years. There's also the possibility of losing or getting less than you want. You'll need to work with your attorney to figure out how the risk of going to trial compares against the settlement offer you have.
To learn more about how to resolve your motorcycle accident claim, contact a local motorcycle accident lawyer today.