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How Long Does It Take to Settle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?

While motorcycle accident claim timelines vary greatly on a case-by-case basis, the overall duration will depend on how long each step of the process takes.

Validating and Filing Claim

If you've been involved in an accident, your first step is determining if you have a valid claim. You'll need to prove two very important things: (1) another driver caused your accident and damages and (2) how much those damages are worth.

Having physical evidence helps your case. Some examples include:

· Pictures of the accident scene, injuries, and damage to your motorcycle

· Receipts and other proof of medical expenses

· Reports from medical doctors

· Proof of any lost wages

· Receipts or estimates for motorcycle repairs from a licensed mechanic

· Sworn statements from people who witnessed the accident

Most claims are resolved at this stage, between 30-90 days after the accident, if there's clear evidence that another driver was at fault, especially if you have minor injuries without preexisting injuries, the rider complied with all applicable motorcycle helmet laws, there's no dispute about the person at fault, and that person had insurance. Insurance companies can make it harder if any of those things is the slightest shade of gray.

Negotiation and Settlement

The goal of an insurance company is to find ways to pay out less for a claim. They'll try to deny it or offer lowball settlements. If your accident case is complex, there's a greater chance you're going to get pushback from the insurer. To protect yourself, you should hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. They'll strengthen your claim and help negotiate a fair settlement.

Reaching a formal agreement can take between 30 days to 6 weeks after your accident. It can be 20-30 days before you get your first offer from an insurance adjuster. The process moves quicker after you receive that initial offer.

Once you agree on a fair settlement for your claim, you'll sign a formal release. This prevents you from filing future lawsuits against the at-fault party. From that point, your personal injury case will end, and you'll receive your payment.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you can't agree on a fair settlement, you might decide to take your case to court, which can take more than 2 years to resolve. The case can be settled at any point during the proceedings once more details are available and the case becomes clearer.

Discovery and Motions

At this point, parties exchange information relating to the case, such as receipts, documents, sworn testimonies, written questions, and answers. This phase can last from 6 to 12 months following the filing of a lawsuit.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

This is the phase of mediation and arbitration. It involves a neutral third party who provides an understanding of how an outside set of eyes (judge or jury) might see the case. ADR has a goal of encouraging resolution without the need for a trial. This can last for just a few hours, or it might extend for a few days.

Trial

There aren't many motorcycle accidents that reach this phase. Trials take up a lot of time (as long as 2 years or more) and cost a lot of money. If the case is lost in court, the claimant loses their chance for a settlement. If you make it to this point, you're going to want to have the best lawyer standing by your side.

Every case has different timelines for resolution, but one thing does remain the same; research shows that victims receive higher settlements and resolve claims faster when they hire an experienced attorney to fight for them. Call George Stein Steelhorse Law if you want to learn more about how long your personal claim will take.



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