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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.