No Recovery – No Attorney's Fee
1. How long does it typically take to settle California motorcycle injury cases?
It depends on the nature of your case. Larger personal injury claims usually take longer to settle than smaller claims. Generally, it will take 6 months to 2 years to resolve a claim.
2. Will I have to go to trial?
The vast majority of personal injury cases do not go to trial. However, I approach each case as if it is going to trial because you have to be willing to go to trial in order to maximize your settlement.
3. Who pays the expenses that will be incurred in pursuing the claim?
I advance the expenses in almost all cases.
4. How do I know if I have a good motorcycle accident claim?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident which was not your fault, you probably have a personal injury claim. You will have to prove that the other person was negligent (at fault) and that you were injured in the motorcycle accident.
5. What is my California motorcycle accident injury claim worth?
If we know the full extent and permanency of your injuries we can give you an estimate of the likely settlement value of your claim. Until this is known, only a very broad range estimate of case value can be made. There is no legal book or standard formula or rule of thumb to determine the value of a personal injury claim. Financial considerations can include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, loss of consortium, and property damage. Economic factors like age, current level of employment, and education will also be taken into account when determining how much compensation to award. Punitive damages may also be awarded. To give you an idea of the level of compensation you might receive, we will need to discuss your case further.
6. How long will it take to pursue my case?
It depends on the nature and extent of your injuries and the time it takes you to heal and several other factors. Every case is unique and presents its own issues. The nature of the case will set the length of time necessary to bring your action to its conclusion. During your initial consultation, Dean Goetz will be able to give you a better idea of how long your particular case may take.
7. Will I recover more by getting an attorney than trying to handle the claim on my own.
Anything is possible but this is highly unlikely in a significant injury case. If you have a serious injury, you need an attorney to make sure you get what you are entitled to receive.
8. It is clear that the auto/truck driver is liable for my motorcycle accident. Why do I need an attorney?
You need an attorney to make sure:
- You are not being taken advantage of by the insurance adjustors;
- You maximize your recovery;
- You have someone on your side because the insurance company has many lawyers and adjustors who are working hard to reduce the insurance companies financial exposure;
- You don't make statements that will hurt your case while you are talking to the adjustor;
- You are being treated by competent doctors and medical care providers who will be able to prepare a report properly explaining the full extent of your injury;
- Your motorcycle accident scene is preserved in good photos;
- The motorcycle accident is properly and completely investigated and reconstructed by trained experts;
9. Can my attorney get the medical care providers and hospitals to reduce their charges?
Yes. If it becomes necessary to get medical care providers to reduce their bills, we will do whatever we can to make that happen.
10. Are motorcyclists liable for most auto vs. motorcycle accidents?
No, the opposite is generally true. Motorcyclists are often injured by negligent car drivers. In the majority of cases, the other vehicle violated the motorcyclist's right-of-way and caused the accident. Also, motorcycle riders are approximately 25 times more likely to be killed in a road accident and are 5 times more likely to be injured than a person riding in a passenger vehicle. There are a wide range of causes for motorcycle accidents, many of which include:
Limited visibility - Intersections, buildings, parked vehicles, shrubbery, etc.
Road hazards - Potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, and uneven pavement.
The claimed invisibility of motorcycles - The motorcyclist is not seen by other drivers. Truck drivers have a hard time seeing motorcycles because they often have blind spots and do not see the comparatively small motorcycle, which can result in collisions.
If you are interested, here is an article on some of the most recent stats we have on motorcycle accidents from the Department of Transportation. Additionally, here you'll find some great motorcycle law resources such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) the internationally recognized developer of the comprehensive, research-based, Rider Education and Training System. I don't know too many car drivers who work on their driving skills the way motorcycle riders do.
11. Should I talk with the Insurance Adjustors or Representatives before talking to an attorney?
No. Call an attorney as soon as possible. The insurance adjustors are trained to get you to make admissions or make statements that will harm your case. The insurance companies are not interested in helping you. They are only interested in reducing the value of your claim and paying you as little as possible. Insurance companies are not on your side.
12. Should I talk to the other driver's insurance company? What if they call me?
No. Do not give an oral statement to the other side's insurance company. If you do, you will regret it. If you are contacted, be polite, but decline to talk. Insurance companies' claims adjusters are professional negotiators, with extensive experience in using every technique to get you to say things that will harm your case. Politely tell them that you will have your lawyer talk to them. Do not agree to let them take a recorded statement of your conversation.
13. Where do you accept cases from?
I am admitted to the California State Bar. Although my law offices are located in Solana Beach on the N. Pacific Coast Highway 101, and in San Diego County, I will handle cases throughout California.
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