Filing a claim for compensation after you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own can be a stressful experience, especially when you have medical bills and other expenses piling up. With the financial pressures brought about by recovering from a motorcycle accident, you may want to know how long your motorcycle claim or lawsuit may take.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
The first step in a motorcycle accident case involves filing a claim for compensation with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. An initial insurance claim will lay out why you believe the insurance company’s insured caused the accident and your injuries, and what kinds of injuries and losses you have suffered due to the accident.
If you have only suffered minor injuries and/or damage to your motorcycle, your case will usually end soon after filing your claim with the insurance company. If you can present evidence proving that the insurance company’s driver caused the accident and you can present documents substantiating your losses (such as hospital bills or invoices from a motorcycle repair shop), the insurance company may choose to approve your claim and pay what you’ve demanded.
However, if you’ve suffered more serious injuries, sustained more expensive losses, or if there is a dispute over fault for the accident, you may have to proceed to negotiations to try to reach a settlement of your claim.
Insurers always want to pay as little money as possible for an insurance claim, so they may try to deny your motorcycle accident claim outright, argue that you were at fault for the crash, or try to offer you less money than your claim is really worth. The greater your expenses and losses or the more factually complex the evidence from the accident is, the more likely it is that the insurance company will try to push back against your initial claim for compensation.
The insurance company will usually take between 20 to 45 days to respond to your initial claim. If the insurer doesn’t fully accept your initial claim, settlement negotiations can take anywhere from 30 days to several months, depending on whether further investigation of the accident is needed and the the insurance adjuster’s caseload — if an adjuster is handling hundreds of claims at once, they may be slow to respond to your counter offers for settlement.
Filing Suit in Court
If you and the insurance company cannot reach a settlement, eventually you will need to file a lawsuit in court to preserve your right to compensation. The first step of a lawsuit, after papers have been filed in court, is the discovery process, during which both sides exchange their evidence to get a clearer picture of the case. Discovery usually takes between six months to a year.
After discovery, many cases will proceed to mediation, which is a more formal settlement negotiated facilitated by a neutral third party called a mediator.
Although the parties may choose to settle the case at any point during the litigation, if no settlement is reached, the parties will eventually end up at trial. Overall, the litigation process can take up to two years from the date that the lawsuit is filed.
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of motorcycle accidents in Bayonne, Vineland, Hoboken, Clifton, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, and Trenton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.