The common phrase “can I sue” is not one that attorney’s generally like to hear. It is a radical reaction to a traumatic event.
The term Sue is derived from the full word “lawsuit”… it is considered a ‘slang’ term for the process of seeking justice by petitioning the court for legal redress in a conflict between two or more parties.
In personal injury cases, which is the area of law in which motorcycle accidents fall, the process of sorting out the reimbursement actually starts with an action which is called a “claim”.
The Legal Process in a Motorcycle Accident Case
The injured party, called the plaintiff, typically calls a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer, if the accident happened in NJ, and describes the facts of the accident.
The lawyer will then ask questions to determine whether or not you have a legitimate claim against another party, called the defendant.
He or she will use their knowledge of the jurisdictional laws as well as their experience in similar cases to make a decision. The purpose being to determine whether you can be reimbursed for property damage, injuries or other trauma.
Will an attorney help with your claim?
After the legitimacy of the claim is established, unfortunately at least one more step is involved. The case has to be winnable for an attorney to take the case.
As cold as this sounds, motorcycle accident attorneys have to weigh the pros and cons of using their time on each case that is presented. If a case is clearly not winnable, it doesn’t make sense for the motorcycle attorney to take the case.
In the event your case is turned down, you can try two or three other accident attorneys. If none is willing to make the claim on your behalf, you most likely don’t have a strong case. If the case is winnable but the amount of reimbursement is negligible, it doesn’t make sense to pursue.
If no accident attorneys will take your case, you would then work directly with the insurance company of the at-fault party to resolve the issue.
Don’t try to make the determination of whether or not you have a strong claim on your own – call Lee Gaber immediately after an accident.
Some reasons you may not have a good claim would be if:
- the accident produced very limited damage to you or your bike
- no medical attention was sought or received
- the accident was your fault, or more than 50% your fault
- lack of insurance coverage by the at-fault party
- no other party was involved in your accident
Settlement vs Lawsuit
When a case is taken by a motorcycle accident lawyer in New Jersey, the goal when making a claim is to have that claim fully paid by the insurance company. Of course the insurance company doesn’t want to pay anything.
That is where your attorney is invaluable. If it is just you asking for reimbursement for medical bills, for example, you are likely to get the runaround, or if you are lucky, you might get a low offer the insurance company hopes you will accept so they won’t be bothered by you again.
The motorcycle attorney’s job is to negotiate a motorcycle accident settlement that results in as much reimbursement as possible for you.
It is rare that insurance companies will not settle the claim. In fact, in most motorcycle accident cases it is entirely unnecessary to go to court. The reality is that no insurance company wants to take the time and incur the expense of a court trial.
Start the Process
So, can you sue? You certainly should look into it with an accident attorney. Will you end up suing anyone in reality? It is unlikely.
With this in mind, you should still seek out an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer such as Lee D. Gaber at 888-292-5352 (888-cycle-law) to help you determine if you have a case.
It won’t cost you anything to find out.
Also, keep in mind, it costs the same whether you hire a good attorney or a poor one. So you might as well start with the most experience and focused motorcycle attorney, Lee D. Gaber, Esquire.