How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

No one ever anticipates an accident when they head out on the road. It does not matter what kind of vehicle they are driving, they expect the other people on the road to exhibit the same safety and caution that they do. However, accidents do happen and one day, an accident could happen to you. Even minor accidents can be bad, but any potential accident can be worse if a motorcycle is involved.

Motorcycles do not get into accidents at higher rates than other vehicles, but due to the lack of protection, the consequences of a motorcycle accident are potentially much worse than they are in a car accident. If the accident was caused by the negligence of someone else, then a motorcycle accident lawsuit could be in the cards. If that is the case, then you need to hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney because they can offer you the legal help and advice that you need. If you happen to be in the Miami area, then visit jugomurphy.com to get the help that you need.

The Stages of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

To find out roughly how long a motorcycle accident lawsuit will take, you need to know the various stages of the lawsuit and how long each of them will take.

Settlement

This is what happens when a motorcycle accident claim is resolved out of court without a personal injury lawsuit being necessary. In order for this to happen, all the parties involved need to agree on two things: liability and damages. Liability is about what happened and who was at fault, and damages are the losses incurred as a result of the accident.

If there is enough evidence to prove that the negligent part was solely responsible for the accident, or if they admit as such, then there is no reason for a lawsuit and the case can be resolved. This is only if the negligent party has insurance to cover the damages of the motorcycle rider. If all these factors are present, then a settlement will typically take thirty to ninety days to resolve.

Discovery

If the motorcycle accident case cannot be resolved with a settlement, then the lawsuit will continue and this is the first step. As the name suggests, the discovery phase is where the attorneys of both parties exchange evidence and information that could be used in a trial. This helps clarify matters for both parties so that they can find out just how much each person was at fault for the accident. It is possible for the discovery phase to last for six to twelve months once the lawsuit is filed, but both parties can reach a settlement during this period, thus shortening the process.

Mediation

Once the discovery phase is completed, the courts will usually schedule both parties for mediation, which is also called Alternative Dispute Resolution, to help them resolve the case without going to court. Mediation is presided over by a neutral third party who will try to guide the parties to a resolution. The mediation process can last for a few hours or a few days, which means that, combined with the discovery phase, the motorcycle accident case can end about a year or less from when the accident happened.

Trial

If all the previous methods failed to yield a resolution, then the only option left is a trial. This is actually the least desirable option regardless of the chances of success. That is because trials are expensive and time-intensive, which is why the courts will recommend mediation first. Fortunately, very few personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents ever get to the trial stage as they are usually settled at one of the previous stages.

If the case does end up in a trial, then it could take as much as two years— and sometimes more— from the time of the accident before either party sets foot in a courtroom. The actual trial can take weeks or months, which is why motorcycle accident cases are generally resolved before then.

The Importance of a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

No matter the outcome of a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you can see that an experienced attorney is vital. They can help you resolve the case in your favor before it ever gets to a trial, but if a trial becomes inevitable, then they will represent you to the best of their ability. So make sure to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can following an accident because they will give you the best chance of getting the compensation that you deserve.

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