Avid bikers will agree that whenever the opportunity presents itself, two wheels are a lot better than four. There’s little that beats the feeling of rushing past orchards and fields through country roads, with the sun on the horizon. Whether you’re riding through busy traffic or enjoying a two-lane mountain road all by yourself on a late summer evening, a motorcycle is as much a method of transportation as it is a lifestyle.
But that lifestyle does come with a few risks. Motorcycles are freedom-made manifest, but they can be a lot less safe as a result. There are no crumple zones, no protective features, no airbags, and much less weight and traction. Motorcyclists are even more at the mercy of the elements around them, such as road quality, weather, and the behavior and skill of other drivers. These factors can spell the difference between life and death.
Then, there are the factors that motorcyclists can – and sometimes fail to – control. An estimated 67 percent of motorcyclists report using a helmet in 2022. Motorcyclists are historically reluctant to wear high-visibility gear. Studies in France have even attempted to dissect the reasons why motorcyclists tend to speed, a key factor behind two-wheeler accidents.
Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, and motorcyclists are unfortunately more likely to suffer injuries in motorcycle-related accidents than other motorists. But when accidents occur, it’s important to understand who is responsible, and how each of the factors in a motorcycle accident can affect the results of a resulting lawsuit – including time. As such, many people want to know: “How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take?”
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?
If you asked a lawyer “how long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take” without providing sufficient context, it would be unreasonable to expect a useful timeframe. Even if a potential client claimed that the factors of the case were straightforward, a legal team would only be able to assess the timeline of a motorcycle accident lawsuit after getting a complete picture of what happened, and what to be aware of. That can take weeks at best, and months at worst.
So, how long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take? The short answer is as follows: clear-cut motorcycle accident lawsuits may be settled in a matter of months. But when it becomes less clear who is at fault, and when all parties become more willing to fight, these lawsuits can take years to fully resolve.
To that end, be wary of legal professionals who claim that they can resolve your case within a specific timeframe. Even the most skilled lawyers must work within the boundaries of an unpredictable legal system with varying schedules.
Timeline of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
While you might be able to answer your question of how long a motorcycle accident lawsuit takes within the first consultation, working with a lawyer can give you a greater insight into the complete timeline of a typical motorcycle accident lawsuit. Such a timeline might look like this:
Initial consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer
Presenting your recollection of the events of the accident to your lawyer.
Providing any available evidence or additional information (pictures, hospital bills, etc.)
Waiting for your lawyer to gather more evidence and information and investigate the facts of the case.
Waiting for your lawyer to communicate with the relevant insurance companies.
Working with your lawyer throughout the settlement process.
Filing for a lawsuit.
Going through the exchange of available information (discovery process).
Pre-trial motions, hearings, and other court appearances.
Potential attempts at mediation (second settlement).
Preparing for trial (establishing your defense and legal strategies).
Waiting for the verdict/settlement.
Thankfully, most motorcycle accidents end in a settlement rather than a drawn-out legal battle. However, even getting to that point can take months if the details of the case are heavily debatable. While it might seem like motorcycle accident victims have little agency in the length of their case, there are some things you can do to help speed things up.
Which Factors Determine a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit’s Length?
How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take? The answer depends on the severity of injuries and other damages involved, as well as the complexity of the factors regarding the fault of each involved party, and the willingness of either or any party to settle quickly. Other factors that can impact the length of a motorcycle accident lawsuit include:
Court-related bureaucracy, delays in the scheduling of hearings and trials due to backlogs, and understaffing.
The willingness of the involved insurance companies to negotiate and find a swift and amicable settlement solution.
The extent of the medical attention and treatment needed to manage the results of the accident.
Disputes and lack of clarity of the events surrounding the accident, requiring further investigation.
While you cannot control the events surrounding the accident, nor the behavior of the involved insurance companies, there are a few ways you can focus on expediting your motorcycle accident lawsuit:
Be prepared when consulting with your lawyers
Gather as much information as you have available, write down as much as you can remember from the accident, and if possible, try to present any evidence you might have from that day to support your case.
Follow the recommendations of your medical professional to a T
Be sure to schedule follow-up appointments, and stay up to date with your treatment after the accident. Keep all documentation regarding your injuries.
Consider speaking with a counselor or therapist
If you’ve had trouble functioning at work or at home, or feel disturbed by the accident, consider speaking with a counselor or therapist. Not only is it a good idea to get a check-up for your mental health and wellbeing, but if your accident left behind any mental scars, these too need to be documented and addressed in the lawsuit.
Pick your motorcycle accident lawyers wisely
It is important to work with a legal team that specializes in vehicular accidents and has a positive track record for personal injury cases.
Here at Owen, Patterson & Owen, motorcycle accident lawsuits are more than a legal service. We are especially passionate about representing motorcycle accident victims and providing the legal representation you deserve. As a former professional motocross racer, our Senior Partner Greg Owen lives and breathes motorcycles – and has the track record to prove it. If you have recently been injured in a motorcycle accident and have any questions, we’re here to help.
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