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Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Do You Need A Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?

YES, The aftermath of a motorcycle accident teems with confusion and blame in the air. Obtaining justice and compensation through a motorcycle claim can be difficult without the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer. The reason is that many insurance companies are unwilling to pay for claims. They will try to diminish the severity of the injuries and the accident overall, often offering a low settlement amount.

When an insurance company sees that a motorcyclist represents themselves, they will take advantage of their limited knowledge and resources. The insurance company believes that you do not have the experience necessary to defend your case adequately since you are not a lawyer.

You will need to call a motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights after an accident. While you may be unsure of the proper steps and how the claim process works, a lawyer is well aware and knows exactly what to do in these cases.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can:

  • Obtain police reports
  • Communicate and negotiate with insurance companies
  • Gather evidence
  • Speak to witnesses and get their statements
  • Consult with medical and technical experts
  • Reconstruct the accident
  • Pull the other party’s driving record
  • Identify factors that a defective product may have caused
  • Go to trial on your behalf

Many accident victims fear that hiring a lawyer will not make any difference in their claim. The reality is that a lawyer can make the difference between a winning case and paying for the damages on your own.

Causes of Motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle Accident LawyersA Motorcycle accident can happen for several reasons, usually when you least expect it. The primary cause of these accidents is negligence.

Another driver may be negligent in their actions, causing a motorcycle accident by:

  • Following too closely: This is a dangerous traffic infraction that often leads to catastrophe. If a car travels behind a motorcycle, they don’t have enough time to stop if the bike stops due to a hazard on the road. This sudden stop can cause the car to collide with the motorcycle. In some cases, the vehicle will run over the motorcycle and driver because the car was following so closely.
  • Speeding: Whether it be a motorcycle accident or other motor vehicle accident, speeding is one of the leading causes.
  • Improper left turns: When a car makes a left-hand turn, this can lead to a severe motorcycle accident. They can easily hit a motorcycle if they are not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • Not understanding motorcycle brakes: Since motorcycles have very different systems than cars and other motor vehicles, drivers must pay attention. Since there are different lights on motorcycles, a driver may be confused when a bike uses a down throttle and does not trigger any lights. This misunderstanding can cause a driver to slam into a motorcycle if not paying attention to their actions.
  • Cutting off a motorcycle: If a driver cuts off a motorcycle, this act can cause the motorcycle to slam directly into the vehicle. The rider can be thrown on top of the car and even underneath the vehicle.
  • Not yielding right of way: Many motor vehicle drivers do not respect motorcycles on the road. They do not believe they have the same rights as cars, but they do. Motorcycles have the right of way in certain areas. When a driver ignores these right of way laws, it can cause a motorcyclist to swerve or react in another fashion that causes an accident.
  • Ignoring motorcycle entry or switching lanes: A motorcyclist will need to switch lanes and merge just like any other vehicle. An accident may occur if other vehicles ignore the motorcycle during the action.
  • Intoxicated driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol heavily impairs judgment and response times. A drunk driver cannot always stop or react in time to avoid crashing into a motorcycle.

The truth is that an accident can happen for many reasons, and motorcycle riders must stay vigilant at all times. Even if you are alert, you cannot predict how another driver will behave or react around you. You will need a lawyer to defend you against insurance companies and others after a motorcycle accident.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcycle accident can happen in a variety of ways. While it is essential to know how they happen, it is also important to know the different kinds of accidents you may be involved in. Some of the most common are head-on collisions and side collisions. You may also be struck by objects or find hazards on the road.

How does compensation work in motorcycle cases?

There are numerous types of compensation you may be entitled to after a motorcycle accident.

When a lawyer begins building a demand package, the damages will include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability for permanent impairment
  • Loss of consortium

The unique factors of your case will influence the amount you obtain. You deserve total compensation for any losses you sustained in the accident. You will need to call a lawyer to calculate your damages.

Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident

A sad reality for motorcycle drivers is that being involved in an accident can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death. These accidents are truly life-changing for those involved.

The most common motorcycle injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury: These injuries are extremely difficult for victims because it often leads to decreased cognitive ability. This disability can last a lifetime, even with adequate treatment.
  • Road rash: Many people feel this injury doesn’t sound like anything to be concerned with. However, this injury can lead to other complications like infection, nerve damage, and damage to the tendons.
  • Spinal cord damage: Any damage to the spinal cord can be permanently debilitating. The spine controls your body, and if it is damaged, you may lose the use of areas of your body. You can have varying degrees of paralysis, changing the entire course of your life.
  • Fractured or broken bones: A broken bone can cause a victim to undergo months of physical therapy and require surgery. You may have a broken arm or leg after an accident. You may also have broken other bones.
  • Amputations: Motorcycle accidents can often crush a limb. These injuries may require an amputation. You will never get your limbs back and need to modify your home, lifestyle, and means of transportation. Prosthetics can help, but they are expensive, and you may need to replace them several times during your life.
  • Death: The worst possible outcome from a motorcycle accident is death. You never expect that your loved one will pass away from an accident. This loss will stay with you for the rest of your life, and you need to hold the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death.

Injuries are often catastrophic because the motorcycle does not have as much protection as other vehicles on the road. When a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle collide, the bike will absorb most of the impact, leading to severe injury. It will be critical to have a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side to obtain compensation for these injuries and other damages.

5 Ways a Lawyer Can Help After an Injury Accident?

While you may feel apprehensive about hiring a lawyer, it can significantly increase your compensation.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can:

  1. Protect your rights: Motorcycle riders often have a bad reputation for acting recklessly on the road. Insurance companies will use this biased opinion to deny claims and lower settlement amounts. You will need to have a lawyer on your side who acts as your champion and protects your rights. A lawyer may be crucial to getting you back to your pre-injury life. Insurance companies will try to move fast to find a reason to deny a claim, and they will often do this by requesting accident victims to make a recorded statement. A motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure that when you make a statement, the provided information is not incriminating to the victim and will not result in claim denial. When an insurance company knows they legitimately cannot deny a claim, they will try to find the slightest comment or detail to diminish the extent of your injuries and losses and offer a lower settlement. However, having a lawyer can deter insurance companies from employing these tactics. If they insist on a low settlement, a lawyer can work to prove that the accident in question did cause your injuries.
  2. Level the playing field: Insurance companies have a team of attorneys on their side to deny or lower claims. These parties are only interested in settling claims for the lowest amount possible. After an accident, you’ll be concerned with healing and will often be unable to fight against insurance companies. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can level the playing field. Instead of insurance companies with their team of lawyers going against you, they will have an experienced lawyer fighting back just as hard. You may not be familiar with all of the laws that apply to these cases but a lawyer will be.
  3. Prove your damages: The main component of a motorcycle accident claim damages. Insurance companies will try to pull one over on you by having you sign forms immediately following an accident. Among them is a release of information form, which allows the insurance company to build a case where you do not win. They will request medical records dating back 20-plus years and say that this accident can not possibly cause your ailments. When you have a lawyer on your team, you will not be allowed to sign any documents that lead to an insurance company diminishing your claim. We will work to obtain medical records and consult with experts to determine your recovery process and the estimated losses you may experience.
  4. Identify the at-fault party: A lawyer can help your claim by identifying the at-fault party. You may believe that it is obvious who is to blame for the accident, but other factors may need consideration. Depending on which state you live in, liability and fault can be complex topics. There may be underlying issues such as defective parts that may lead to a product liability case. Your lawyer can determine the actual at-fault party or parties through a thorough investigation and name them in a claim.
  5. Provide expert witnesses: One of the most significant advantages of securing a lawyer when injured in a motorcycle accident is that they have experience working with expert witnesses. Expert witnesses are doctors, engineers, and other professionals who can testify on your behalf to prove your case.

There are many ways that a motorcycle accident lawyer can protect you and file a successful claim on your behalf. Do not hesitate to call a lawyer after an accident.

Call a Lawyer After Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident

Gary Annes Lawyer
Gary Annes, Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer

A few concerns arise during a motorcycle accident claim, especially concerning compensation. To determine appropriate compensation, the court or insurance company must consider various factors to come to a fair settlement. Each case is unique and should be treated as such, especially when determining the amount of compensation you deserve.

When you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you will need to enlist the help of a lawyer to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. After an accident, you may feel angry, frustrated, and scared. The future can feel unknown, and you may not have a compass to guide you. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will serve as your compass through this storm.

Start protecting your rights and interests as soon as possible following your injury. The right attorney is ready to begin on your case when you are.

 

How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

Motorcycle Accident Case Timeline

Typically, the first questions that we hear from prospective clients after they suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident are whether they can get compensation for their injuries and how much money they can get. After that, many people are concerned with how long their case will take. Clients can decide whether they file a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit in court. One consideration that influences people’s thinking about a lawsuit is how long it will take.

It isn’t easy to give you an exact estimate of how long your case will take. There are many factors outside your control. First, you cannot control whether the insurance company or defendant will be reasonable in settlement negotiations or how motivated they will be to settle in the first place.

Second, you also cannot control the court’s docket and schedule. A backlogged court may delay your case. Third, a court may place different deadlines on the various phases of your case and may rule on motions at different speeds. Read on to get a better understanding of the overall claim process from our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. If you have specific questions about your potential case, get answers by contacting an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer.

The Lawsuit Process Does Not Move Quickly

We can say with the most certainty that if you file a lawsuit in court for your motorcycle accident case, it will take at least a year if your case goes to trial. Courts have busy dockets. Even if the court could hear your case sooner rather than later, there are numerous steps to go through before you can reach trial that will take time. Therefore, if you decide to file a lawsuit, you should be patient and know that it may be a while until your case ends.

To understand how long your lawsuit may take, you should know the various stages of a lawsuit. When you see what happens in court, you will get a handle on the timing. Of course, lawsuits can take different amounts of time depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s docket. Courts across the country have reported some delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits Begins

Motorcycle Accident Timeline Your lawsuit will begin when your attorney drafts a complaint and serves it on the defendant. Before your attorney can file the case in court, they will need to conduct a full investigation of your accident. While you will still need to prove your claims in court, your complaint will also need to have enough potential facts to survive a motion to dismiss the trial. If you rush to file a complaint, you risk that your case will not go on.

Once you file a complaint, the defendant gets 30 days to file their answer to your complaint. They will respond to your alleged facts, either denying them or giving their side of the story. The defendant may request an extension to file the answer if they need more time.

The Parties Get to File Motions with the Court

Defendants often file a motion with the court to dismiss the case after filing their answer. They may try to find something procedurally wrong (such as missing the statute of limitations or the fact that the court lacks jurisdiction) or argue that your lawsuit fails to state a claim. You will get a chance to file your response to the motion. Then, the court will consider the motion and issue its ruling on it. This part of the litigation process will take months.

Courts do not often grant a motion to dismiss. If the court has jurisdiction over the case, they will err on giving you the ability to have your day in court. Assuming that the judge denies a motion to dismiss your lawsuit, your case will proceed to the discovery phase of the trial.

What Happens in Discovery

Here, the plaintiff and defendant will ask for and exchange information in their possession that they can use as evidence at trial.

You may obtain the following evidence in discovery:

  • Requests for admission
  • Interrogatories – you can send a series of questions to which the other party needs to respond.
  • Requests for documents – you can ask for any records or physical evidence in the hands of the other parties.
  • Depositions – your attorney will have the ability to question people who may have relevant evidence for up to seven hours, including the driver responsible for the accident. You may also need to sit through a deposition if you are physically able, although this all depends on your health.

Discovery is the most involved and detailed part of your lawsuit. It is not an exaggeration to say that cases are won and lost during the discovery phase. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will take the time to pursue all possible sources of evidence. You can expect that there will be some disputes between the two sides that will require the judge to issue a ruling. Nonetheless, courts will allow a set amount of time for discovery in your case.

After discovery, each side will have time to review the evidence they obtained and prepare for trial. One thing that each side may do after discovery is to file a motion for summary judgment. This motion asks the court to rule on the law based on facts not in dispute between the two parties. It can take a judge months to review the motions and issue a detailed decision on a motion for summary judgment. If the judge grants the motion to either side, it counts as a verdict, and the trial is over.

If you received a large amount of evidence, it might take some time for your attorney to prepare adequately. The court has already set a trial date, and you have a limited amount of time to get ready for your case. This part of the process is always a busy time, as your motorcycle accident lawyer must be thoroughly prepared to go in front of a jury.

Most Cases Settle Before They Go to Trial

Many motorcycle accident lawsuits will not go to a jury trial. The insurance company knows that motorcycle accident cases are worth more than many other personal injury cases due to the damages. If the defendant is found liable, it can result in a significant jury award. An insurance company often does not want to face the jury unless it knows that it has a powerful case. Otherwise, they may pay out far more in a jury award than if the case had settled.

There are two phases of the case where an insurance company may be more likely to try to settle:

  • If they file a motion to dismiss the case and the judge rules against them
  • After the close of discovery, when they realize that you have a strong case in proving liability

The Insurance Company May Get More Motivated to Settle

Many defendants do not get very serious about a settlement until after discovery closes. Before then, they may not have as much motivation to settle the case. Even if they make a settlement offer before this point, it is likely to be for less than they can ultimately pay. The settlement process is a negotiation, and they may still try to wait you out to see whether you will take a smaller offer. Settlement offers may get progressively better as the legal process advances and you get closer to trial.

After discovery, the two parties may opt for some alternative dispute resolution if they think that they can settle. Many cases will involve mediation, where a third-party neutral can help the two parties talk through the issues and narrow the gaps in their position.

If you do not reach a settlement agreement with the other side, your case will eventually go to trial. Ironically, the hearing will probably be the quickest part of your case. If you have opted for a jury trial, your attorney and the defense will select a jury. Then, each side will receive a certain amount of time to make their case to the jury. Once each side has made a closing argument, the jury will deliberate. If you requested a bench trial, the judge will issue a decision.

Even Winning Your Case May Not Be the End of It

Even if you win your case, it may still not be the end. The defendant may appeal a jury verdict if they lose their case. The judge can reconsider the jury verdict and decide whether to leave it undisturbed or reduce it. Then, the defendant can appeal the verdict to a higher court.

While lawsuits take time from start to finish, you should still keep all your options open when trying to negotiate a settlement of your claim. If the insurance company does not make a reasonable offer that fairly pays you for your damages, you may have to file a lawsuit. You should not rush a lousy settlement because a lawsuit will take too much time. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will advise you of all your legal options, and one of them may be to take your case to a jury when the insurance company either denies your claim or will not pay you what you legally deserve.

Take Enough Time to Maximize Your Compensation

Take the time to get the highest possible compensation in your motorcycle accident lawsuit. You only have one chance to obtain financial compensation for your injuries, as you cannot have two trials. If you do not get enough money, you may face financial difficulties in the future when your money runs out.

We understand that it is difficult to be patient when you are behind the financial eight-ball, but it is a must in a truck accident lawsuit. It does not seem that time is on your side, but if your motorcycle injury lawyer can develop your case, it will be the defendant who is scrambling to settle when the full scope of their liability becomes apparent to them.

Why You Need to Get a Lawyer and Get Started

Dave Abels Lawyer
Dave Abels, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The key is to begin the legal process as soon as you can. While your attorney should not rush filing the lawsuit, they can at least get started faster when you hire them soon after your accident. The one part of the timing that you can control is when you retain an attorney. You may not want to deal with the legal process after your accident, and maybe you cannot even do so. If you cannot speak with a lawyer, your family should hire one.

Hire a lawyer right after the accident because:

  • A  motorcycle accident lawyer will get right to work gathering the evidence and obtaining it before it is lost.
  • The insurance company may be trying to pressure you after the accident, get a statement from you, or coerce you into signing a quick settlement that shortchanges you.
  • Your lawyer can do the legwork on your case early, so you can file the claim in plenty of time before worrying about the statute of limitations.
  • Having an experienced lawyer on your side gives you some peace of mind, knowing that you have someone in your corner when the process seems skewed against you.
  • You do not need to write a check to hire an attorney and only need to pay the lawyer if you win your case

There is little risk to you in getting the legal help you need. The main risk is that an insurance company will take advantage of you during the legal process and cost you the money that you need.

While the injury process is not always fast, starting your case and getting the ball rolling is only beneficial to you and your family. The longer you wait to get started, the longer you will wait to deposit your settlement or award funds into your account and begin paying unpaid bills. Starting a case can ease some of your financial stress after a motorcycle accident.

 

Do Insurance Companies Pay for Pain and Suffering?

Recover Compensation For Pain & Suffering

Pain and suffering damages are not the same as punitive damages. They are part and parcel of your personal injury settlement. They are not considered unusual or reserved for situations when someone has done something seriously wrong. Pain and suffering accompany your physical injuries. If you have gone through any ordeal after your accident, you can receive pain and suffering damages. Read on to learn more about pain and suffering damages and compensation from our experienced personal injury lawyers.

Pain and Suffering Is One of the More Misunderstood Personal Injury Damages

These types of damages are often not well understood by the average person. People know that they can get paid for their medical bills and even for the time that they miss from work. However, they may not understand that they can get compensation for other things they have endured.

Pain and suffering belong to the category of non-economic damages. In any personal injury case, there are two types of damages. The first is economic damages that represent the direct costs of the injury. This category includes money that comes out of your pocket or should come into your pocket that does not.

Economic damages can represent:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damages

Insurance Companies Even Undervalue Economic Damages

Theoretically, economic damages are easier to calculate because there is a known dollar figure on them. After all, you know how much you pay in medical bills and how much property damage you have sustained.

In practice, the insurance company even makes economic damages challenging to negotiate because they have different values that they put on things. An insurance company will do anything to save money at your expense. There is no effort that they will spare to pay you less. That’s why you shouldn’t talk to an adjuster without an attorney.

Subjective Damages Are Difficult to Value

Calculating Pain and SufferingYou can imagine how difficult things may be when dealing with a type of damage that does not have a tangible dollar value attached. That is precisely what non-economic damages are. They are not any less of a loss than economic damages. When you get paid for a tangible economic loss, the compensation relates to something that you have physically lost. For non-economic damages, you have still suffered a loss, even though you cannot point at a physical something.

Non-economic damages stem from subjective non-monetary losses. Instead of paid bills, they relate to your ordeal and experience since the accident. Each accident victim endures their own unique experience. Our law firm covers how to calculate pain and suffering in our personal injury blog, but scheduling an appointment to discuss your specific case is always recommended.

Different People Respond Differently to Injuries

For example, a severe back injury will impact people in different ways. If one person was an active athlete, they might lose out on an essential part of their life that they cannot ever do again. Another person may have already had some disc or vertebrae damage, and a back injury will affect them far more. Some personal injury victims may have fragile emotional health and can suffer from severe anxiety and depression from their accident.

However the accident has impacted you, the insurance company has a legal obligation to compensate you for pain and suffering. Money is what they use to place a value on what you have gone through since the time that their policyholder was negligent. Pain and suffering are the same things as any other loss you have suffered, even if it is not tangible. They are part of your damages, and you must receive compensation for them.

What Does Pain and Suffering Include?

Pain and suffering belong to a broader category of damages. You can receive compensation for loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress.

Specifically, pain and suffering may include:

Many Things Accompany Physical Injuries

These are things that practically anyone may go through after an accident. First, physical injuries can be painful. Someone will rarely suffer a physical injury and not feel any discomfort. Beyond that, physical injuries can cause many other effects that impact people differently.

You may feel upset and depressed because you can no longer do what you did. The inconvenience of your physical injuries can cause you continuous aggravation. Practically every single bodily injury has something that goes along with it.

Your injuries have caused you to miss good times. The time that you might have otherwise put to use for pleasure you spend dealing with the effects of your injuries. The pain and suffering impacted your time, which means you have lost something that the defendant should pay in full.

Insurance Companies Never Want to Pay You in Full

The main issue with pain and suffering is quantifying how much you legally deserve for your damages. By definition, pain and suffering are subjective. In other words, they focus on what you are dealing with personally. Further, you have every right to be paid for your own specific experience because it is your loss.

Like any element of your personal injury damages, the main obstacle in receiving total damages for your pain and suffering is that the insurance company does not want to pay fully for your damages. Any insurance adjuster is intelligent and experienced enough to see what you are likely going through based on your medical records. They know enough to understand that you are dealing with a challenging experience when you have suffered a severe injury.

Insurance Companies Do Not Want to Hear Your Experience

However, when it comes time to value your claim, the insurance company tries to throw you personally out the window in favor of a formula that they can manipulate to save themselves money. An insurance company’s mission is to toss subjective overboard in favor of something that they claim is objective. The reality is that their calculations objectively favor themselves. It will be similar to allowing a player to referee their own game. They will always come up with something that benefits their chances of victory.

How Insurance Companies Calculate Pain and Suffering

Insurance companies may try to use two primary types of calculations in your case:

  • Multiplier – The insurance company will take your economic damages (primarily your medical bills) and assign a multiplier to them based on the severity of your injury. More severe injuries will have a higher multiplier.
  • Per diem – When your injury has a more set duration, the insurance company will assign a specific dollar value for each day you are dealing with your injuries. The insurance company usually uses the per diem method for less severe injuries.

The multiplier method may not accurately calculate your damages for a severe injury. You might suffer from serious mental health issues even from a more moderate injury. For example, being off your feet for months from a broken leg can cause depression in someone who likes to go out and be active.

You can feel confident that the insurance company will choose as low of a multiplier as possible that does not reflect your reality. They may also underestimate the amount of future medical care that you need to dial down your pain and suffering damages.

Look out, because the number you see on paper with your settlement offer is not necessarily correct and untouchable. The insurance company will load many tricks and pitfalls into that number to cost you money.

You Will Have Challenges Explaining Your Pain and Suffering Damages

Many issues come with valuing pain and suffering damages. You have already experienced pain and suffering, but you will also endure it in the future. Your compensation must include both past and future pain and suffering. The insurance company may dispute whether your damages are permanent and what your life may be like in the future.

Further, the insurance company may not believe you when you explain what you are going through. The insurance company will take advantage of any opportunity to challenge your story. They want to turn you from a human being into a number that results in you being underpaid.

How to Effectively Tell Your Own Story After an Accident

You have multiple opportunities to tell your story when trying to get paid for your injuries. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company for a higher multiple or per diem payment for your pain and suffering. This higher payment can either come from what appears in your medical records or your own story.

One way to put yourself in a position to get more money for pain and suffering is to document what you are dealing with after your accident. If you have evidence from the time that you are experiencing it, you may be more persuasive.

The best thing is to keep a log and get witness testimony. In addition, you can use testimony from a mental health provider or your prescription history to show what you are going through.

For example, if you can prove that your injuries require continuous painkillers or that your anxiety requires mental health treatment, it can show your experience after your accident.

Proving pain and suffering is another reason you need to tend to your injuries. If you do not get the help you need, the insurance company or a jury can find that you failed to mitigate your damages. Seeing a doctor may help you get some relief, but it can also create a paper trail that shows your injuries’ effect on you.

An Attorney Can Help You Prove Pain and Suffering

Dave Abels Lawyer
Dave Abels, Personal Injury Lawyer

In addition, you should have an attorney who knows the amount of money that you are due in pain and suffering damages. Too many people accept whatever money the insurance company puts in front of them without knowing that the insurance company has far more room to raise any offer that they make you.

The average person will not even know how to value their pain and suffering damages or justify and explain the amount they are seeking. An attorney will tell your story and show how and why you have been affected by the injury.

Pain and suffering awards are all over the spectrum in any personal injury case. There is a wide range of outcomes between how your attorney and the insurance company value your claim. Not every claimant or plaintiff has the expertise on their side to both properly value and fight for the pain and suffering award that they deserve.

You Can Negotiate for Higher Compensation

Any personal injury claim requires negotiating with the insurance company to get what you deserve. If the insurance company is not even offering pain and suffering damages, your negotiation will make a counter demand that seeks this money. If the multiplier or per diem number that the insurance company uses is too low, you can respond with a settlement offer that more accurately reflects your experience and damages.

If the insurance company does not give you the pain and suffering damages you deserve, you can always take your case to the jury. Never underestimate the capacity of a jury to understand you as a person. They see your side of the story, they don’t look at you as a number. Insurance companies know this, so they almost always settle cases before they reach a jury. They know what a jury may do, and they want to avoid that risk.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Is On Your Side

In any personal injury case, you are not powerless. Your power comes in part from having an aggressive and dedicated attorney fighting by your side when the insurance company tries to take money from you.

When the insurance company makes a lowball offer – especially for pain and suffering – you can feel demoralized. With the right legal representation, however, you should not feel unnecessary stress due to insurance company tactics. Your personal injury attorney will handle every communication for you, so you do not have to experience the adjuster’s attempts at minimizing your pain and suffering. Your lawyer will fight behind the scenes for the full settlement you deserve.

 

​The Pandemic Caused Pedestrian Accident Fatalities to Spike

The COVID-19 pandemic had far more impacts on our daily lives, and these effects are becoming apparent over time. One unexpected consequence of the pandemic was more dangerous roads. Observers expected the exact opposite effect. They had thought that fewer cars on the road would make things safer for other drivers and pedestrians, but the opposite occurred.

Now, pedestrian fatalities have climbed steadily with no limit in sight. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you might be entitled to financial compensation. First, you should contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney.

Pedestrian fatalities were already at multi-year highs before the pandemic. The number of people killed in pedestrian accidents increased even more after the start of COVID-19. While the prevailing initial thought was that fewer vehicles on the road might make things safer, the opposite has happened. People feel bold enough to act far more dangerously, raising the risks for everyone in the vicinity.

Drivers Are Taking Advantage of Less Traffic to Drive Riskier

Fewer cars in traffic have given drivers far more room to take unsafe and reckless driving habits to whole new levels. With less traffic, they have more room to weave in and out of traffic and speed. Police officers hesitated to enforce traffic laws for many months after the pandemic’s start, afraid to interact directly with motorists out of fear of getting COVID. The results were the typical actions and chances that people take when they think that someone is not watching or that they can get away with it.

Experts were initially shocked that the rate of serious accidents increased during the pandemic. In general, reckless driving had been on a steady increase. Without moralizing, civility in society has decreased in the 21st century. People are far less likely to follow societal norms, such as safe driving. People have taken the attitude that they will do what they want to do, regardless of the dangers for other people.

The situation took a turn for the worse at the beginning of COVID. The stress of the pandemic, combined with more freedom and less law enforcement, caused drivers to throw caution to the wind. Area drivers have reported far more incidents involving reckless drivers than in the past.

Pedestrian Accident Rates Have Skyrocketed

The numbers show that pedestrian fatalities rose 5 percent in 2020 to approximately 6700 people killed in these accidents. On the surface, this does not seem like a large increase.

However, two factors make this number far worse than it appears:

  • The number of vehicle miles traveled in 2020 dropped as people complied with stay-at-home orders. Based on vehicle miles traveled, the fatality rate in 2020 actually increased by 21 percent.
  • The 2019 number of pedestrian fatalities was already elevated, and the jump moved fatalities to a rate not seen in decades.

Although the 2021 statistics are not completely compiled as of this writing, the problem has continued to grow worse. States that tabulated data for the first nine months of 2021 showed the fatality rate growing even worse.

Why Pedestrian Accident Fatalities Are Increasing

Pedestrian fatalities had made a steady drop before bottoming out in 2008. Since then, they have been on a steady climb upward.

There are many reasons why pedestrian fatalities have risen sharply in the last decade or so, including:

  • Every driver has a cell phone, and many of them use phones when they are behind the wheel, causing them not to see pedestrians.
  • More people have moved into cities for urban living. They ditched their cars and started walking more. The increase in pedestrians caused more pedestrian fatalities.
  • Cars are bigger, and the larger size means more of a chance that a pedestrian accident can be fatal.
  • Temperatures have risen in the past decade, and more unseasonably warm weather leads to more people out walking.
  • Motorists’ driving habits have gotten far worse, beyond just an increase in distracted driving.
  • Tougher drunk driving laws have not been fully effective in cutting down on the number of accidents.
  • More drivers are taking advantage of increased power in their cars in misguided and reckless attempts to race other drivers.
  • Drivers are becoming increasingly reliant on safety features that keep them from crashing into other vehicles and are not focusing on pedestrian safety as much.

American automakers have stopped making most sedans in their entirety. Now, the emphasis is on size and speed to meet what Detroit thinks meets consumer tastes. This is great for the driver and the carmaker, but it is less so for pedestrians who get hit. Car manufacturers might be improving driver safety, but it comes at a cost for pedestrians.

Police Officers Do Not Strongly Enforce Reckless Driving Laws

In addition, law enforcement efforts to catch reckless drivers have been inconsistent and sometimes non-existent. There are accounts from across the country of witnesses who have seen reckless behavior daily, with no police officers pulling drivers over to stop it. Now that the pandemic is winding down and normal life is returning more, there is a hope that police officers will get far more serious about pulling over-aggressive drivers.

Pedestrians are also at risk because of a breakdown in societal order. While they are the law, things like stopping for pedestrians are also an aspect of human courtesy and safety. There is less regard for safety, and people have become more inclined to take care of themselves first. Drivers view the few seconds it takes to slow down and stop for a pedestrian as an inconvenience. In many ways, recklessness and selfishness go hand-in-hand and are increasing on our roads.

The Pandemic Has Caused Changes in Drivers’ Behavior

From a pandemic perspective, social isolation left people with a greater challenge in gauging risks. Personal conduct worsened because there were fewer social guardrails to keep people behaving properly. People also took on an “anything goes” attitude because fear of the virus overtook all else. Others looked at the pandemic as a suspension of overall societal rules.

Further, since the pandemic began drivers are stressed and frustrated with some of the changes in the overall world and their lives. Some may take out their frustrations behind the wheel, resulting in aggressive and inconsistent driving.

Government Steps to Improve Safety Were Not Enough

Some municipalities and governments are trying to make things safer for pedestrians through enhanced technology at crosswalks. They focus on pedestrian safety through engineering to make it easier for pedestrians to cross safely. However, these measures are often not enough to alleviate the fact that many dangerous intersections are death traps for pedestrians. The pedestrian safety measures they take are often cosmetic drops in the bucket.

The real problem is with drivers’ behavior. The government can increase enforcement against reckless driving to help protect pedestrians. However, these stepped-up enforcement campaigns have yet to happen.

Pedestrian Accident Injuries Cause Life-Changing Impacts

Many news stories focus on the increase in fatalities resulting from pedestrian accidents. Those who survive these accidents also have serious injuries that may cause long-term effects for the rest of their lives. Many never recover from pedestrian accidents, and they will never live the same life again.

Serious pedestrian accident injuries can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Severe cuts and lacerations

TBIs and spinal cord injuries may never heal, causing permanent disruptions. The accident victim can be subject to a lifetime of pain, inconvenience, and anxiety. While focusing on pedestrian accident fatalities, many overlook that there are accident survivors with their lives forever altered due to severe injuries.

You May Obtain Financial Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident

If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident, your family is legally entitled to financial compensation if you can prove that the driver was negligent. In a wrongful death claim, you must first prove what happened before you can discuss actual compensation. Your attorney will gather evidence that can show that the driver’s mistake or recklessness was responsible for the crash. You may have to overcome attempts to blame the accident on you or your injured family member.

Wrongful death damages in a pedestrian accident should pay your family back for the losses they suffered when their loved one died at someone else’s hands.

These damages will include:

  • The lost wages that your loved one would have earned had they lived and continued working
  • Your family’s grief and trauma from the sudden loss of a loved one
  • Payment for the loss of the love, support, and guidance from your family member
  • Loss of consortium damages for the spouse

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you are legally entitled to full and fair compensation when the accident was someone else’s fault.

Pedestrian accident damages include:

  • The complete cost of all medical bills
  • Lost wages for time missed from your job or only earning less money than you otherwise would have
  • Pain and suffering for physical discomfort, anxiety, and depression from the accident
  • Payment for permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident, you might recover both wrongful death and the personal injury damages described above if time passed between the accident and your loved one’s death. The law allows an estate to bring a survival action, where the beneficiaries can recover the damages that their loved one suffered before they died.

These damages come in addition to wrongful death damages. Family members divide the proceeds of the survival action according to the terms of the estate, as opposed to how the law allocates wrongful death damages.

How to Maximize Your Pedestrian Accident Financial Compensation

Financial compensation for pedestrian accidents can skyrocket. A pedestrian accident without serious damages is a rarity. The higher the speed at which the vehicle is traveling, the more likely the accident will be fatal. It is essential to secure enough financial compensation to fully pay for all the damages suffered.

Regardless of how dangerously the motorist drove, insurance companies will make it difficult for you and your family to get the money you legally deserve after a pedestrian accident. In any pedestrian accident case, you need a lawyer to look out for and fight for your interests. Otherwise, you will be a victim a second time. This time will be to the insurance company looking out for its interests.

In any pedestrian accident case, you have two ways to secure financial compensation for your injuries:

  • You can file a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance policy
  • You can file a lawsuit in court against the responsible driver

Either way, you will likely deal with the driver’s insurance company as you fight for financial compensation. It almost always takes an intensive negotiation to settle your case because the insurance company makes getting your money very difficult. You may even need to take your case to trial in court (although personal injury trials are very rare as most cases will settle).

gary annes, abels & annes, p.c.
Pedestrian Accident Attorney, Gary Annes

Even cases with very clear-cut liability require effort because proving someone responsible is only part of your legal battle. Often, the real fight is getting enough money. Hiring an experienced attorney who will stand up and fight for you is the best way to put yourself in a position to get the damages that you deserve.

As much as you might watch for reckless drivers while walking, they can come out of nowhere and cause injuries before you know what happened. Then, you face a long physical recovery and financial stress. Let your doctors handle your physical treatment, and hire a pedestrian accident attorney to handle your injury claim and seek financial recovery for you.


Abels & Annes
714 E Rose Ln #200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 819-5191

​When to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney

Never hesitate to contact a truck accident lawyer after a truck crash. Every important consideration possible strongly points to needing legal help. Given the damages you suffered and the insurance coverage limits, you may be dealing with a high-dollar value claim. Not only do you need a lawyer, but you need one now. It costs you nothing to hire an attorney, but it costs you everything not to hire one. The longer you wait, the more you can damage the possible success of your attempt for financial compensation.

If you suffered an injury after a truck accident, hire an attorney to represent you now. An injury is usually physical, but it can also be property damage. Any expense or loss to you that results from someone else’s negligent actions can be legally considered an injury.

You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Take on the Insurance Company

You are not going up against the driver in a truck accident case. Most often, a trucking company employs the driver—and it bears responsibility for what its driver does. Even if you suffered injuries due to an owner-operator, there is still an insurance company involved in the case. Insurance companies and trucking companies have lawyers and systems in place to try to thwart your claims and pay you less than you deserve. If you have a compensation claim, hire a truck accident attorney.

The insurance company does not get to dictate what happens in response to your claim. They cannot take away or compromise on your legal right to compensation. This is what they will do if you let them. The guardrail that protects your ability to full and fair compensation is an experienced lawyer. The sooner you get that guardrail up, the harder it is for the insurance company to push your case over the edge.

There are numerous reasons you will need to hire a truck accident attorney immediately after an accident. Some are specific to truck accidents, and others result from the usual considerations after any personal injury claim.

A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Quickly Identify the Responsible Party

Truck accidents require an extensive investigation right after the accident before the evidence is lost. In any truck accident case, there are many possible defendants, including:

  • The truck driver responsible for the accident and the company that employed them
  • A maintenance company that was responsible for keeping the truck in proper working order
  • The manufacturer that made the truck in a product liability lawsuit
  • A third driver who cut in front of the truck and caused the accident
  • The government agency responsible for maintaining the road where the accident occurred.

Before filing a claim or lawsuit, you need to know who to file it against. You will not want to blame the driver if defective brakes caused the accident. At the same time, there may be more than one responsible party, and you can file cases against all of them. Multiple policies mean more insurance coverage to pay for your serious injuries.

You Can Lose Truck Accident Evidence if You Do Not Move Quickly

To perform a proper investigation, you need to have the full scope of the available evidence. Your attorney will need to comb through records and consult with experts to pinpoint the cause of the accident. Even though you must do this quickly, the investigation may still take time to accomplish. The sooner an attorney begins, the more thorough and precise the investigation they can perform. If you wait too long, you might lose some of your legal options.

Another major reason to hire an attorney quickly is that you can lose valuable evidence that can help prove your truck accident case. More so than any other motor vehicle accident, truck crashes have an extensive body of evidence that your lawyer can rely upon when trying to show liability.

These sources of evidence can include:

  • Black box data that provides key information about how the truck was being operated right before the crash
  • Maintenance records that show what measures the company took to keep the truck safe
  • Trucking company records that show how the company followed federal trucking regulations
  • Driver records regarding their safety history and drug testing

These sources of evidence can help prove your claims and give you more potential ways to argue that the trucking company or driver did something wrong. However, it takes an attorney to access them because they know the process.

Other Evidence that Your Lawyer Needs Obtain Quickly

In addition, you will need the standard evidence that will help in any motor vehicle crash, including:

  • Witness statements from people who saw the crash
  • Photo of the scene of the accident
  • The wreckage from the crash
  • Traffic camera footage that may show what happened

The Trucking Company can Lose or Destroy Evidence Unless a Lawyer Acts

When the trucking company has control over the evidence, you can never trust that you can obtain it at a later date. Even though federal regulations require trucking companies to keep records, sometimes trucking companies do not follow them. Their fears about having to pay a large settlement or judgment sometimes take priority over following the law.

An attorney knows how to deal with situations like this. Even if you do not get your hands on the evidence that can help you immediately, a lawyer will take steps to direct the trucking company to preserve evidence in anticipation of litigation. If the trucking company does not listen, and your lawyer discovers the company destroyed relevant evidence, they can be in serious trouble. You may even get punitive damages against them if your case goes to trial.

In the meantime, an attorney will assemble the evidence necessary to demonstrate liability. The longer you wait after an accident, the more likely this evidence will disappear. Witnesses can be harder to track down, and those you have may lose some of their recollections. The time window to collect the necessary evidence can even end weeks after the accident. Waiting too long to hire a lawyer, or even waiting at all, can cost you the chance to prove that the truck driver was responsible for your accident.

You Can Lose Money Without a Lawyer’s Help

In addition, you should have an attorney immediately to help you handle the legal process. When an insurance company is in the picture, you may not have control over when the legal process begins, even though you should. They may begin calling you, trying to pressure and manipulate you when you have injuries.

It does not matter to them that you are dealing with physical injuries and anxiety. Their only worry is settling a claim on favorable terms for them. In the meantime, you can make a critical mistake on your own without an attorney to protect your legal rights.

You may get calls or settlement offers not in your best interest. However, you will not know this without a lawyer to tell you how much your claim is worth. Some people may consider an offer of thousands of dollars right after an accident. When your case is worth millions, this offer is a trick to take money out of your pocket.

In a truck accident case, knowledge is power. A lawyer will provide the information you need to protect your legal rights. It will give you the confidence to wage a battle against a large insurance company and its insured trucking company.

Hiring a Lawyer Immediately Helps Cut Down on Possible Mistakes

Without an attorney, there is a far greater chance that you can make a mistake that will cost you money. It is safe to say that most people do not know much about the legal process, even under the best of circumstances. After the accident, this is even more true.

Hiring an attorney will also help give you and your family the peace of mind you need after an accident, knowing that there is someone tough in your corner. Peace is hard to come by after a serious accident, and your stress level is high. Knowing the challenge in front of you can make it difficult to begin seeking financial compensation.

This is the first step when you hire an attorney, and they will handle the details. Without making that call, you will continue to feel anxiety about your financial situation and future.

An Attorney Will Help You Begin Documenting Your Damages Right Away

Further, hiring an attorney immediately will help you know what you need to do to document your damages. A jury will only order compensation – and an insurance company will only pay for it – when the damages are entirely clear. Start documenting damages to the best of your ability right after the start of the accident. If you cannot do it yourself, your family can do it for you.

Your lawyer will instruct you on exactly what you must do to have a record of your injuries.

These steps will include:

  • Seeing all necessary doctors immediately
  • Keeping track of all medical bills
  • Journaling your daily experience in written form
  • Saving all pay data from your work
  • Documenting what you are missing out on in life that you enjoyed before the accident

All of these can show the full extent of your injuries and damages.

The Statute of Limitations Begins to Run Right After Your Accident

Finally, you should call a lawyer because time is of the essence in any legal claim. First, the legal process will take time. You must take many steps between the time you file your case or claim and when you receive compensation. You may not be in a position to file your claim right away, and it is certainly not something that you should rush. You must put your best foot forward in any claim or lawsuit, and it is not something that happens overnight.

Second, you have the statute of limitations to worry about. You have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. Once that period expires, you lose the ability to seek financial compensation for your injuries. While we are not suggesting that not calling a lawyer immediately will put you in danger of missing the statute of limitations, it is something that you need to keep in the back of your mind. Your lawyer needs time to work, including some space to negotiate with the insurance company before filing a potential lawsuit.

It Does Not Cost You Anything to Call an Attorney

It will cost you nothing to speak with an attorney. If you have concerns about coming up with the money to consult with an attorney, you can take comfort in knowing that you do not have to write a check. All reputable personal injury lawyers work the same way. They will never send you hourly bills or charges for their time. They work on a contingency basis.

When they speak about your case with you for the first time, the consultation is completely free and comes at no risk to you. If you choose not to hire a lawyer, you will not get a bill for the consultation. If you agree to retain the lawyer, you only pay them if they win your case.

Why Would You Hesitate?

gary annes, abels & annes, p.c.
Truck Accident Attorney, Gary Annes

With all of these reasons to call a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident, why would you wait? There are experienced legal teams in your area ready to help, and the first step is to call for a free case evaluation.

In this evaluation, you can tell your side of the story, provide additional information to the attorney, and ask questions. You want to hire the right truck accident lawyer for your situation.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

​What is the Most Common Cause of a Crash between a Car and a Motorcycle?

There is almost no such thing as a motorcycle crash that does not cause at least an injury. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in either injury or death. Bikers have little protection in a crash. There is no vehicle around them to absorb any of the impacts. The chances are that they will fall from their bike or a car will directly hit them. They will likely suffer injuries, and the injuries will be far more severe than for car occupants.

To recover financially for your motorcycle accident injuries, you must prove that someone else was at fault. You must learn the cause of the accident and show how it resulted from someone else’s carelessness or mistake. Here are some common causes of crashes between cars and motorcycles.

Carelessness

We list many of the things that drivers do wrong below. Sometimes, there is no specific name for what the driver did to cause a motorcycle accident other than they were just plain not paying enough attention, or they simply made a mistake.

It does not matter why the driver caused a motorcycle crash. The mere fact that they were to blame is enough to be legally responsible. Even if they did not check their blind spot before changing lanes, it is enough to be negligent and lead to liability for a motorcycle accident.

Drivers are particularly hazardous to motorcyclists when they are making left-hand turns. They may cut across the biker’s lane and hit or force them from their bike.

Reckless Driving

The problem of reckless driving has been on the rise, especially since the pandemic began. Given a little more space with less traffic on the road, drivers have taken far more chances. When motorists tailgate, speed, or weave in and out of traffic, it puts others around them in grave danger. The problem is worse for motorcyclists because very little can force them from their bikes and onto the pavement.

Poor Weather

Some drivers may not take enough caution in poor weather conditions, not slowing down enough in the rain. The speed limit is the maximum based on the conditions. There are times when traveling at the speed limit can be negligent. Drivers can skid and hit bikers or block their path and force them from their bikes.

Speeding

Drivers have a far harder time avoiding incidents with motorcyclists when speeding. They are far more likely to lose control of their vehicles when they greatly exceed the speed limit.

Speeding also increases the chances that the driver will not stop in time to avoid a crash. They may rear-end a motorcyclist when they cannot brake in time. Given that the biker has no physical protection, a rear-end crash is as dangerous as any other type of crash.

Drunk Driving

Alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to make reasonable choices behind the wheel. It may lower their inhibitions and cause them to take far more risks than they will when not under the influence. In addition, alcohol dulls a driver’s reflexes and keeps them from seeing the entire road. Drunk drivers are especially dangerous for motorcyclists because intoxicated motorists cannot see into their blind spots, and they cannot detect a biker who may not be on their direct eye level.

Distracted Driving

Over the last decade, distracted driving accidents have increased throughout the country. Smartphones are the obvious cause, but people have always distracted themselves behind the wheel.

Distracted driving will cause motorists to not see motorcyclists, no matter what safety gear the biker is wearing. Drivers have to use care to see motorcyclists because bikers are not always on their eye level. When motorists are looking down to read a text or are involved in a conversation behind the wheel, they will fail to see bikers and cause a crash.

Poor Road Design and Condition

Our nation’s roads are in worse shape than ever. Again, this problem falls even harder on motorcyclists, who have less to insulate themselves for tough road conditions. Things like potholes or broken pavement can cause serious motorcycle crashes.

In addition, motorcyclists may be at risk from things like:

  • Poorly lit roads
  • Hidden driveways or entrances
  • Views obstructed by vegetation
  • Lack of visible lane dividers
  • Unmarked lane changes

When your motorcycle accident happened because of the road itself, you may hold the government responsible for the crash if they did not reasonably design and maintain the roadways.

Fatigued Driving

Driving fatigued can be every bit as dangerous as drunk driving. Fatigued driving is negligence, but not necessarily criminal. Motorists are not as vigilant about not driving fatigued as they are about driving drunk.

When drivers do not get the proper rest, their reflexes are dulled and slowed. Not sleeping for 20 or more hours will cause drivers to nod off behind the wheel. The problem is even more difficult at night when it is harder to see motorcyclists. Even if rivers blank out for a few seconds, that is all it takes to hit a biker.

Defective Motorcycle Parts

In some cases, your motorcycle may have simply not worked as it was supposed to under the circumstances. There might have been a problem with the bike itself or one of the parts. If that is the case, you can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the bike or a defective part.

In this type of lawsuit, you will need to prove one of three things:

  • The motorcycle was defective in that there was an inherent flaw in the design.
  • The design was safe, but a manufacturing defect made the motorcycle unreasonably dangerous.
  • The manufacturer knew or should have known of a particular danger, and they did not warn the general public or recall the product.

Poor Signage

Sometimes, one of the two parties to the crash may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, not because they did something wrong, but because the road signage was missing or hidden. A classic example is a tree blocking a stop sign from view.

When that happens, you may sue the local government with the responsibility to maintain the signs. The government is not immune from all lawsuits because it has obligations to the public. Different rules require you to act more quickly when suing a government than you might in a regular lawsuit.

Proving Your Motorcycle Accident

No matter what caused the motorcycle accident, you must prove fault to obtain compensation. Your motorcycle accident claim begins with your side of the story. The car driver also has a side of the story because they do not want to admit fault. They know that this opens them up to legal liability and having to pay a lot of money.

Therefore, it is up to you to prove what happened after an accident. That the crash happened is not enough to show that the car’s driver caused it. Instead, you must prove their negligence.

How Negligence Works in a Motorcycle Accident Case

Negligence is a legal term to describe situations when a driver acted unreasonably and caused your injuries. To prove negligence, you need evidence that shows what the other driver did. Then, you will compare it to what a reasonable driver will have done under the circumstances. If the driver’s actions did not meet the standard of care, they will have to pay for your injuries in full.

The issue for an injured motorcyclist is proving negligence. Your lawyer will gather proof to show an insurance company or jury what happened, despite the driver’s denial of responsibility. If your case only comes down to your word against other driver’s, you might struggle to get compensation.

Evidence That Proves Your Motorcycle Accident Case

Here is what your lawyer might use to help prove your motorcycle accident case:

  • The motorcycle and its damage can be evidence
  • Eyewitness testimony from people who saw the crash
  • Traffic camera footage if there were cameras in the vicinity
  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • The police report (only used by the insurance company and cannot be introduced at a trial since it is hearsay
  • The protective gear that you wore (in part to keep the insurance company from trying to pin some of the blame for the crash on you)

Why You Need an Attorney After a Motorcycle Accident

Insurance companies have a negative perception of motorcyclists. They think that motorcyclists are risky, and they are more than happy to try to pin the blame on them for their injuries. In some ways, this is a self-interested view because they know that motorcycle accident claims tend to be worth more because of the greater extent of injuries.

The cardinal rule for insurance companies is they will do or say anything to avoid paying you the money you deserve. Your lawyer may have to defend your actions because the insurance company will try to reduce or eliminate your financial recovery by arguing that you are partially or fully to blame.

While dealing with your serious physical injuries, you are up against an insurance company looking out for its interests. It will be difficult for you to gather the evidence that we detailed above on your own in light of your significant health challenges.

Even when you can prove that someone else was at fault, it is only the opening salvo of your battle with the insurance company. The real fight often happens when you try to talk dollars with them. Because of the serious injuries you likely suffered, you must maximize your financial recovery. However, settlement offers are always low, and you need to work to obtain the money you deserve.

It takes knowledge and toughness to negotiate compensation in a motorcycle accident claim. Keep your legal options open if an insurance settlement will not get you full compensation. You may even need to file a lawsuit against the defendant in court.

How an Attorney Helps Your Motorcycle Accident Case

These are not things that you can handle in your claim alone.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will:

  • Speak to you and explain your options for obtaining financial compensation
  • Investigate your motorcycle accident and work to help prove fault for your injuries
  • Place a value on your injuries and prepare your claim or lawsuit complaint
  • Speak with and negotiate compensation with the insurance company
  • Argue your case in court if you cannot settle your claim
  • Answer all your questions and update you on your case as necessary

Your lawyer performs an important role that you should not try to fill. Not only do you not have the bandwidth to handle your case, but dealing with the details takes experience and knowledge. If you try to handle your own motorcycle accident case, the insurance company will take advantage of you and you will get less money.

What to Do After a Car Hits Your Motorcycle

gary annes, abels & annes, p.c.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Gary Annes

You can do things to help or hurt your claim after your crash. First, always get medical attention—not just at the scene but at the emergency room or doctor’s office. You want a complete diagnosis of all your injuries. This will help your health and your claim. The insurance company expects proof that your injuries resulted from the crash—not another event—so having medical records right after the crash is critical.

Ensure you do not speak in detail with insurance adjusters, and never accept a settlement offer without speaking to an attorney. Insurance adjusters tempt you with quick offers, and it might sound nice to have money in your hand. However, if you accept a quick low offer, you will get much less than you need to cover your losses.

Call a motorcycle accident attorney before you take any steps in the insurance process.


Abels & Annes
714 E Rose Ln #200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 819-5191

​How to Make Trucks More Accident-Safe

Even though truck accident numbers are increasing, truck safety has improved over the past two decades. The driver has enhanced accident-prevention technology. However, in the absence of federal regulations that require specific systems, these safety options are optional. It is up to the trucking company to make the investments necessary to keep their trucks from injuring motorists and their passengers.

Economically, investing in safety should make sense for trucking companies. Large lawsuit verdicts threaten to put them out of business. There have been many cases where juries have issued “nuclear verdicts” that bankrupted trucking companies that did not have the assets to pay them.

Many trucking companies will not spend the money it takes on systems that enhance the safety of their trucks, as they are an expense that can cut back on profits. Some trucking companies will regret this choice when their drivers cause severe injuries in accidents that were avoidable with safety technology. Then, the trucking company can face massive liability when one of its drivers causes an accident.

Here are some ways a trucking company can make a truck safer, either through investment in technology or people and processes.

Hire More Experienced Drivers

There are no two ways around it; truck driver wages are increasing as there is a shortage of qualified truck drivers. Experienced operators can command higher wages because there are not enough of them to go around. Trucking companies compensate for spiraling wages by hiring less experienced drivers, who earn less. This is a foolish approach because poor safety will affect the bottom line more.

Hiring experienced drivers is an investment in safety. While these drivers cost more, they have a track record and know-how to operate these large vehicles.

On the flip side, cutting corners to hire newer drivers because they make less puts motorists at risk. It also puts the trucking company in legal jeopardy because these newer drivers have a far greater chance of causing an accident. Truck drivers with less than five years of experience are 41 percent more likely to cause a crash.

Perform Vigorous Checks on Drivers

Trucking companies have many obligations when they hire new drivers. In addition to each driver needing a CDL license and training courses, trucking companies must strictly check on the people they employ. The first check is of the driver’s safety history. Trucking companies must check driving records for three years before hiring a driver. If the driver has a poor safety record, the trucking company should think twice about hiring them in the face of obvious red flags. In addition, the trucking company must perform drug and alcohol tests on their drivers.

Trucking companies should not overlook a history of safety violations because they need warm bodies to throw behind the wheel. After all, operators are driving 80,000-pound vehicles that far outweigh the cars they may potentially hit. Cutting corners on background checks and compromising safety standards can cost far more money than they save.

Perform All Necessary Maintenance

Even the slightest malfunction can cause a severe crash because it is such a large vehicle. The first thing that comes to mind is that one tire blowout can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and hit another car. There are many maintenance requirements trucking companies and truck drivers must follow.

Before the driver even heads out onto the road, they must perform specific checks of vital parts of the truck. If they find anything wrong, they must report it. They are not allowed to repair their own trucks.

The trucking company has a legal obligation to keep the truck working properly.

Extensive federal regulations govern truck inspections and maintenance:

  • Trucking companies must periodically inspect, maintain and repair all vehicles subject to their control
  • Accessories and parts must always be in safe working condition at all times
  • Truck drivers must not operate commercial vehicles in a manner that might cause a crash or breakdown

When trucking companies cut back on maintenance to save money, it often comes back to bite their bottom line, either due to an enforcement penalty or a lawsuit. Investing in maintenance is a smart way to protect the trucking company from liability.

Follow Regulations in Loading Cargo

Even if the driver does everything right, the truck’s cargo can cause an accident. Again, federal regulations dictate strict measures that crews must follow when loading cargo. Loaders must properly tie down cargo using structures of adequate strength.

Proper cargo loading is critical for several reasons:

  • If cargo is unbalanced or moves while the truck is in operation, it can cause a truck rollover.
  • Cargo can spill from the truck onto the roadway, causing driver crashes.

Trucking companies may outsource cargo loading, and the third party will be legally responsible if improper cargo loading causes an accident. In addition, you can hold the trucking company responsible if it negligently hired a cargo loader.

Blind-Spot Detection Systems

Trucks have large blind spots both in front and behind them, and along each side of the trailer. The truck driver will have difficulty seeing the first 20 feet in front of the truck and 30 feet behind it. The lack of vision makes it difficult for the truck to change lanes. Inexperienced drivers may struggle when relying on their mirrors to alert them a car is in a blind spot.

A blind-spot detection system has sensors on the mirrors and bumpers that alert a truck driver when a vehicle is in a blind spot. The driver will receive an alert. Then, the system may beep or give another warning if a truck driver changes lanes when a car is in a blind spot. These warnings keep a truck from hitting a driver or forcing them out of their lane when trying to change lanes.

Blind-spot detection systems can be expensive to buy and maintain. The network of sensors is complex, and they often need replacements. However, they reduce the chances of a serious or possibly deadly blind spot accident.

Collision Warning Systems

A collision warning system will alert a truck driver when the risk of an accident rises. This system can help operators who may not see the danger, either because they have made a judgment error or are distracted. Collision warning systems also help truckers on long journeys who may become distracted. These systems do not substitute for following rest rules, but they are another tool drivers have to help avoid accidents.

Collision warning systems are often on newer trucks. Most trucking companies have not retrofitted their older fleets to include this technology because they do not want to spend the money.

Automatic Braking

Automatic braking systems will apply the brakes when the computer senses a truck accident is imminent. The braking can either stop the truck entirely or slow the truck down to reduce the accident’s severity.

Trucks take far longer to bring to a stop, given their size and weight. If truck drivers are distracted, even a split-second delay in applying the brakes can mean the truck has an accident.

Automatic braking systems can practically end rear-end truck collisions. One study found automatic braking systems cut rear-end collisions by nearly 75 percent. Right now, these systems are not mandatory for trucks. The hope is that future regulations can mandate automatic braking systems to protect the public from tired and distracted drivers who either do not attempt to brake in time or misjudge their stopping distance.

Electronic Logging Device Compliance

Truck drivers must follow strict federal rules about hours of service limitations. Operators must take mandatory rest breaks, and their shifts cannot exceed certain durations. In the past, truckers manually kept a logbook that detailed their shifts. However, manual books are insufficient to protect the public. They may be subject to falsification.

Now, trucks have an electronic system that tracks the time the truck is in operation. Some trucks even have devices that do not allow drivers to start the truck if they violate the federal rules. This system is the equivalent of an ignition interlock that tests drivers with a history of DUI.

This lock is in use on very few trucks. Nonetheless, investing in upgraded technology to keep drivers from violating federal rules because of the delivery pressure feel can reduce fatigued driving accidents. Nonetheless, these devices are not substitutes for good judgment and the driver taking necessary rests.

Lane Departure Warning

Fatigued or distracted drivers may drift out of their lane. Truck drivers may have difficulty stabilizing their truck and keeping it straight. A lane departure warning system will alert the driver when the truck veers out of its lane. This can allow the driver the correct course. If the driver has lost concentration, the sudden sound can force them to regain focus.

These systems have mounted cameras that track lane dividers and the truck’s position. Lane departure warning systems are complicated pieces of technology that require some investment. However, since many truck accidents happen due to drifting trucks, the investment is well worth it because it protects the truck and the trucking company. Lane departure warning systems are perhaps the most effective measures to combat distracted trucking accidents.

Stability Control System

Truck rollovers are a common and dangerous type of accident. There are several causes of rollovers:

  • The driver makes a steering error
  • The cargo is improperly loaded, causing the center of gravity to shift
  • An inexperienced driver misjudges a turn

Stability control systems are a required feature on later trucks in the wake of a 2015 federal regulation. Trucking companies can still retrofit older vehicles with this crucial device.

The stability control system can prevent rollovers by performing two major functions:

  • Manipulates the engine throttle
  • Manipulates the brakes over each wheel

Studies show these devices can prevent thousands of truck accidents each year. NHTSA has proposed making stability control systems mandatory for passenger cars and light trucks. These systems are also mandatory for trucks built after 2015, although trucking companies are not required to retrofit older trucks to install this system. However, for purposes of safety, trucking companies should consider this investment.

Underride Guards

Accidents involving a car that ends up under a truck are extremely devastating. These accidents can shear off the top of the car, decapitating motorists.

Underride guards help lessen the chance a car driver can end up under the truck when they crash into the back of a tractor-trailer. These guards are not yet a requirement by law, but there is proposed legislation for such requirements that legislators may enact in the future. Underride guards do not require a large investment, but they can cut the risk of a catastrophic accident.

Again, it is up to the trucking how much to spend on certain safety features when they are not a federal requirement. Trucking companies must comply with all federal rules, but they may not want to pay for the “extras.” They may regret it when they face an angry jury and a sympathetic plaintiff who suffered serious injuries in an accident.

Dave Abels
Truck Accident Lawyer, Dave Abels

These safety devices lower the chances that a truck driver can be negligent and can save an operator from their lack of skill or poor judgment. If the truck driver was negligent, and you or a loved one suffered injuries, you may have the right to financial compensation. First, you need to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for a free consultation.

A lawyer can determine whom you can hold liable for your losses. That is often the trucking company. Even if trucking companies took all possible safety measures, they are still liable for the mistakes and negligence of employees – the truck drivers. You want a truck accident attorney who knows how to investigate truck crashes, gather evidence of negligence, and prove liability so you can seek compensation.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

​How to Claim Bodily Injury from an Accident

Trying to claim bodily injury after an accident is not as simple as saying you are hurt. You need to take steps before you are in a position to file a claim. You have a lot at stake because financial compensation for your damages is on the line. What you do between the time of the accident and when you file your claim can determine whether you receive financial compensation and how much you can get.

Before you file a claim, you must be intentional, meticulous, and thorough, leaving nothing to chance. The best step that you can take is to contact an experienced attorney who knows how to file personal injury claims. The more responsibility and details you can give to an attorney, the less likely you will make a critical mistake that can cost you serious money. Here are some tips for claiming bodily injury after an accident.

See a Doctor

Before you can file a demand with the insurance company or even a lawsuit, you must know the full scope of your damages. After all, your claim is for the injuries that you have suffered. In practice, you must prove you deserve damages by showing that someone else caused the accident and then proving your injuries.

Getting your injuries diagnosed furthers your physical health and is the first step of the claims process. Your doctor will perform the medical tests necessary to learn about your condition. Even if you received treatment right after the accident, you need a comprehensive diagnosis. You must make your condition and the improvement you might make apparent when you file a claim or lawsuit.

Never delay seeing a doctor. It will harm your health and allow the insurance company to contest your injuries and damages. For instance, if you suffered a back injury in a car accident but waited months to get it diagnosed and treated, the insurance company may claim that your injuries were not from your accident. They may also argue that your inactivity made your injuries worse.

Either way, you should see a doctor for an evaluation if you even think that there was a remote possibility that you suffered an injury in the accident. It is always better safe than sorry.

Get a Lawyer

One of the most important steps that you will take for a bodily injury is to hire an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle personal injury claims. Filing a claim is not easy or accessible for accident victims. On the contrary, insurance companies want to make it as hard as possible for you to get the money that you legally deserve.

There are numerous things that the average person does not know when filing a claim that place them at a large disadvantage when dealing with an insurance company. That lack of knowledge can place their entire claim in jeopardy. Certainly, it will result in less money.

Hiring an attorney will level the playing field when dealing with an insurance company with an established infrastructure aimed at paying you less. One experienced and dedicated lawyer can take on a big company and its entire apparatus.

In addition, your lawyer will act as your guide to the legal process and your advocate. They will explain the most effective way to obtain financial compensation and fight for your right to be paid for your injuries. Before discussing damages, you must prove that someone else caused your injuries.

Without an attorney, that becomes even more challenging. An attorney will help prove your help by marshaling the evidence necessary to show what happened in your accident.

In any personal injury case, the following can be helpful to prove that someone else caused the accident:

  • Witness statements from people who saw what happened
  • Video or traffic camera footage
  • Police report (helpful in an insurance claim but not in a court case)
  • Pictures from the scene of the accident
  • The damage to your vehicle

Gathering this evidence before it disappears is not always easy. An attorney will get to work right after you hire them to compile everything available to you to prove liability. Otherwise, there is a chance that this evidence can be lost to you forever, costing you the ability to prove your case.

Document Your Damages

Not only do you have the burden of proof to show what happened in your accident, but you must also prove your damages.

In any accident case, you may recover damages for:

  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress

To receive your damages, they must be apparent and backed up by evidence, including:

  • Pay data that shows what you earn (or can make in the future)
  • Medical bills
  • Receipts for expenses
  • Documentation of your ordeal after the accident

Before you file your claim, you should gather all the documentation that can show how you have suffered an injury. Some elements of your damages are more subjective. For example, pain and suffering damages are based on your own experience, no matter how much the insurance company tries to take you out of the picture.

The evidence and description of your damages are as important as the proof of liability. These will form the basis of the insurance company’s offer to you. An attorney can tell your story and push back when an insurance company tries to downplay and minimize your injuries.

Prepare and File Your Claim

Preparing your claim requires attention and effort. If there is anything wrong with it, or if you are missing documentation, the insurance company can deny it outright or come back asking for more information. Mistakes in your claim can make it harder to get your money.

At the same time, an insurance company will only look at what is on paper in front of them when they review your claim. They will not give you the benefit of the doubt because it costs them money. Therefore, you should have an experienced attorney working to prepare your claim.

Take the time you need to get it right when filing a claim. You may read some advice telling you to rush and hurry your claim because you may miss the statute of limitations.

While you should know the deadlines for filing your claim, pay the most attention to detail. Getting it right is more important than filing the claim quickly. Before you file, gather all of the evidence that proves what happened and a detailed statement of your damages. Speed is essential for getting started, but you should take time to file your claim right. A lawyer can do this for you.

Defend Your Actions

In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company knows that they can avoid paying part or all of your bodily injury claim if they can find a way to blame you for the accident. They can reduce their payment by the percentage of your fault. Even if liability appears clear, you may still need to defend your actions that led to your injuries.

The insurance company does not always accept liability, no matter what happened in the accident. Even in something as seemingly straightforward as a rear-end accident, the insurance company may claim that you stopped short in front of the car that hit you. This is an easy way for them to save some money around the margins, but it reduces your financial recovery that you need to pay for your damages.

You will need to be clear about your actions and what you did when the accident happened. If the insurance company is wrongly trying to blame you, in part or whole, fight back against them. You can either defend what you did or file a lawsuit, knowing that a jury may not see things the same way as the insurance company.

Negotiate a Settlement or File a Lawsuit

After you have filed your claim and demand:

  • The insurance company will deny your claim
  • The insurance company will make you an offer to settle your claim

If the former happens, you can go straight to filing a lawsuit because you have nothing to discuss with the insurance company. In most cases, the latter will happen. However, just because you have received a settlement offer does not always mean that it is good news.

The initial settlement offer will likely be nowhere near enough to compensate for your damages. To get to the right number, you will need to negotiate with the insurance company. They expect negotiations, so they make a lower initial offer to start them. An insurance company has room to raise its offer significantly from the one it initially made.

Your attorney will review any settlement offer to determine whether it fairly compensates you for your damages. If the offer falls short, you may reject it and make a counteroffer. You need not accept a bad insurance company settlement offer.

If you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, you can file a lawsuit against the defendant, and a jury will decide the matter. Juries will not have the same self-interested view that an insurance company does. They will review the facts and provide you with damages that you can prove, not the smallest check that an insurance company will write you.

There is no requirement in the first place to file an insurance claim. You can always file a lawsuit. However, going down the insurance company claims route can provide you with a quicker way to get your money. However, as we will describe below, quicker does not always mean fast.

Practice the Art of Patience

Getting your money after claiming bodily injury can involve hitting many bumps in the road. Your claim can take time to get your settlement or jury award. There may be stops and starts in the process, and you are not always in control of what happens.

To maximize your check for your damages, you need to be patient. Do not jump at a settlement offer just because the insurance company made it. Also, know that there may be some frustration when the insurance company is dragging things out or making things tougher on you than they should. Your lawyer will help you cut through the red tape, but that also takes time.

Dave Abels
Personal Injury Lawyer, Dave Abels

We understand that it is difficult to remain patient in the face of tactics meant to delay and make things harder on you. However, that is the exact way to beat the insurance company at their own game. They want you to get anxious and panic. Being patient and fighting for what you deserve is not something that an insurance company wants.

It will not cost you anything upfront to get legal help for your claim. In any personal injury case, you only pay if you are successful. You do not pay anything to speak to a lawyer in an initial consultation, and you do not pay hourly bills during your claim. If you do not win your case, you will not see a bill for your lawyer’s time. However, not hiring a lawyer can certainly contribute to losing your case or severely decreasing what you recover.

Trust Your Lawyer

The one thing to remember is an experienced injury lawyer knows what they are doing. Once you hire someone, trust them to handle your claim. You can then focus on your medical treatment and physical recovery with greater peace of mind.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

​TBI Symptoms

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most serious consequences of any personal injury. In a moment, trauma to the head can change the course of an accident victim’s entire life. Not all TBIs are the same. They have different severities and symptoms.

Get an early diagnosis of your TBI to get an intensive medical intervention and ensure the fullest possible recovery. However, because of the nature of TBIs, that is not always possible.

What is possible is financial compensation for your injuries if someone else caused your injuries. First, you should contact an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney because many legal issues can arise with your claim.

TBIs Are Never Minor or Mild

Medical professionals generally divide TBIs into two categories:

  • Severe TBIs
  • Moderate TBIs

Regardless of the initial characterization of a TBI as “mild,” the long-term impact can be severe. “Mild” might be a description of the initial symptoms. However, even a mild TBI that a patient cannot fully recover from will be considered severe in the scheme of things.

In reality, any type of TBI is severe because any condition that impacts the brain can lead to permanent damage. Some people will refer to a TBI as mild. In our view, there is no such thing as a mild TBI.

A Concussion Is a Frequent Type of TBI

The most common form of a TBI is when someone suffers a concussion. Usually, bumps or jolts to the head cause concussion, but a sudden movement can also result in the same injury. Some concussions may heal more quickly than others – if they heal at all. In some cases, concussion symptoms can linger for months or the rest of your life.

Symptoms of TBIs

Here are common symptoms of a TBI:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of speech
  • Depression
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Trouble

You Do Not Always Know Right Away That You Have a TBI Right Away

Traumatic brain injury symptoms are not always immediately apparent right after your accident. In some cases, blunt force trauma causes significant injuries that are visible right after the accident. Usually, the accident victim will receive immediate care for these injuries. These tend to be the most severe type of TBIs.

TBIs can also be silent injuries, getting worse over time when untreated. Some accident victims may have no idea that they have suffered a TBI. In the meantime, they have lost valuable treatment time. They may have one of the symptoms from the above list and have no idea that it results from an injury to their brain.

Treatment Time for a TBI Is Extremely Valuable

The longer that TBIs go untreated, the higher the chance you may have suffered irreversible brain damage. The moments and days after an accident are crucial to treating the injury to relieve some of the pressure on the brain and help you regain some function.

A mild TBI can be difficult to detect, partially due to the nature of the injury. Another explanation is that doctors may focus on more visible and severe injuries that require their immediate attention after an accident. They may not take the time right after the accident to run the full battery of tests to discover other undiagnosed injuries. Their follow-up treatment recommendations will involve the conditions they addressed in the accident’s immediate aftermath.

Why TBIs Are Difficult to Detect

People may not realize right away that they are suffering from a TBI because:

  • The symptoms may resemble other health problems the accident caused
  • Some people may want to tough it out and not want to admit to experiencing symptoms from an accident
  • Healthcare providers may overlook or not find some problems

From a legal perspective, trying to tough it out after an accident is perhaps the worst thing that you can do. Not only is it bad for your health, but you give the insurance company a weapon to use against you when it comes time to be paid for your damages.

You Have an Obligation to Mitigate Damages

As a personal injury victim, you have legal rights. However, those rights also come with certain obligations. One thing that you must do is mitigate your damages. Mitigation is another way of saying that you must do everything in your power to make your situation better. A classic example of damage mitigation is seeing a doctor when you first notice symptoms.

If your injury worsens because you have lost valuable treatment time, you can be certain that an insurance company or jury will raise the issue. The more time between the injury and when you seek treatment, the more difficult your case becomes.

Of course, if the accident caused an impact on your head, see a neurologist. This examination is truly a case of better safe than sorry. In a best-case scenario, the doctor does not find any signs of a TBI. They may want to keep you under observation for some time to make certain.

Mild TBIs may not show on tests. For example, no concrete diagnostic test can identify a concussion. In most cases, medical professionals diagnose concussions by the symptoms that the patient reports. They may also have MRIs and CT scans to diagnose brain injuries.

Whiplash Is a Silent Harm After an Accident

You do not just need an examination when you have had trauma to your head. In many rear-end car accidents, an injured driver may suffer from whiplash. When the head snaps forward, and the body remains still, the brain can move inside the head. Whiplash can cause a severe concussion or even worse. A whiplash TBI will worsen when the brain strikes both sides of the skull.

Many accident victims do not associate whiplash with a TBI. They may not think much of it in the days after an accident until they experience symptoms. Treatment may arrive to make a meaningful difference in their long-term prognosis.

The Costs of a TBI Can Be Very High

When someone else was responsible for your TBI, you have the legal right to seek financial compensation. Of course, the damages from TBI symptoms depend on the severity of the injury. TBIs can be extremely expensive for a lifetime. There are high medical costs, and they will also impose very high indirect costs.

One estimate places the lifetime costs of a TBI between $85,000 to $3 million. Although this is a very wide range, it shows that TBIs can cost enormous sums to treat. This particular estimate is not brand new, so there are several years of steep healthcare cost inflation the study does not account for, meaning the real costs are even more expensive. TBI treatment costs have skyrocketed as procedures have become more complex.

The Responsible Party Must Pay Your Direct and Indirect Costs

In addition, this study only covers treatment costs and does not consider the indirect costs of TBIs.

Other costs of a TBI that you must bear include:

  • Lost wages if your TBI keeps you from working
  • Pain and suffering from the anxiety, depression, and discomfort of having a long-term brain injury
  • Loss of enjoyment of life if you cannot do what you did before the accident

The person responsible for your TBI must pay all your costs, not just your medical bills. Your compensation will include both economic and non-economic damages. Brain injuries cause long-term tolls on patients’ lives, and the responsible party must pay the damages in full.

You may face challenges trying to estimate the total value of your claim. With TBIs, so much of your future is uncertain, and there may be gray areas. However, you may have difficulty collecting payment for a gray area. A personal injury attorney is invaluable when putting a number on your damages.

Insurance Companies Will Do Everything Possible to Minimize Your Claim

Insurance companies take claims with TBIs very seriously. They know that these claims can cost them a lot of money. There is a difference between taking a claim seriously and treating it fairly. Be prepared for the insurance company to come to the table with their medical experts to dispute the extent of your injuries.

Accordingly, your attorney will need to have medical experts and a detailed diagnosis of your own to prove your injuries. Unless you can prove the full extent of your injuries, you will not collect the full amount of damages.

Legally, you may have challenges when trying to collect compensation for TBI symptoms. Many TBI symptoms are self-reported by patients, and these injury claims often rely on a patient’s word unless detailed brain scans show the full scope of the damages.

Insurance companies are not beneath accusing claimants of faking or overstating their injuries to get more money. As wrong as this conduct is, you must still deal with it during the claims process. Not only do you need an experienced lawyer, but you must have one who understands TBIs and knows how to prove them.

When to File a Claim for a TBI

Another legal issue is when you should file your claim or lawsuit for a TBI. Your long-term prognosis is not always apparent in the immediate aftermath of an injury. It takes time to learn the extent of the brain injury. You may need to go through multiple surgical procedures and rehabilitation to regain as much function as possible before understanding what you may face in the future.

For every personal injury claim that involves severe injury, you will usually file your claim when you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). You reach MMI when further treatment does not make a noticeable improvement in your condition.

To reach MMI, you must first see a doctor and follow all their treatment recommendations. It is only then that you can fully quantify your injuries. Your doctor can help determine when you have reached that point, and your attorney will review your medical file.

Make Sure to Follow All of the Doctor’s Orders

Another legal issue involved in your TBI treatment is that you follow all treatment recommendations from your doctor. Following instructions and keeping up with your treatment is also part of your obligation to mitigate your damages.

If you do not keep medical appointments or take your medications, an insurance company can also try to point the finger at you. They can review your medical records and see what you did. You can expect an insurance company to go over your medical records with a fine-tooth comb, especially when writing a large check.

Why You Need a Lawyer After a TBI

Dave Abels
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer, Dave Abels

Any insurance claim or lawsuit is difficult for the average person to handle. They are even harder when you are dealing with the symptoms of a TBI. In that case, you do not have your full abilities to deal with a process that is challenging in the first place.

As an accident victim, you should contact an attorney and entrust the details of any claim to them. An attorney will review the facts of the incident that injured you. Before discussing potential compensation, you must prove that someone else was responsible for your injury. Your lawyer will assemble the evidence necessary to prove fault. Then, your lawyer will work to negotiate a fair settlement or obtain a financial award from a jury. Calling a lawyer is something that you should do right after your accident.

Injury claims are difficult even without any other concerns. A brain injury can make the insurance claim process far more challenging, and you risk making mistakes that jeopardize your financial security. Avoid this risk by putting your claim in the hands of a brain injury lawyer near you.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575

​Why Hire a Lawyer After an Accidental Brain Injury

While you have legal rights, the process makes it as difficult as possible for the little person to win. Regardless of whom the responsible party is, either their lawyers or their insurance company and its lawyers will fight to protect their interests.

You are simply an expense to them, even though they should pay you for injuries they caused. Money is a powerful motivator, and it sometimes causes companies to do bad things to save as much of it as they can for themselves.

Your brain controls everything you do, including your ability to process language, move, and speak. Traumatic brain injuries will often cause permanent damage. Even a concussion can cause lingering symptoms that may stay with you for years and impair your function.

The more serious your injury, you are less likely to live a normal life. You may not even work for an extended period—if you can ever earn a living again.

Insurance Companies Do Not Want to Pay Out Large Amounts of Money

When you have suffered a brain injury, the chances are that the monetary value of your claim is high. After all, your life has permanently changed, and you cannot do what you did before the accident. Defendants and their insurance companies will put every possible obstacle before you, knowing that you are already in a difficult position.

Not only are you dealing with your physical injuries, but you are also likely trying to navigate a new financial reality. This reality has lower (or no) income and high medical bills. Insurance companies count on the fact that you may be panicked about your current situation, and they try to take full advantage of it.

Insurance Companies Try to Get You to Take Less

There is a reason why insurance companies specialize in red tape. They know how to calculate your claim’s value and have the staff and resources necessary to pay your claim in a matter of weeks if they want to do it. The problem is that they do not want to pay your claim quickly or in full. They think that they can wear you down into accepting less for your claim or even try to deny your claim in its entirety.

This attitude is where your lawyer comes into the picture. Your lawyer’s job is to look out for you and your legal rights. When you have suffered an accidental brain injury, you have the legal right to full and fair compensation for your injuries if you can prove that someone else was at fault for them. Your lawyer has just one job—to help you recover top dollar for your brain injury.

You first need to know your legal options for obtaining financial compensation and how the process may unfold. You will need to get an attorney’s help as soon as you can find and hire one. Your lawyer will immediately review your case. They will perform a full investigation of the facts to learn who may be responsible for the accident.

A Lawyer Will Gather Evidence and Prove that Someone Else Was Responsible for Your Injuries

In any personal injury case, you must prove that someone else has a legal obligation to pay for your injuries. The legal standard you must meet is that it is more likely than not that they were negligent. A finding of negligence comes from the evidence that you have about what happened.

To receive any financial compensation, you need to prove that someone else harmed you. Then, you can compare the at-fault party’s conduct to what a reasonable person might have done under the same circumstances to argue that the defendant fell short of upholding the required duty of care.

Gathering evidence in any personal injury case takes some effort – even more so when you have suffered a brain injury. Not every piece of evidence is immediately available to you. Even if such evidence were immediately available, it might not remain accessible for long. You, therefore, need to move quickly and authoritatively to obtain evidence.

A lawyer can obtain:

  • Statements from witnesses who saw the accident
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident
  • The opinion of any required or helpful expert witness who can show that the defendant’s conduct may have been responsible for your injuries
  • Videotape footage that captured the accident
  • Medical records that can show that someone was negligent

Gathering evidence requires a coordinated strategy where you need to pursue multiple avenues simultaneously. Personal injury attorneys do this for every case, and they will know what to do as soon as you hire them. Any delay in hiring an attorney can make your case more difficult.

Your Lawyer Will Work to Value Your Claim

One major difficulty of a brain injury is that you never quite know the full picture of your damages. Your healthcare professional gives you a diagnosis and a prognosis, but how much function you can regain is dependent on many variables.

Brain injuries can present a wide range of possible outcomes.

In addition, there are major challenges in attempting to place a value on the damages from your brain injury because it impacts so many areas of your life.

Your compensation may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Not only can you recover compensation for what you lost or suffered in the past, but you can also receive future damages. With a brain injury, each part of these damages can be considerable. There can be a stark difference between what you think you can get and what the insurance company will offer you. An experienced brain injury lawyer can find the appropriate place between those two numbers.

Brain Injuries Can Be Difficult to Value

It takes knowledge and experience to put a number on your damages. Your damage calculations must be backed up and supported by the evidence to have weight. Your challenge is to determine the number and support you may need years or decades in the future.

An experienced lawyer will work with you to value your case. Your lawyer can work with various experts to determine a number for your total damages. It is not a calculation that they will take likely because the amount of money you receive in a settlement needs to last for the rest of your life.

If you do not know how much your case is worth, the insurance company will not hesitate to take advantage of your ignorance. Once you accept a settlement and sign a release form, you cannot return for more money.

A Lawyer Will Work to Get the Maximum Recovery for You

Then, your attorney will devise a strategy for dealing with the insurance company. Not every claim unfolds the same way. An insurance company may settle one claim quickly while delaying another as much as possible. An attorney who understands how insurance companies operate is essential.

Treating the average traumatic brain injury can cost nearly half a million dollars to treat, and this is before you even include things like lost wages or pain and suffering. When dealing with a brain injury, your damages can reach policy limits. In other words, the damages you deserve can exceed the available insurance coverage. Your lawyer can file lawsuits against multiple defendants if they may have played a role in causing your injuries.

Then, you need an attorney to figure out other strategies to get the money you need to pay your damages. A lawyer can determine whether other potentially liable parties have insurance against which you can file a claim. They might file a claim against your own insurance if your injuries came from a car accident. Finally, they can see if they can file a third-party lawsuit against someone else to have an additional source of funds.

A Lawyer Will Handle Negotiations for a Possible Settlement

You may be hard-pressed to negotiate with an insurance company on your own. They have ways of doing things that an attorney understands and knows how to handle. When an insurance company makes you an initial settlement offer, that offer is far from their best and final offer. They have room to raise it in subsequent offers, and they often will when you say no.

Your attorney evaluates the offer when you receive it, figuring out how low it is. Then, your attorney counters with your demand. The attorney’s skilled eye spots a lowball settlement offer, and the attorney knows how to get the insurance company to raise it. Eventually, most claims do settle.

Along the way, you need updates on how the negotiation is going and whether it makes sense to keep proceeding. There is an appropriate strategy for every case. A lawyer may even advise you to file a lawsuit immediately and then negotiate as you develop your case in court. It all depends on the type of case, and the experienced attorney can read the situation to devise your strategy. When dealing with a valuable claim, there is no one set playbook to follow. It all depends on the situation, the insurance company, and your attorney’s skill.

If You Go to Court, You Need an Attorney

There comes the point in many settlement negotiations where you must decide whether to keep going or take your case to court. If you do not have an attorney, filing a lawsuit will seem like an empty threat to the insurance company.

They will take you far more seriously when a lawyer represents you because they know they have the power to act in your case. Your case has an even greater chance of success when you have a lawyer with a track record of holding insurance companies accountable when they try to play games.

If your case does go to court, not only do you need a lawyer, but you need one with trial experience. In court, there is a risk that you can end up with nothing if you can’t prove liability.

Handling your case in front of a judge and in the face of tough opposition from the defendant is not something the average person can do—particularly after a brain injury. If your case does go to trial, there are high stakes at risk, and the defendants will do everything they can to avoid being on the receiving end of a large jury verdict. An insurance company knows this, and they offer far less money to people trying to negotiate and settle their own claims.

There is no requirement that you have a lawyer in court, but imagine trying to go up against experienced attorneys and cross-examine defense witnesses on your own, especially when dealing with the effects of a brain injury. Never do this.

The legal process presents challenges and causes injured accident victims and their families much stress. Even worse, angst will arise if you try to do everything on your own without an experienced lawyer’s help. ​​

Hiring a Brain Injury Lawyer Is Risk-Free

Dave Abels
Burn Injury Lawyer, Dave Abels

The good news is that, while the system is not necessarily designed in your favor, you can hire an attorney without money coming out of your pocket. Lawyers want to help you, and they will not ask you for money upfront, nor will they send you bills while your case is pending.

If they do not win your case, they will not bill you. You only need to pay a lawyer if you get a settlement or an award from the jury. There is no risk to you in working with a determined and experienced attorney who will take on the defendant and their insurance company on your behalf.


Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 924-7575