What can you do to recover damages after a motorcycle accident? While you can turn to your insurance provider for financial support, that support may prove conditional or insufficient in the face of the bills you have to pay. Fortunately, under Indiana law, you can file a lawsuit against the party you believe to be liable for your motorcycle crash.
What is the process of filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit, though, and how long does it take to get your complaint before a civil judge? The truth is that it varies from case to case. Vaughan & Vaughan’s motorcycle accident lawyers throughout Indiana have worked on several motorcycle accident cases and seen each play out on an individual timeline.
That said, working with an attorney throughout the process of filing a motorcycle crash lawsuit can get your case into a judge’s hands sooner rather than later. With that in mind, you can schedule a case consultation with an attorney after an accident to discuss what this process looks like, what information you need to contribute, and the benefits of the process.
What to Expect from the Process of Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
When you first meet with an Indiana personal injury attorney and initiate the filing process, you can expect to undertake the following steps:
Step 1: Investigate Your Losses
Your right to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit with Indiana’s civil courts hinges on your ability to prove that another party violated your duty of care. To prove this point, you need to bring forward evidence indicating that:
- A particular party engaged in a dangerous form of negligence
- That negligence led to your motorcycle accident
- The negligence in question violated the liable party’s responsibility to protect you from reasonable, predictable harm
- You suffered economic losses as a result of that negligence
The data you bring forward to prove these points can range from video footage of your accident to bystander statements to accident recreations. Our attorneys can revisit the scene of your accident to bring this evidence together before analyzing it on your behalf.
Step 2: Calculate the Value of Your Motorcycle Crash Case
The claim you submit to initiate a motorcycle accident lawsuit needs to elaborate on the economic value of your crash-related losses. This means that we need to calculate the sum total of the losses that a liable party’s negligence forced upon you. These calculations can include the following losses:
- Motorcycle crash medical expenses
- Post-accident emergency services
- Pain management and physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Property damage and restoration
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Step 3: Formatting and Submitting Your Claim
Once we have all of the hard data we need to compile your claim, it’s time to format it. Indiana civil courts expect the complaint you bring forward to be written in proper English and formatted according to its standards. Unfortunately, some judges may deny you the right to pursue compensation by trial if you make mistakes when formatting your claim.
What’s more, you need to make sure that your claim makes it to a civil judge before your statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations placed on Indiana motorcycle accident cases, Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4, allows you to take up to two years from the date of your accident to investigate your losses. Miss that deadline, and you lose your right to legal action.
Fortunately, our attorneys can both format your claim according to the court’s standards and submit it to a judge before your statute of limitations expires. This way, your claim can have the best possible chance of moving forward.
Step 4: Communicating With a Liable Party
When you have a motorcycle accident lawyer in Indiana representing you throughout the motorcycle crash claim filing process, we can serve as mediators between you and the liable party. If you need information from the liable party, including information about their insurance coverage, we can reach out to that party on your behalf.
Note that before you file your claim with an Indiana civil court, you should limit the amount of time you or an attorney spend communicating with a liable party. After you file your claim, you can initiate negotiations to discuss your right to compensation. Sometimes, you can reach a settlement agreement and avoid having to go to civil court.
You can count on Vaughan & Vaughan’s attorneys to stand with you through both pre-filing and post-filing communications with a liable party. We strive to keep all communications civil and your related stress levels low.
Step 5: Going to Court
No matter how well-formatted your claim may be or how composed your argument for support is, the party you named liable for your losses may refuse to recognize the role they played in your accident. In these cases, negotiations for motorcycle accident compensation may fail.
That doesn’t mean that you’re out of options, though. You can instead request that a motorcycle accident attorney take your case to civil court and initiate a trial. The motorcycle accident trial process tends to take longer to resolve than negotiations, but the presence of a judge can make a belligerent defendant acknowledge their contributions to your losses.
We Can Walk You Through the Civil Process
The process of filing a civil claim after a motorcycle accident can put you through your paces, particularly if you’ve had no or limited interactions with Indiana’s civil courts in the past. Fortunately, no one expects you to file a motorcycle accident claim without professional support, particularly when you’re contending with accident-related injuries.
You can turn to the Indiana motorcycle crash lawyers with Vaughan & Vaughan for help while compiling the information you need to file a claim against the party liable for your losses. We can conduct an investigation on your behalf while you prioritize your health. You can count on us to keep you up to date as your claim comes together and as it goes before a civil judge.
Are you ready to learn more about the process of filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit and how doing so may benefit your long-term recovery? Let Vaughan & Vaughan know today. You can call us or use Vaughan & Vaughan’s online contact form to schedule your initial case evaluation.