Iowa may be a small state, but it has one of the highest rates of motorcycle ownership in America. For many enthusiasts, riding can feel like an escape from the pressures of everyday life, making commutes and touring all the more fun. However, motorcyclists remain at higher risk for injury than the drivers of other, larger vehicles. While wearing a helmet and riding defensively can help keep bikers safe, some accidents are simply unavoidable.
Since motorcycles lack the protective features of passenger sedans and semi-trucks, accidents often result in serious, potentially life-changing injury. Under Iowa state law, victims have a right to recover damages from the person or party who caused their accident—but, without the right representation, obtaining compensation can pose unexpected challenges.
How Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help Survivors Fight for Their Rights
Iowa, like most states, has a fault-based insurance system. After an accident, victims have a legal right to compensation. Claims are typically filed with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. During a claim investigation, an adjuster assesses the victim’s damage and may:
- Offer a settlement
- Demand additional evidence
- Deny compensation
However, even when adjusters offer to settle, survivors do not always receive the compensation they deserve. Insurance companies are, after all, for-profit enterprises—and paying large settlements is rarely in their best interest.
When insurance companies refuse to negotiate in good faith, survivors often feel they have no choice but to accept an offer that may not make sense. Fortunately, you do not have to bear the burden of another motorist’s mistake. A motorcycle accident lawyer could help you obtain the compensation you need and the justice you deserve by doing the following:
Explaining Your Rights
Motorcycle accidents are inherently traumatic events, and victims often feel overwhelmed.
An experienced Iowa motorcycle accident attorney could help you make sense of a difficult situation, taking the time to answer your questions, explore your options, and devise a strategy to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their negligence.
Investigating Your Accident
The success of a motorcycle accident claim is often contingent on the availability and quality of evidence. After a collision, you may not have the time—or health—to conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your crash.
An attorney could help you improve your chances of recovering compensation by:
- Establishing liability and determining who should be held accountable for your injuries
- Collecting and analyzing physical evidence from the crash site
- Subpoenaing surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses and traffic cameras
- Interviewing eyewitnesses, whose testimony could prove critical in court
- Consulting accident reconstruction specialists and other experts, whose real-world knowledge could contradict the at-fault driver’s claims
Assessing Your Damages
Iowa courts typically award two types of damages in personal injury claims:
- Economic damages. Economic damages are objective, quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost income from work, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are comparably subjective, intangible losses such as emotional pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment.
Calculating damages may seem straightforward, but determining the extent of your losses can be difficult. Non-economic damages, for instance, may vary with the severity of your physical injuries.
An experienced Iowa motorcycle accident attorney can help you total your economic damages and calculate your potential non-economic damages.
Negotiating With the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies frequently resort to borderline manipulative tactics, all designed to coerce victims into accepting lowball settlements. These tactics are not always straightforward and may be presented as good-faith attempts to establish liability or hear your side of the story.
A motorcycle lawyer could help you understand and assert your rights in claims negotiations, ensuring that the insurance company does not have the chance to undercut your compensation.
Taking a Wrongdoer to Trial
Most motorcycle accident claims are resolved before they ever reach trial. However, if the insurance companies refuse to offer fair compensation, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney will represent you in every stage of litigation, making every effort to resolve your complaint before it heads to court. Sometimes insurance companies will agree to settle just before trial—but if you need to press your claim before a judge and jury, your attorney will be present to advocate your rights and ensure that you have a competent advocate in your corner.