With over 54,000 registered motorcyclists on roadways in New Mexico, catastrophic motorcycle accidents aren’t as rare as we would like to think. When the unexpected happens, it’s essential to have a qualified motorcycle accident attorney there to protect your interests. If a negligent driver hits you, you have a right to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. Read on to learn how to choose the best motorcycle accident attorney.
Personal injury cases may be similar to each other in many ways. However, finding a motorcycle accident law firm that specializes in motorcycle cases is advantageous. Such attorneys understand the intricacies of this area of personal injury law and can maximize the strengths in your case. A motorcycle crash attorney gathers relevant information that will help them determine how your accident happened and who is responsible.
Read online reviews of potential attorneys. View the online testimonials on the attorney’s website to get an idea of their representation style and attentiveness to their clients. Another great source to find a reputable attorney is by asking friends, family, and coworkers for referrals. An attorney’s reputation in the community and also with your peers can help you narrow down choices that best suit your needs.
When you meet with a motorcycle crash attorney, ask about their fees. Most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means that an attorney only collects payment for their work if they obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf. Contingency fee rates vary. However, most are between 30% to 40% of your settlement or judgment. Check if an attorney requests payment of additional expenses as they arise throughout your case. For example, an attorney may request payment for filing fees, postage, copies, and expert witness fees separately from their contingency fee rate. If you are financially stressed by an inability to work and mounting medical expenses, paying for these expenses may be an unwanted additional financial burden. Therefore, you would want to go with an attorney who pays all the out-of-pocket expenses unless or until you receive your compensation.
Working on a contingency fee basis means that a potential attorney must have adequate resources to pay for the experts, doctors, and other expenses that may come up to help strengthen your case. A top motorcycle accident lawyer is prepared and has adequate resources to cover these costs so your case continues smoothly and without interruption.
When you meet with potential attorneys, be mindful of their communication style. Are your needs and questions answered in the initial meeting? Is your attorney respectful of your wishes and goals? A good attorney should be prepared to keep you informed as your case progresses. An attorney that is unavailable when you need them or passes your requests on to their paralegal may add unnecessary stress to your situation.
New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists continue to be overrepresented in fatal car accidents. 2021 was a deadly year nationwide for motorcyclists, with over 5,932 killed, amounting to 14% of all traffic fatalities. In New Mexico, there were 54 motorcycle fatalities in 2022, with 33 of those not wearing helmets. The NHTSA reports that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than a passenger in a car to die in an accident and four times more likely to suffer injuries. Let’s look at some tips to stay safe on the roadways while riding:
- Possess a valid motorcycle license;
- Wear a helmet and other safety gear;
- Follow all traffic rules, speed limits, and signs;
- Signal properly to warn other drivers; and
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while distracted.
It’s crucial to remain vigilant while riding on New Mexico’s roadways. However, when a collision occurs, it’s important to remember that hiring a motorcycle accident firm can get you the compensation you deserve.
What Can a Motorcycle Crash Attorney Recover for Me?
New Mexico permits injured victims to recover compensatory damages after an accident. Compensatory damages intend to make a victim “whole” after their experience. These damages are divided into economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages represent calculable losses that a victim has incurred and include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Medical bills, motorcycle repair estimates, therapy invoices, and pay stubs help your attorney calculate these losses accurately.
Non-economic damages include intangible losses that are harder to quantify. After an accident, many of us are left with physical and psychological pain. Non-economic damages seek to compensate a victim for these losses, including the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent disfigurement or injury.
As you can see, there are no receipts or invoices to help you quantify the value of these subjective losses. Your attorney works to prove the value of these losses through your testimony, the testimony of your friends and family, and medical experts. The greater your injuries and suffering due to your motorcycle accident, the higher your non-economic damages award.
The attorneys at Flores, Tawney, and Acosta P.C. are proud to serve clients throughout New Mexico and are prepared to meet clients at various locations. We are dedicated to achieving serious results for our clients and understand that injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents impact not just your life but the lives of your family. As you attempt to recover, the last thing you should worry about is fighting insurance companies alone. We have the skill, experience, and knowledge to get the best possible results in your case. You deserve compensation after such a traumatic experience, and you need it to pay your bills and move on with your life. While you focus on your recovery, we get to work. In your time of need, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Flores, Tawney, and Acosta P.C. are fighting for you. Contact us by phone or email for a free consultation to learn more about our team and how we can help!