How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

June 7, 2024 | By Francis Firm Injury Attorneys
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

Motorcycle accidents can be life-altering events, leaving victims with physical, emotional, and financial burdens that can last a lifetime.

Motorcycle accidents are often more severe than other types of vehicle collisions due to the lack of protection for riders.

Even when wearing helmets and protective gear, motorcyclists are vulnerable to serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and road rash. These injuries can result in significant medical expenses, lost income, and a diminished quality of life.

When another party's negligence causes a motorcycle accident that injures you or someone you love, you may have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. This process involves proving liability, demonstrating the extent of damages suffered, and negotiating with insurance companies or arguing your case in court.

You need a lawyer who can explain the timeline of a motorcycle accident lawsuit to set realistic expectations and make informed decisions about your legal options.

The thought of navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially when you're already dealing with the aftermath of an accident. One of motorcycle accident victims' most common questions is "How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take?"

Read on to explore the factors that influence the duration of a motorcycle accident lawsuit and other important information regarding motorcycle accident lawsuits and settlements. For specific advice about your situation and to get the skilled and knowledgeable legal representation you need, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in your area for a free consultation. A lawyer can review your case, inform you of your options to pursue compensation, and provide you with a general timeline of what to expect.

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Factors Affecting the Duration of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

No two motorcycle accident cases are alike, and the length of time it takes to resolve a claim can vary widely depending on a multitude of factors, including:

Complexity of the Case

The complexity of your motorcycle accident case can greatly influence its duration.

Factors that can add complexity include:

  • Multiple liable parties: If more than one person or entity is potentially at fault for the accident, it can complicate the legal process and extend the timeline.
  • Conflicting witness statements: When witness accounts of the accident differ, it can take more time to determine liability and build a strong case.
  • Complicated accident reconstruction: In some cases, expert witnesses may be necessary to reconstruct the accident and provide testimony, which can lengthen the process.

Severity of Injuries and Damages

The severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages can also impact the duration of your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

More severe injuries often involve:

  • Longer recovery times: If your injuries require extensive medical treatment or a lengthy rehabilitation process, it can extend the timeline of your case.
  • Higher damages: Cases with significant damages, such as substantial medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, may take longer to resolve as the stakes are higher for both parties.

Liability Disputes

When parties dispute liability in a motorcycle accident case, it can prolong the legal process.

Common liability disputes include:

  • Disagreements over fault: If the other party denies responsibility or argues that you were partially at fault, gathering evidence and building a strong case can take longer.
  • Lack of evidence: When there is limited evidence to prove liability, such as no eyewitnesses or unclear accident scene evidence, it can extend the timeline as both sides work to build their arguments.

Insurance Company Cooperation

The cooperation of the involved insurance companies can significantly affect the duration of your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Issues that can arise include:

  • Delayed responses: If the insurance company is slow to respond to your attorney's inquiries or requests for information, it can stall the progress of your case.
  • Low settlement offers: When insurance companies offer unreasonably low settlements, it can prolong the negotiation process or necessitate filing a lawsuit.
  • Bad faith practices: If an insurer engages in bad faith practices, such as denying valid claims or failing to investigate properly, it can extend the timeline as your attorney works to hold them accountable.

Court Scheduling and Deadlines

If your motorcycle accident case goes to trial, court schedules, and deadlines can change the overall timeline.

Duration of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

Factors to consider include:

  • Court backlogs: Crowded court dockets can lead to delays in scheduling hearings and trials, extending the duration of your case.
  • Procedural requirements: Legal procedures, such as filing motions and conducting discovery, have specific deadlines that can affect the timeline of your case.
  • Continuances: In some cases, either party may request a continuance, which can delay the trial date and prolong the process.

While these factors can influence the duration of your motorcycle accident lawsuit, it's important to remember that every case is unique.

By understanding the factors that can affect the duration of your lawsuit, you can work closely with your attorney to make strategic decisions, gather strong evidence, and build a compelling case.

With patience, persistence, and the right legal guidance, you can navigate the legal process effectively and seek the compensation you deserve for your motorcycle accident injuries and losses.

Advantages of Going to Court to Resolve a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

While most motorcycle accident claims settle outside of court, taking your case to trial may result in:

  • Full compensation for your damages: One of the primary benefits of going to court is the opportunity to seek full compensation for your damages. If the insurance company offers a settlement that doesn't adequately cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, a trial may result in a higher award. A jury can consider the full extent of your damages and may be more sympathetic to your situation than an insurance adjuster.
  • Holding the negligent party accountable: Going to trial allows you to hold the negligent party publicly accountable for their actions. This can be especially important if the at-fault party's behavior was particularly reckless or egregious. By presenting evidence in court, you can expose their negligence and send a message that such conduct is unacceptable.
  • Establishing legal precedent: In some cases, taking a motorcycle accident lawsuit to trial can help establish a legal precedent that may benefit future victims. If your case involves a unique legal issue or a matter of public importance, a court decision in your favor could influence how similar cases are handled in the future.
  • Preserving your right to appeal: If you accept a settlement offer, you typically waive your right to appeal the decision. By going to trial, you preserve your ability to appeal the verdict if you believe the court made an error or the outcome was unjust. This can provide an additional layer of protection and help ensure you receive a fair result.
  • Leveraging settlement negotiations: Sometimes, the mere threat of going to trial can be enough to encourage the insurance company to offer a more favorable settlement. By demonstrating your willingness to take the case to court, you show the other side that you are serious about pursuing full compensation. This can lead to more productive settlement negotiations and a better outcome for your case.
  • Sense of empowerment and closure: For some motorcycle accident victims, going to trial provides a sense of empowerment and closure. Having your day in court and the opportunity to tell your story can be emotionally satisfying, even if the outcome is uncertain. It can also help you feel like you've done everything possible to seek justice for your injuries and losses.

Going to trial also carries risks and drawbacks. Trials can be lengthy, expensive, and emotionally draining. There's also no guarantee of a favorable outcome, as the decision ultimately rests with the judge or jury.

Additionally, trials are public proceedings, which means details of your case and personal life may become a matter of public record.

Ultimately, you should make the decision to go to court carefully, considering both the potential advantages and the risks involved. With the guidance of a skilled motorcycle accident attorney, you can make an informed choice that protects your rights and maximizes your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Timeline of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

Here's a general overview of the stages involved in a motorcycle accident lawsuit:

Filing the Complaint

The first step in a motorcycle accident lawsuit is filing a formal complaint with the court. Your attorney will draft a document that outlines your legal claims against the defendant, including the facts of the case, the defendant's alleged negligence, and the damages you're seeking.

Once the complaint is filed, your lawyer will serve the defendant with a copy and allow them to respond.

Discovery Process

After your attorney files the complaint, the case moves into the discovery phase.

During this stage, both sides exchange relevant information and evidence, such as:

  • Interrogatories: Written questions that each party must answer under oath.
  • Requests for Production: Requests for specific documents or tangible evidence related to the case.
  • Depositions: Sworn testimony taken outside of court, where attorneys question witnesses or parties involved in the case.

The discovery process can be lengthy, often taking several months or more, depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of evidence involved.

Pre-Trial Motions and Hearings

As the case progresses, your attorney may file various pre-trial motions to resolve legal issues or request specific rulings from the court.

Examples of pre-trial motions include:

  • Motion to Dismiss: Argues that the case should be dismissed due to lack of evidence or legal grounds.
  • Motion for Summary Judgment: Asserts that there are no disputed facts and that the case can be decided in your favor without going to trial.
  • Motions in Limine: Seeks to exclude certain evidence from being presented at trial.

Pre-trial hearings may also be held to address these motions and other procedural matters.

Mediation or Settlement Negotiations


Before the case goes to trial, the court may require involved parties to engage in mediation or settlement negotiations to resolve the dispute out of court.

Mediation involves a neutral third party who facilitates discussions between the parties to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. If a settlement is reached, the case will end here, and you'll receive the agreed-upon compensation.


The case may proceed to trial if the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement. At trial, both sides will present evidence, call witnesses, and present arguments to a judge or jury. The trial length will depend on the case's complexity and the evidence presented. After both sides have presented their case, the judge or jury will deliberate and render a verdict.

Post-Trial Motions and Appeals

If either party is unsatisfied with the trial outcome, they may file post-trial motions or an appeal. Post-trial motions, such as a motion for a new trial or a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, ask the court to reconsider its decision. An appeal seeks review by a higher court to determine if any legal errors were made during the trial.

The timeline for a motorcycle accident lawsuit can vary significantly depending on factors such as the case's complexity, the court's schedule, and the willingness of both parties to negotiate a settlement.

Throughout the process, your motorcycle accident attorney will guide you through each stage, provide regular updates on your case's progress, and offer advice on the best course of action.

While the legal process can take a long time, an experienced attorney can protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Help

As mentioned, the duration of a motorcycle accident lawsuit can vary greatly depending on factors such as case complexity, liability disputes, and court schedules. Most cases settle out of court, which can provide a faster resolution, but some may proceed to trial, extending the timeline.

If someone caused a motorcycle accident that injured you, seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation. While the legal process can take a long time, remain patient and persistent in pursuing the compensation you deserve.

With the right legal team by your side, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney works to build a strong case on your behalf.

Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Francis Firm today for your free consultation about your case. We have more than 40 years of combined experience helping injured motorcyclists get the full and fair compensation they need, and we’re ready to fight for your rights and interests inside and outside the courtroom.