Imagine your hair blowing in the wind, exploring the open American roads, and embracing a sense of freedom with every passing moment. These are the feelings that will rush over you when you hop on your favorite motorcycle and start taking it around town. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is not without its risks, and this means that every one of us should be aware of those risks and understand what to do after a motorcycle accident. Importantly, you will also want to know about what a motorcycle accident settlement might look like in terms of dollars and cents, and that we want to review today.
What Kind Of Damages May Be Sought In A Motorcycle Accident Case?
The moments immediately after a motorcycle accident are dramatic and potentially traumatizing. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the event that has just occurred, and survival instincts can kick into distance yourself from the motorcycle injury that you may have sustained. It is hardly the time to try to do calculations for motorbike accident compensation. Instead, you should consider that calculation here as you read this article before you are ever in an accident. First, let us look at what kind of damages one may seek following a motorcycle accident. A few of those categories are as follows:
● Physical Injuries
● Mental Anguish/Pain and Suffering
● Loss of Income/Enjoyment of Life
● Damages to the Motorcycle
Physical Injuries- Most people immediately think of the physical injuries that they may include in their accident claims. These are injuries that a capable lawyer will immediately hound insurance companies to cover as part of the personal injury case. It is easiest for us as human beings to see physical damage such as broken bones on the victim of a motorcycle accident, but these are not the only injuries that may occur.
Mental Anguish/Pain and Suffering- It is absolutely the case that people can sustain injuries that are not immediately apparent to the naked eye. Someone can deal with mental damages along with the physical ones. This could manifest in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, nightmares, or a wide array of other difficulties just getting by in life. It is important that this be included in all the damages covered by an insurance company as part of the accident compensation.
Loss of Income/Enjoyment of Life- Someone lying up in a hospital bed is clearly not going to be attending their workplace to work at their day job. That is a serious drawback for someone who relies on that income (as most of us do!). Therefore, the income that one loses as a result of being in a motorcycle accident must be included as part of the settlement negotiation. On top of this, an excellent attorney will also include a stipulation for additional compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. This is another legal term that is recognized by the courts as deserving of compensation when it can be proven.
Damages to the Motorcycle- Damage to the motorcycle itself may be included in the total compensation package as part of a settlement as well. However, this is likely among the lowest portion of the compensation compared to the damages sought for the other categories mentioned above.
How Much is a Good Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?
To understand what is a good settlement amount for a motorcycle accident you must first think about what the averages are for this kind of situation. The current average settlement for a motorcycle accident is approximately $80,000. However, it is absolutely necessary to understand that this is just an average and is not in any way indicative of what the typical settlement is. In fact, the vast majority of people would be extremely lucky to receive anything close to that number. Insurance companies often have maximum payout thresholds that are a lot lower than this number. What a “good” settlement means to you should be set with this knowledge in mind.
A motorcycle accident settlement calculator can be extremely helpful to those who would like to know what their particular case may be. You may come to find that while the average is fairly high, the most typical amount is far lower than that. It is largely dependent on what the maximum limitations are from the insurance that you hold.
When is the Right Time to Pull the Trigger and get an Attorney Involved?
It is proper to contemplate when and if hiring legal counsel makes sense in a given case. The vast majority of attorneys offer free consultations to potential new clients. They wish to speak to those who have potential claims to determine if there is a valid claim to be pursued. The attorney will also review what kind of battle they are considering getting themselves involved in. Remember, an insurance adjuster will do everything that they possibly can to pay out as little as possible for any given claim filed against them. It is the job of an outstanding attorney to negotiate for a larger settlement than what insurance would like to pay out. In the majority of cases, the parties will meet somewhere in the middle.
All attorneys want to get cases that they feel confident that they can win since most of them work on a contingency system. This simply means that they do not get paid until their client does. The attorney takes his or her cut from the proceeds of the settlement with the insurance company. This ensures that the incentives for the attorney remain perfectly aligned with the incentives of their client. That brings a lot of peace of mind to the attorney and the client himself or herself.
How Long Will the Settlement Take?
The length of time necessary to get a settlement fully processed through and adjudicated depends on the factors revolving around your particular case. All parties have to come to the table and come to an agreement. It is likely that the insurance company as well as your attorney will immediately get to work determining fault in the case. It even boils down to what percentage of the fault belongs to each of the parties involved in the accident. This determination will be based largely on police reports of the incident as well as medical records for the victim or victims involved.
The most clear-cut cases are likely to be resolved more quickly as the insurance company attempts to settle the case and get it off the books. They will attempt to pay out as little as possible for the incident. The victim’s attorney will strive to get as much as possible out of the settlement. The push and pull of this is what we call a negotiation. In the event that the negotiations fail, then a trial may be necessary. It is not at all common for these situations to go to trial, but it is a possibility. Simply understand that all possibilities are on the table and that the length of time necessary to get a settlement or verdict can vary.
Those in the midst of dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident are implored to get in touch with us. Please contact us to discuss the case and the options available at this stage of the game.