What Is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
The average payout for a motorcycle accident depends largely on the circumstances surrounding the crash. Under state law, victims can usually recover compensation for both economic and non-economic losses, including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Despite some commonalities, only a thorough analysis of the facts by a motorcycle accident lawyer can determine the exact value of a case. However, certain factors and calculations can give an idea of the potential value of a motorcycle accident case.
Factors That Affect the Value of Your Settlement
The compensation available in your case depends on the unique circumstances of your accident. Predicting the final settlement amount you will receive is not possible, but some factors can increase or decrease the overall value of your claim. Regardless of the severity of your losses, you deserve compensation, and a personal injury lawyer in your area can help you pursue what you deserve.
If you have suffered any of the following injuries, contact a local motorcycle accident lawyer in your area immediately:
- Severe soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Neurological injuries
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic amputations
Common factors considered by the insurance company when making an initial offer or a final settlement can include the following:
Determining liability is the primary deciding factor on the value of your claim or if you receive compensation at all. “In many cases, the police make a preliminary determination regarding liability and include it in their initial report. They will speak to the drivers and any witnesses before completing their report. Each party’s insurance company will also complete an investigation. You should consult an attorney to protect yourself if you are found responsible for causing the accident.
Severity of Injuries
The more severe your injuries, the higher your potential settlement amount. Motorcycle accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, and many victims will never fully recover.
Catastrophic injuries include harm like amputation, brain injury, coma, or other life-changing injuries. These injuries are expensive to treat and can take a long time to heal. The length of time you suffer an injury can also increase the value of your settlement.
Current and Future Medical Treatment
Since you didn’t cause the accident, you shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills. After a motorcycle accident, the person found responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for paying your bills.
Not only can you recover current medical bills, but you may also be allowed to recover financial compensation to cover your future medical needs. Some injuries take a long time to heal, and others do not present themselves for weeks or months. A personal injury lawyer will ensure that if you want to take a settlement offer from the insurance company, it will cover your losses and anticipated future medical bills.
Mental and Emotional Trauma
These are intangible losses that refer to the long-term negative impact of an accident on the victim’s mental health. After a motorcycle crash, the biker may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and need ongoing mental health care to get their lives back on track.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are the damages the plaintiff may receive for the inconvenience of suffering from physical pain and mental and emotional trauma.
Loss of Consortium and Loss of Companionship
The law allows accident victims to recover for the value of lost consortium and companionship. Loss of consortium is a claim by the victim’s spouse. The claim entails the spouse’s loss of ability to spend time with their spouse, have sexual relations, and other intangible losses related to the marriage.
Lost Income and Earning Capacity
If your injuries caused you to miss work, you might be entitled to recover for your lost income. If you cannot return to work, you can recover from that loss as well.
Lost earning capacity refers to the inability to return to the same kind of work due to injuries sustained in an accident. In some cases, accident plaintiffs can continue to work, but they cannot work the same number of hours or at the same intensity as they did before.
For example, a firefighter suffers harm in a motorcycle crash and cannot continue to meet the physical demands of their job, but they can work an office job. The plaintiff, in this case, may be entitled to compensation for their change in lifestyle and pay.
In addition to the physical and mental compensation accident victims can receive after a crash, you may be entitled to recover for your property damage. In some cases, an accident victim can recover for their vehicle and for damaged property inside their vehicle or on their person at the time of the accident.
Insurance Policy Limits
The at-fault party’s insurance policy limits may determine the overall value of the claim. There may be no additional money outside a defendant’s auto insurance policy. However, if you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may have another pot to choose from that will cover the rest of your needs. Underinsured motorist coverage is a part of your auto insurance policy, and it covers you for losses that exceed the amount of the defendant’s insurance policy limits.
How Do You Calculate Settlements?
The above factors will determine the total settlement value. If available, plaintiffs should work closely with their attorneys to collect and present evidence that shows economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are ambiguous but available for accident victims. This is a non-economic loss, and accounting for total damages is difficult. There are two effective approaches to calculating pain and suffering losses. Those two approaches are:
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method involves determining a cash value for each day an accident victim suffers the inconvenience of the effects of the crash. After getting a total, the total dollar amount gets multiplied by the number of days from the accident to the day when the medical professionals expect the victim will have reached maximum recovery.
The Multiplier Method
Insurance companies commonly use the multiplier method. To get the overall value of a pain and suffering award utilizing this method, the total value of the victim’s economic losses gets multiplied by a number. Many different factors related to the severity of the accident determine the multiplier.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney is your advocate after a crash. They can protect your legal rights to compensation and ensure you get the maximum value from your case. Relying on an attorney is wise. Take advantage of their experience in the following areas:
Representing You in Settlement Negotiations
Attorneys are trained negotiators. They know how to spot the losses you suffered from an accident and advocate to make you whole again. The last thing you want to do after a crash is, speak to an opposing insurance company alone. Insurance adjusters are laser-focused on protecting company profit, and they usually accomplish that goal by starting with lowball settlement offers.
Unfortunately, unrepresented motorcycle accident victims may jump at the chance to end their cases and move on with their lives. This is a mistake. The first offer from an insurance company is typically never the best and won’t cover all your losses.
Speaking to Debt Collectors on Your Behalf
The last thing you want to do is deal with another phone call or a threatening letter from a medical billing office as you try to heal from your severe injuries after a motorcycle crash. Despite that being the last thing you want to do, that will not stop bill collectors from calling. Hiring an attorney will let you field those calls, emails, and letters so you can focus on what matters-making a full physical recovery.
Preparing Your Case For Trial
A motorcycle accident trial begins at the moment of impact. That is why speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after a collision is vital. Your attorney will want to visit the accident scene, speak with witnesses, prepare your testimony, and complete all pretrial requirements.
Completing Pretrial Requirements
Your attorney will help you comply with all pretrial requirements, including discovery. Discovery is an investigatory process that allows each side of a case to ask for the production of documents and any questions that fall within the scope of civil procedural rules. Your attorney can help you stand within the boundaries set by the rules and get the most out of this pretrial phase.
Representing You at Trial
An attorney with courtroom experience will take care of you if your case goes to trial. Standing up and advocating in a courtroom is not as easy as it looks on T.V. and in the movies. You need someone with experience connecting with judges and juries who knows how the local court system works.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
The time an accident plaintiff has to file a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the deadline set by law allowing only a specific period of time to file a claim or lose their chance to file it at all.
State law sets the statute of limitations, so the time you have to file may vary by state. State laws allow accident victims anywhere from one to six years from the accident date to file a lawsuit in the applicable court.
Failure to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations kills your claim. This is a strict deadline. Failure to file on time keeps you from recovering a cent of the compensation you deserve. Speaking to an attorney quickly after the accident helps accident victims protect their right to sue.
Will the Jury Determine How Much Money My Claim Is Worth?
If your case makes it to trial, a jury will probably decide how much your claim is worth. As a result, it is critical to present your case in the strongest light possible. An experienced attorney will know how to conduct your trial and will also coach you as to how to present yourself in court.
Jury members are human beings, and they are persuaded by many different factors. Your attorney will be in a process called voir dire. This is a jury selection process. During voir dire, your attorney will question each potential jury member looking for signs of bias that can negatively affect the outcome of your case.
Each side will have the opportunity to dismiss jurors. The goal is to select a group of people who are likely to view the facts of your case favorably.
What if I Cannot Afford an Attorney?
In many civil cases, a contingency fee payment arrangement is available. The availability of contingency fee arrangements allows more injured people to pursue justice with an attorney on their side.
Under contingency fee arrangements, clients defer payment until the end of the case. Typically, clients do not pay for the lawyer’s services unless they recover compensation.
If you want a contingency fee agreement, discuss that option with your lawyer.
Contact an Attorney Today
Motorcycle accident victims must always retain legal counsel as soon as possible after an injury-causing crash. The representation of a lawyer will protect your rights and allow you to focus on your mental and physical recovery. In addition, the sooner you have representation by a lawyer, the less chance you will say or do something that will hurt your chances of getting the full value of your claim.
For these reasons, if you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a lawyer today. The right personal injury lawyer in Tampa can evaluate your legal rights and options for free and begin seeking the financial recovery you deserve.
Request A Free Consultation Today!
Boohoff Law P.A. – Tampa Office
829 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33603
Phone: (813) 725-5606