Being involved in a serious motorcycle accident can be traumatic, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. Motorcycles provide significantly less protection than a standard car which results in a higher likelihood for serious injuries and fatalities for the motorcycle driver. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, the insurance company may be offering you a settlement but how do you know if it’s fair?
First, consider several factors in thinking about the settlement offer. Is this the first offer? Insurance companies take advantage of what you don’t know. If they can convince you that accepting their first offer is the right thing to do, they know you can’t come back and ask for more. Often, they will attempt to contact an injured victim and try to settle for very little as quickly as they can.
Fair Settlement for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Fair motorcycle accident settlements include the full cost of your medical expenses -- both in the immediate aftermath of the accident and ongoing treatment. Medical expenses include hospital bills, doctors’ visits, therapists, and other medical costs that are related to the accident. The higher the amount of your medical bills and other damages that you are seeking, the more complex the negotiation becomes--and the more important it is to enlist the help of a motorcycle accident attorney who can do all of the negotiations on your behalf. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of a lawyer, making it much easier to obtain fair compensation.
If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for future medical expenses. It’s important to consider your future damages and make sure you understand the full scope of your injuries. If you have severe injuries, the settlement offer should include compensation for any future needs, such as future medical care, future pain and suffering, and more.
One of the main reasons why it is important to avoid accepting a settlement offer early on, especially when the offer appears low, is because you need to know the full scope of your damages. This means calculating all the losses you have experienced as a result of your injuries. If you are still seeking medical treatment, for example, you may require procedures or longer treatment in order to recover. If you accept a low offer too early and still need treatment, you are on the hook for it.
Fair Settlement for Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Accident
A fair motorcycle settlement often includes compensation for emotional injuries and mental anguish like pain and suffering. Every case and settlement is unique, so insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a serious brain injury than if you bruised your leg. The more severe and permanent your injury is, the more pain and suffering you will experience, and the more you deserve in compensation for your injuries.
Insurance companies typically multiply the cost of medical bills by a number between one and five to calculate “pain and suffering.” The more severe and permanent the injury, the higher the multiplier. Because of the complexity and judgment required to estimate pain and suffering, hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is imperative to get the compensation you deserve. Their experience will help to be prepared to explain and justify your calculation.
Liability for a Fair Settlement
Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents are governed by the same principles of law where fault and negligence come into play. In two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle rider's right of way and is thus liable or at-fault for the accident. Motorcycles are harder to see and can be obscured by other vehicles, or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
In some instances, the motorcycle manufacturer could be held liable or at-fault for the accident. For instance, especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake. This problem may be due to a misalignment of the front and rear tires of the motorcycle. If an accident is caused by a product defect, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Fair Settlement after a Motorcycle Accident?
If you experienced severe injuries, believe the accident was caused by another person’s negligence, or were hurt through no fault of your own, you should consult a motorcycle accident attorney about your case. By having legal representation, your lawyer will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and work toward securing a fair settlement for your motorcycle accident. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it?
When you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay. Don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.