You might have to go to court for your motorcycle accident if you or a loved one suffers severe or fatal injuries resulting from another person’s negligence. However, a lawyer can help you settle out of court if possible or represent you in a trial to fight for just compensation for your injuries, which often have long-term physical and financial effects.
According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents resulted in an over $65 billion total comprehensive cost in the United States in 2010. This sum includes quality of life costs and economic costs, such as:
- Medical/emergency medical services (EMS)
- Property damage
- Workplace losses
Unfortunately, many of these costs fall on motorcycle accident victims and their families, and without adequate financial recovery, regaining financial stability may feel impossible. With the help of an attorney, victims can seek the settlement they deserve for their losses.
Settling with an Insurance Company
In some cases, attorneys settle with insurance companies out of court and take the case to trial only if necessary. Settling typically takes much less time and may give you the opportunity to avoid costly delays associated with trials.
Settlements involve negotiations, during which both parties and legal representatives from their insurance companies evaluate damages and attempt to agree on fair financial awards for the victim. If the parties cannot come to terms during negotiation, you and your lawyer could choose to take your case to court to seek adequate compensation for your damages. If you do have to go to court for your motorcycle accident, your lawyer will represent you during the trial.
Insurance Requirements Vary by State
Insurance coverage plays a major role in motorcycle accident settlements, and the types, amounts, and individual responsibilities depend on your state. Regardless of who must pay, insurance companies often try to downplay victims’ injuries to avoid losing money. If an insurance adjuster contacts you to offer you a settlement, the amount might not cover the total of your damages. You can decline their offer and opt to contact a lawyer to help you assess your damages.
More than a dozen states require drivers to carry no-fault insurance. Under these policies, victims’ insurance policies must cover their damages, and they may not have the right to sue the at-fault driver for other expenses. In addition to the states that require no-fault insurance, several states offer it as an option to drivers who sometimes choose it due to its lower premiums.
The other states use a tort system of liability in which the at-fault driver’s insurance policy must pay for the victims’ damages. In some states, the party primarily responsible for causing the motorcycle accident must provide compensation for all the victims’ injuries. Other states use a shared liability system, in which the victim may receive a decreased award amount if they hold partial accountability for the collision.
Compensation for Your Damages
Victims of motorcycle accidents and their families may qualify for one or more financial awards, depending on the circumstances of their case. While insurance must provide coverage for certain damages, such as medical bills and damaged property, some states allow victims to pursue additional compensation for other losses. Financial recovery for motorcycle accidents may include:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and ongoing health care costs
- Medical equipment and medications
- Lost wages for time missed at work
- Loss of future wages due to temporary or permanent disability or the loss of a loved one who provided for you
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish or loss of consortium, for the lasting effects of the trauma caused by your accident
An Attorney Can Go to Court for Your Motorcycle Accident
A lawyer can work on your behalf to resolve your motorcycle accident settlement out of court. However, if they cannot reach a fair agreement for you, they can take your case to trial to pursue adequate compensation. If they do, you may have to testify in court.
Your attorney can help make this process easier for you by gathering all the necessary evidence you need to fight for your case, determining liability for the accident, and demonstrating the extent of your damages. They also can help you prepare so that you will know what to expect before, during, and after and will support and represent you every step of the way.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Today
Motorcyclists often suffer more severe injuries in accidents than passenger vehicle occupants, and they can have life-changing effects on the victims, their families, and their financial stability.
If you or a loved one is suffering from serious or fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident, our lawyers can help you fight for a fair settlement out of court and take your case to trial to pursue just compensation on your behalf if necessary.
We do not charge you any fees unless we achieve financial awards in your favor. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to discuss your case with our legal team in a free consultation.