There is no average settlement for a motorcycle accident, as each case has different circumstances that will change the compensation amount. However, a few common factors can affect what you receive from an insurance settlement or judgment at court.
Factors That Can Affect Your Settlement
The specifics of your accident will affect how much you might be entitled to in compensation for your losses. For example, whether you collided with a passenger vehicle, or a large commercial truck might affect your claim. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will explain all you need to know regarding your legal options, economic and non-economic damages you should expect, and legal courses of action to take.
The extent of your injuries will ultimately impact your settlement amount in a motorcycle accident claim. If you suffered relatively minor injuries, you might not have incredibly high medical bills or ongoing care costs. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), most people hurt in motorcycle accidents suffer head injuries. These can be incredibly dangerous and range anywhere from a concussion to brain damage.
If a loved one died in a motorcycle accident, your claim might be worth more. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than someone in a passenger vehicle. If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident that was not their fault, you might be entitled to damages for wrongful death. These include funeral and burial costs on top of remaining medical bills and other costs.
If you suffered more severe injuries, that might make your pain and suffering worse. These are noneconomic damages that can sometimes make up the bulk of a personal injury lawsuit. Keep in mind some states place caps on noneconomic damages, which limit what you can recover.
If you took part in causing the motorcycle accident, you might still be entitled to compensation. In some states, you can still claim compensation if you were less than 50% responsible.
However, the settlement amount you are entitled to would be decreased by the percentage of your fault. So, for example, if you were speeding during the accident, and your speeding made you 40% at fault, your settlement would be lowered by 40%.
Just as with medical bills, if you suffered extensive property damage, missed work, or had to alter the way you live, these losses can affect your settlement amount. Someone with a totaled bike would receive more than someone with a dent.
Also, depending on the severity of your injuries, you might have needed to stop working to recover or change professions entirely. The more time you missed at work, the more you could recover in lost wages and other expenses. Your compensation might also account for missed opportunities for promotions, raises, and savings.
If your daily life has significantly changed, and you can no longer enjoy the things you once did, you might also be entitled to more compensation.
Settlement vs. Judgment
Whether you settle outside of court or go to trial might also affect the amount of compensation you receive. When you settle outside of court, it is often faster and easier for you and the lawyer, meaning you will need less compensation for attorney’s fees—resulting in a lower settlement.
Also, at a trial, a judge or jury might punish the defendant with punitive damages if they were extremely negligent or careless. For example, if they were driving while intoxicated and caused your accident, the judge might make them pay you as punishment for their reckless behavior.
Hiring a Lawyer to Help with Your Claim or Lawsuit
You do not need an attorney to take on insurance companies or file a lawsuit. However, if you are recovering from injuries following a motorcycle accident, hiring a lawyer can help. A lawyer can help you in several ways, including:
- Investigating the motorcycle accident
- Determining liability
- Evaluating your damages
- Negotiating with insurance companies or the liable party
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit
- Fighting for you at trial
- Keeping you updated throughout the entirety of your case
A lawyer also knows the applicable deadlines to file personal injury cases. While there is no average settlement for a motorcycle accident, a lawyer can evaluate your losses and give you an estimate of what settlement amount to accept from an insurance company. This might include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Having a lawyer on your side can help you with your case. You should not have to suffer more under heaping bills from an accident someone else caused. At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our attorneys can help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses. For a free case evaluation, call us today at 800-959-1444.