If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering what type of settlement to expect. These cases can indeed be influenced the very nature of the incident, with motorcyclists often receiving very different offers from drivers of other vehicles. Of course, the value of any settlement will depend on a number of other factors as well – take a look at how the details of your accident and subsequent case may shape the amount received:
First and foremost: prepare a definitive case
In a perfect world, personal biases would not play a role in legal settlement. Unfortunately, the fact remains that a number of people do not trust – or even like – motorcyclists, perhaps viewing them as reckless and/or wild and deserving of any dangers they encounter. Insurance adjusters are well aware of this, and may reduce their settlement offer based on the assumption that it will be harder for the motorcyclist to sway the jury to his or her side, should the matter go before a court. It’s vital to prepare a concrete case that no adjuster could simply shrug off.
How are damages calculated?
In any personal injury claim, the damages fit into two categories:
• Special damages (i.e. those with distinct numeric values, such as lost wages and medical bills)
• Damages that are less exact (e.g. pain and suffering)
The latter is the category that may require more flexibility. (Most) Special damages are relatively easy to add up, but there is no standard guideline for determining the value of pain and suffering – this is matter that is left to the juries to decide when (if) the case goes to court. As juries cannot be relied upon to be friendly, or even completely fair, towards motorcyclists, you may need to grant a bit of leeway with the value as part of your settlement, especially if the case itself is not absolutely rock-solid.
Every situation is different, of course, and as a motorcyclist it’s especially important to be aware of the factors at play, to ensure that you are awarded the money you are fairly owed.
For specific information regarding your accident settlement, contact the legal professionals at Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C. today.