There’s no denying that motorcycles are a dangerous form of transportation. Not only are motorcycles less safe than passenger vehicles, motorcycle riders are often cast as reckless speed demons who flagrantly skirt traffic laws. Yet, oftentimes, in the event of a motorcycle accident, motorcycle riders are the actual victims and not the other way around. So, so it’s no wonder why initial motorcycle accident settlements are often lower than those offered to car accident victims.
One of the first questions motorcycle accident victims have after being injured is how much their motorcycle injury case will ultimately be worth. Fortunately, this guide can help explain the multiple factors as well as the ins and outs of how a typical motorcycle accident settlement is tabulated and structured. Albeit, the best way to truly understand the value of your personal injury case is to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. No one else has seen as many motorcycle injury cases as a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer has.
Motorcycle Accident Liability Issues
Whether fairly or not, motorcyclists have been saddled with the stigma of irresponsible operators of their vehicles. This label not only gives insurance companies carte blanche to deny motorcycle accident claims, but juries, also, tend to unfairly reduce motorcycle accident verdicts.
The truth of the matter is that it is simply not right for motorcycle accident victims to bear such a disproportionate brunt of the blame. Most motorcycle riders follow all of the laws and exercise caution whenever they travel on public roads and highways. Serious motorcyclists are fully aware of the risks involved when regularly operating a motorcycle.
Due to this unfair stigma, insurance adjusters frequently offer motorcycle accident victims settlement offers that are far too low. This leaves many victims of motorcycle accidents frustrated and with few options. This is why it is so very important to find a well-practiced motorcycle accident lawyer to help obtain just compensation for any injuries or losses you may have suffered in your motorcycle accident.
Building a Successful Seattle Motorcycle Accident Case: The Most Common Factors
Multiple factors help determine just how a motorcycle accident settlement is tabulated. The cumulative settlement amount is meant to compensate the victim according to how much the motorcycle accident adversely affected the victim’s style of life and well-being. Below are the four main factors used to calculate the exact settlement amount to compensate the average motorcycle accident victim.
Medical Bills Following a Motorcycle Accident
Easily the most crucial factor used to prove damages after a motorcycle accident is a comprehensive and complete cache of well-documented medical records. Due to how little protection motorcycle riders have, such as airbags and seat belts, it’s common for them to be severely injured after a motorcycle accident. Detailed medical bills are, by far, the most effective way to place an accurate number to the injuries caused by a serious enough motorcycle accident.
Considering how motorcycle accident victims do frequently suffer serious injuries from their accidents, like traumatic brain injuries or damage to the spine, they may require long periods of rehabilitation and extensive care in the future. Thankfully, such costs are included in most any eventual motorcycle accident settlement.
The serious injuries motorcycle accident victims suffer can keep them out of work for weeks or even months after their injuries. Without being able to work, many motorcycle accident victims may find it difficult to make ends meet due to losing out on their usual income. Even more so than victims of car accidents, people injured in motorcycle accidents require long periods of recovery in order to get back on their feet again. Some victims may even find it impossible to ever return to work and may need to find another line of employment.
Luckily, the wages a motorcycle accident victim lost can be recovered in any eventual settlement. And if a motorcycle accident victim can no longer return to the employment they maintained before they were injured, then their future earning capacity will be calculated and included in a victim’s final settlement.
General Damages: Pain and Suffering – Tacoma
Certainly, the most subjective factor used in assessing the damage caused by a motorcycle accident is the factor of general damages. General damages are where one would find compensation for any losses involving pain and suffering. Motorcycle accidents can be stressful and traumatic events that can leave victims with years of psychological damage. Two such conditions are PTSD or an aversion to traveling at high speeds or on roadways and highways. General damages are a way for such hard-to-detect conditions and injuries to be compensated for.
Another area the factor of general damages provides compensation for is the damage and losses caused to a victim’s family and support system. If a victim requires long-term care due to paralysis or because of a severe TBI, then general damages is where the compensation for family members who step in as caretakers can be found. Also, if the motorcycle accident victim is primary breadwinner of their family then general damages, too, is how the victim’s family is compensated.
A relevant example of a situation where compensation is set aside for a victim’s family through general damages is a loss of consortium claim. A consortium claim is when the spouse of a motorcycle accident victim seeks compensation for the damage suffered to their relationship and/or marriage. Since no accident victim suffers alone, general damages help ancillary victims recover compensation for the losses they may have suffered, as well.
Property Damage – Olympia
One additional factor used in the tabulation of a motorcycle accident settlement is that of property damage, typically the damaged motorcycle. Even a minor accident can leave a motorcycle beyond repair. The property damage section of a motorcycle accident settlement is meant to compensate victims for their lost vehicles. In place of the full value of their motorcycles, though, victims commonly receive adjusted compensation based on the Kelley blue book value, which often takes into consideration the exact age, amount of use, and overall quality of the motorcycle before the motorcycle accident occurred.
What is the Average Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident – Washington State
No two motorcycle accidents can ever be the same. Therefore, no two motorcycle accident settlements can be identical either. This makes it difficult to pin an exact number to any one motorcycle accident case. One frequently cited study, however, puts the median motorcycle accident verdict between the years of 1999 and 2006 at an eye-popping $561,065. Victims should keep in mind, however, that this number is for verdicts decided by a jury after a motorcycle injury claim was successfully litigated by a skilled motorcycle accident attorney.
While this number doesn’t predict what you might receive from your accident claim, it does point to what your case may ultimately be worth. No other person truly understands the various ins and outs involved in a motorcycle accident claim quite like an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. If you’ve been unfairly hurt in a motorcycle accident, you should do yourself a favor and find the best personal injury attorney available to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries and losses.
Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyer – Seattle
You won’t find a better personal injury law firm in all of Washington State than the Advocates at Driggs, Bills & Day. Our attorneys know best how to get you just compensation for your motorcycle injury claim. We will do everything we can to make sure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible.
When you hire a personal injury attorney with the Advocates, you’re hiring an ally against stingy insurance companies who are only concerned with the bottom line of their profit margins. We’ll help you make them pay you a fair motorcycle accident settlement. You can either call our office at (206) 452-4200 for a free consultation or chat online immediately with a live injury lawyer from our homepage. Don’t wait to get the legal help you deserve. Contact our office today! You deserve an Advocate!
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