Receiving compensation after a motorcycle accident that was not your fault will not erase your injuries, but it can help give you medical and financial peace of mind. However, determining what price counts as “fair” compensation can be tricky.
What is the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
Some settlement cases may result in a few thousand dollars, while others may result in as much as a few million dollars. Consult a motorcycle accident lawyer to understand better where your case falls on this scale.
Keep in mind, no two motorcycle accidents are the same. So while it may be helpful to learn about motorcycle accident settlements, be aware that many factors may separate yours from past settlements.
Any of these factors may affect your settlement value:
- The extent or severity of your injuries
- Personal details, such as age, life expectancy, or occupation
- Types and amount of insurance coverage you and the other driver have
- Events surrounding the crash itself
- Whether you hold any degree of liability for the crash
Of the factors on that list, insurance coverage is a hugely influential factor. Bodily injury liability and uninsured/ underinsured motorist insurance are the two types that commonly affect settlement amounts.
What Do “Fair” Motorcycle Accident Settlements Cover?
Motorcycle accident settlements are about receiving compensation for your injuries, but putting a price tag on those injuries can be difficult. ‘Fair’ is a subjective term that each party interprets differently.
Damages from the accident are generally sorted into three categories in order to help quantify injuries:
- Economic Damages – Also known as special damages, these cover economic costs resulting from the accident; examples include medical bills, physical therapy, short- or long-term care, wage loss, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages – Also known as general damages, these cover losses that don’t have specific associated costs; examples include pain and suffering, mental distress, depression, and loss of companionship.
- Punitive Damages – These damages may be awarded in cases of extreme negligence or recklessness, such as drunk driving; they “punish” the liable party rather than compensate you for losses.
Though all three types of damages are significant, economic damages are especially vital to your case because they cover present and future losses. Correctly estimating monetary damages ensures your needs will be met for the rest of your life, rather than just the next few years.
How Can I Maximize My Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
Though some factors of your case are out of your control, there are several strategies you can leverage to maximize your motorcycle accident settlement and ensure it’s as fair as possible.
One of the best ways to maximize your settlement is to seek medical treatment and keep a detailed record of your treatment and related expenses. Besides being essential to your health and wellbeing (doctors will be able to identify and treat any injuries right away), this also ensures you have a record of your trauma and prevents insurance companies from downplaying your injuries.
Another way to maximize your settlement is to hire legal representation. An attorney specializing in motorcycle accident settlements will provide legal advice, such as what the process will look like and whether or not a settlement offer is reasonable (hint: the first offer usually isn’t).
A third strategy is to avoid social media, however difficult it may be. Insurance companies will be on the lookout for any “evidence” that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Even posts as mundane as hanging out with friends or going out to dinner can become fodder.
[Image via Pexels]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]