How does a motorcycle accident settlement work? Motorcycle accident victims will attest to the fact that such traumatic incidents are some of the worst things that can happen in life. The intense momentum of a motorcycle crash, coupled with a lack of padding or cushioning (via airbags) often leads to disaster.
While motorcyclists are more often than not held responsible for these accidents, they may not be at-fault in all cases. Accidents can happen due to the negligence of either side, and drawing conclusions without knowing the complete details will be too premature.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, you’ll have to gather your resources and get started with seeking fair compensation to the losses incurred upon you. Before you go on hiring resourceful motorcycle accident lawyers and taking the fight to the other party, it is important to understand how motorcycle accident settlements usually play out.
This article will explore the framework of a typical motorcycle accident claim and help you go through the settlement process with the insurance company, packing more confidence than otherwise.
Motorcycle accidents may result either due to the error of judgment on one part or deliberate negligence. In either case, the results are catastrophic, especially for the motorcyclist.
Since motorcycles are much smaller and less padded than other vehicles, the riders are usually on the brunt of the momentum resulting from a crash. This applies even when they are not at fault for the accident or are only partly at fault.
To understand how you can settle matters with the insurance company and how a motorcycle accident attorney might be able to help, you first need to explore the cause of such accidents. Here are a couple of the most common reasons for why motorcycle accidents happen:
Distracted Driving: Even if the driver distracts their gaze and attention from the road for no more than a couple of seconds, the results can be horrible. Texting while driving is one example of distracted driving and most teenage drivers have been reported doing so, and in several cases, the distraction led to accidents. While it is possible for motorcycle riders to get distracted too, more often than not, it is the other party who's to blame here.
Drunk Driving: This happens when a person behind the wheel, if they are of the legal drinking age, has more than the legal blood alcohol concentration, which often leads to accidents due to impairment of senses. Of course, if an accident happened and even a minor dose was found in the veins of the other party, this may become a factor. In such cases, the driver who got inebriated, the company they represent (if this happened with a company vehicle), and the alcohol provider, will all be complicit.
Unsafe Road Conditions: Sometimes it’s not so much the distractions or liquor that caused the accident but rather the road itself. Unsafe road conditions are nothing to be taken lightly and even if they did not directly cause your motorcycle crash, they may have factored in – making things worse for you. The governing body is held responsible in this regard, and in case you do plan on going after them, know that the statute of limitations in this arena is usually shorter than otherwise.
Technical Problems With The Motorcycle: If the motorcycle was not manufactured perfectly or lacked certain levels of safety features which are usually standard (i.e. poor braking system), then you will be able to ring the manufacturers to the table of accountability. Things can also go south after a not-so-thorough maintenance job, in which case the motorcycle maintenance crew will be questioned about their proficiency and sense of responsibility.
Error In Judgment: Sometimes, the drivers don’t have enough time to think things through and then react, thus a momentary slip of the brain is enough to cause serious crashes. Even though the accident resulted from nothing more than an innocent mistake, rather than deliberate negligence, the driver will still be brought to account. In such cases, however, the blame is usually (but not necessarily) shared, because, for a split second scenario, the other party may also have done something that put the at-fault driver in such a predicament – it can happen either way.
Violation of Traffic Laws: Cutting through lanes, over-speeding, aggressive driving, and engaging in other activities that may be construed as a violation of the traffic law are not uncommon on the streets. Such behavior often yields catastrophic results, for instance, at high velocity, a motorcycle accident can become dead-serious, the sheer disparity between the size of a humble bike and the massive vehicle at crashes into it is enough to send an enormous wave of collision force into both the ride and the rider. Violation of traffic laws may be no more than a minor offense but it can cause some serious problems when there is oncoming traffic.
The preceding section highlights some of the most common scenarios leading to motorcycle crashes – understanding these are important to judge how the settlement will work. Even an average motorcycle accident can leave the victim under mounting financial burden and incur some serious injuries on them.
Thus, the first step of any motorcycle accident settlement – that is resolving matters without a trial – will be to assess the damages and thus the value of your case.
The worth of your case is directly reflected in losses you suffered as a result of the said accident. Thus, your case does not have any value of its own, only what you suffered. This means that if you were involved in a serious crash, you can expect a bigger payout.
Motorcycle accident injuries include but are not limited to brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, muscle damage, internal organ damage, whiplash, lacerations, bruises, amputations, disfigurations, and much more.
Couple these painful experiences with the associated medical expenses and other staggering costs associated with your case such as property damage, and you’ve got a major crisis at hand.
Personal injury lawyers advise their clients to keep a hold onto every piece of evidence, from the accident scene and even later on (expenses and bills). This way, you will be able to sum up your losses and be able to justify your demands via the abundance of proof.
Pain and suffering is a very subjective thing. Accidents transform the lives of their victims for the better or worse; major crashes often leave victims with painful reminders of the sad day, for the rest of their lives.
Permanent disability or disfiguration will seriously impact the quality of life of any victim.
However, apart from the physical trauma, as tough as it can be, the mental side is no walk in the park either. In short: several factors can disturb the balance of your life after the accident even if this imbalance withers away with time.
Professional motorcycle accident lawyers can help you better explain your situation to insurance company representatives and secure a fair settlement. Insurance companies are usually reluctant to pay up, for obvious reasons, but if your narrative is consistent and you can back up your claims with evidence, the scales will be tipped in your favor.
The settlement sum usually depends on the insurance coverage of the other party. Thus, if your damages exceed the number that the defendant can cover either because they are uninsured or underinsured, you can expect some problems.
Of course, the uninsured motorist coverage of your insurance policy will be of help here (you will have to visit your own insurance company), and you do have the option of digging into the insurance policies of other responsible parties as well (if there were more than one). But in the end, your settlement will be capped by as much as the others can pay.
An experienced motorcycle accident legal team will be better able to come up with a fair sum, keeping all of these factors in mind.
This is a general rule here: For highly promising cases that assure the victims of victory if things go to court, the insurance adjusters will try to settle things as-is and offer fair settlements without the need of going through with personal injury trials.
Professional personal injury attorneys are your biggest asset in any accident case. Even if you plan on settling matters outside the court – a wise decision if you’re in desperate need of money, you will need the assistance of a dedicated legal team.
At, Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims, we have, for years, served our clients and ensured that we always put their interests before anything else in their personal injury claims. Ours is a reputable personal injury law firm, and we understand the financial burden associated with such events.
Thus, we will not pressure you into paying before you’ve won a settlement: that’s right – no upfront fees or advances.
Just give us a call, and we’ll handle the rest!