A motorcycle accident settlement usually comes about when you make an injury claim after a motorcycle accident. In Fall River, MA, you can file a personal injury lawsuit or a third party insurance claim against the person that caused the accident.
In most cases, your Fall River motorcycle accident lawyer will advise you to settle out of court whereby the person at fault for the accident will pay you an agreed amount to compensate you for damages resulting from the accident.Only when both parties are not able to come to an agreement, will your lawyer decide to take the case to court and pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
How to Protect Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement
If you get into a motorcycle accident, there are certain steps that you must take in order to ensure that you get a fair settlement that covers all your losses and your medical bills as well. Below are four steps you should take to ensure this happens:
1. Gather Evidence
Collect as much evidence from the scene of the accident. Take photos of the accident and any damages from as many angles as possible. Don’t forget to take photos of your injuries as well. Get witness statements and if possible, their contacts. If police arrive at the scene request to get a copy of the police report once it’s generated.
2. Get Medical Help
We have seen several motorcycle accident victims hesitate to go to the hospital because they thought their injuries were not severe enough only to start feeling pain a few hours or a few days later. Not all injuries are immediately noticeable and that is why it is important to always seek medical attention after an accident to ascertain there are no internal injuries.
Additionally, showing documentation that you went to seek medical attention as soon as possible, will help protect your settlement in that, the insurer will see that your injuries warranted you to go to the hospital. Otherwise, if you went to the hospital after several days, the insurer might argue that your injuries weren’t severe and so your compensation will be much less than it should be.
3. Document Your Damages
Make sure that you indicate all your injuries, your losses and cost of medical treatment in relation to the accident. Have copies of your medical bills, motorcycle repair estimates, property damage estimates, lost income, and so on. If your injuries are severe, you should keep a journal documenting how your social, emotional and physical health is being affected by them.
4. Contact a Fall River, MA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If your injuries weren’t severe, you may not need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer but if you had to undergo intensive medical treatment, it’s in your best interest to talk to a qualified lawyer to help you with your case.
At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we can help you avoid a low-ball settlement especially if the insurance company is disputing liability or questioning how serious your injuries are.
How Much is Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement Going to be?
This will depend on a lot of factors:
1. Liability and Damages
If you feel the other person was the reason for the accident, then it’s upon you to back this claim with solid evidence. If you cannot prove that they were responsible, then the value of your case won’t be much. Also, if neither you nor the other person was negligent, then your case won’t be worth very much because the other party doesn’t owe you anything.
If your injuries weren’t severe, the amount of compensation you will receive will be lower than if your injuries were severe.
2. Settling Outside Court vs. Trial
The settlement value of a motorcycle accident case will be much lower if you settle it outside court. If your Fall River motorcycle accident lawyer recommends that you settle the case outside the courtroom, it’s because they know you have a higher chance of losing the case at trial. Your lawyer will take your case to court if they know you have a higher chance of winning.
You might be tempted to push your lawyer to take your case to trial because you want higher compensation. However, you must take into account the amount of work that’s involved in taking a case to trial. First, your lawyer needs to hire an expert witness such as an economic expert who can calculate your lost wages. They also need to prepare necessary paperwork for your case. And it might take longer for you to be compensated considering trials take up a lot of time.
Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Calculate the Value of Your Damages
There are two types of damages in personal injury cases:
- Special damages
- General damages
Special damages are damages that you can calculate easily. These include present and lost income, medical bills, property damage estimates and so on. Anything that you can calculate an exact dollar amount can be categorized as special damages.
General damages on the other hand does not have an exact calculation because there are no guidelines for measuring them. For instance, it’s hard to put an exact dollar amount on pain and suffering as compared to physical suffering. In determining the value of general damages, a judge will instruct the jury to use their experience in determining pain and suffering and good sense.
Calculating past lost earnings is relatively easy because all we have to do is add up your employment benefits and earnings you lost during the period you weren’t working.
As for future earnings, we need to hire an economic expert to calculate future earning capacity. They will take into account work life expectancy. This is the number of years that a person is reasonably expected to work based on sex, race and age.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one have been in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation. We have offices in over 18 locations and we have helped clients get the justice that they deserve.