Motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high in America.
With more bikers on the road, though, there’s also been an increase in motorcycle accidents. If you’ve been in a crash, you’re likely wondering what your claim is worth. How much is a good settlement for a motorcycle accident, anyway?
The short answer is that a good settlement pays you back for every loss the accident caused.
The long answer varies, because each claim gets analyzed on a case-by-case basis. While we can’t give you an exact number, we can explain what factors will impact your settlement. Read on to get informed.
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
The first thing that you need to consider is the severity of your injuries. A good settlement amount will provide compensation for your medical bills and expenses. If you didn’t need medical care, then the value of your claim won’t be that high.
You likely will need some sort of medical care, though. That’s because you should visit the doctor after a motorcycle crash regardless of how bad it was. Read on to learn the basic steps you should take after any type of crash.
Like car accidents, you need to call the police after a motorcycle accident. Let the authorities document the crash with an official police report.
Taking this step protects your rights to compensation. Without a police report, you may not be able to prove an accident even happened! That means your settlement could vanish before you even get started on your claim.
While the police document the crash, head to the hospital. Even if you think the crash wasn’t that bad, you could be under the influence of adrenaline. Adrenaline often masks serious injuries.
Save a copy of your medical bill from your visit. You should also ask for a copy of any medical diagnosis you get, too.
If you take those steps, your rights to compensation should be secure. In general, more severe injuries mean more extensive medical care. That means more medical expenses and, in turn, more compensation for your crash.
2. The Extent of Your Property Loss
The next factor that impacts the value of your settlement is the extent of your property loss. Due to the size of motorcycles, they’re often pretty banged up after an accident. This is especially true if you collided with a vehicle.
Calculate the extent of your property loss by taking your bike into a repair shop.
Before you take this step, speak to your insurance company. They may want you to bring your bike to a specific shop. Generally, if the repairs to your bike would cost more than 80% of its value, it’ll get deemed a total loss.
A good settlement amount balances out the costs of losing or fixing your bike.
3. The Impact on Your Career
Before the crash, was your motorcycle your main means of transportation? If so, then you might not be able to get back and forth from work. On top of that, your injuries may have prevented you from going back, too.
A good settlement amount will compensate you for any loss of income you endure.
So, how do you calculate the value of your lost wages? First, talk with your employer and determine your average weekly or hourly pay. Then, calculate how much time you have missed since the accident.
Use these numbers to calculate your immediate wage loss.
Do you think you’ll lose future income, too? Will your injuries prevent you from ever returning to your career? That’s one sign that indicates when to get an attorney. A lawyer will help you determine a fair settlement amount for that type of situation.
4. How the Crash Impacted Your Life
Your settlement award may hinge on losses that are hard to quantify. For example, will your injuries prevent you from performing family-related duties? Have your relationships suffered? As a result of your crash, are you now depressed or anxious?
If the crash impacted your life, you deserve more compensation.
5. The Other Driver’s Behavior
The other driver’s behavior can make a difference, too. While it’s not very common, courts can and will punish a careless driver by increasing your award.
This award comes in the form of punitive damages.
Courts use these penalties to deter drivers from acting the same way in the future. If you think the other driver’s behavior was extreme, then you might want a bigger settlement. This is especially possible if the other driver was drunk or impaired at the time of the crash.
6. Your State’s Laws
Your state’s laws will also have a major impact on the settlement amount you can get. Courts in your state either operate under contributory or comparative negligence standards.
Contributory negligence means that your level of fault makes a huge difference. If your actions played a role in the accident, then you can’t collect a settlement. The good news is that not too many states use these harsh standards.
Comparative negligence states are much more lenient. You can still seek out damages even if you contributed to the crash. In most cases, your settlement award gets reduced by your percentage of fault.
Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence system.
How Much is a Good Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?
So, how much is a good settlement for a motorcycle accident? In a nutshell, compensation that pays you back for your losses is a fair amount to expect. Anything less means that you’ll bear some of the costs of the accident.
If your losses aren’t straight forward, then it’s best to consult with an attorney. No one can place a monetary value on losses like permanent disability or the loss of life. We can help you determine how to value your claim if you suffered those types of losses.
Call us now at 312-945-0158 to talk about your motorcycle accident and your legal options.