FAQs About Determining Your Damages After A Motorcycle Accident
Having an accident on a motorcycle does not mean that you are not entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Before filing a claim with the other party's insurance company, you need to determine how much your claim is worth. Your attorney will help to set the value, but it is important for you to understand the process. To help you do this, here is what you need to know:
Who Was at Fault?
One of the factors that can influence the worth of your claim is whether you were partially responsible for the accident. In some states, if the injured party is partially responsible, his or her claim could be denied or reduced to reflect the party's share of the responsibility. Often, this amounts to a percentage that is determined by examining the facts of the accident.
For instance, if you were rear-ended while waiting to turn on your motorcycle and had signaled your intent, the other driver would be responsible. However, if you stopped short to turn and failed to signal your intent, the other driver could claim you were partially responsible. If the law agrees that you and the other party equally share the responsibility, your settlement amount could be reduced by up to 50 percent.
What Were Your Damages?
Calculating the damages for a motorcycle accident are like the math to determine the value in a car accident. You must consider your physical injuries, pain and suffering, and the cost of repairing your motorcycle. If it is irreparable, then you must consider the fair market value of the motorcycle at the time of the accident.
Your lost earnings and earning capacity are also part of the considerations. For instance, if the accident has left you unable to work, your diminished ability to earn income would be factored into the settlement. Your attorney will help with determining how much is necessary for these losses.
Are You Settling?
Whether you are willing to settle has a great bearing on what your attorney initially requests in the settlement. If you are willing to negotiate—which your attorney will likely advise you to do—the amount that he or she asks for will be greater than you expected to receive. This allows your attorney the room necessary to negotiate a fair settlement.
However, if you are unwilling to negotiate and are prepared to go to court, the value of your claim could increase as additional attorney fees and court fees are added to the requested amount. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney for more information and assistance.