Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amount
An injured motorcyclist recently asked a question online about the best way to settle his
highsider motorcycle accident case. The asker wanted to know if he should hire a personal injury lawyer or whether he could easily settle the case by himself, save on the lawyer's fee, and net more money. He suggested that, at any time, a lawyer would merely need to write a demand letter to the other driver's insurance company to obtain a fair
motorcycle accident settlement amount. He figured that he could do the same, if only he knew how to value his case.
Another very interesting detail from the question is that the injured rider's mother has apparently worked for a personal injury attorney for many years as a paralegal. His mother had been advising him on how to proceed and despite her significant experience in the personal injury industry, she didn't tell her son to speak to a lawyer. I have to admit, I'm surprised by this detail. Most industry insiders know that when a lawyer gets involved on behalf of an injured rider, the case's value will usually increase.
Facts of the Accident
The motorcyclist explained that he was badly injured on his bike when a vehicle made an illegal turn in front of him, cutting him off and forcing him to quickly swerve his bike into the opposite lanes. Due to the bike's sudden oversteer and abrupt change in traction, the rider was catapulted over his bike in a highside accident. He hit the ground hard and skid nearly 30 yds.
The rider was taken to the E.R. where he was diagnosed with motorcycle accident injuries including, concussion, contusions throughout his body, and back sprain. He was lucky to be alive because highsider motorcycle accidents can cause fatalities. He must have been wearing a helmet.
Months later, the rider was still experiencing pain from his injuries and despite chiropractic care and physical therapy, he still had not fully recovered.
I would Never Recommend Settling a Case if you haven't Completed Treating
The question asker mentioned that he wanted to settle his case soon and because he was in a hurry, he would even be willing to settle his case before receiving a final injury prognosis from a medical doctor. This would be a mistake.
The point of personal injury law is to receive compensation for your damages. If you don't know how long you're going to suffer from your injury, then you don't know what your case is worth.
Personal Injury Settlement Calculator – A Great Way to Get Nowhere Fast
This injured rider, who seemingly has a case of excellent liability, mentioned that he was using personal injury calculators that are readily available online, and he was number-crunching theoretical settlement figures. He thought personal injury claims are as simple as computing medical bills, vehicle damage, and lost income, and then entering into negotiations with the negligent driver's insurance company; demanding high, expecting a low counter offer and finally meeting somewhere in the middle.
Realistically, that's not how personal injury claims play out. For example, it is common for the insurance company to dispute the reasonableness of a particular course of treatment from one of the accident victim's chosen medical providers. To the victim, this may seem unusual because they believe the provider was necessary to help them rehabilitate. This type of dispute is all too common and it is precisely one of the reasons personal injury attorneys should handle motorcycle accident settlement claims. An attorney would either explain to their client why the disputed medical treatment will be seen as not reasonably related to the bike crash or they would prepare to prove the causal connection of the medical treatment to the accident in litigation.
I've played around with online accident claim calculators and they are obviously not programmed by experienced personal injury attorneys. They leave out variables like whether the rider's medical treatment was covered by private health insurance, whether accident liability is in dispute, and exactly what kind of injuries were sustained. Learn more about other important variables that are missing from
personal injury settlement calculators.
What I would Say about Motorcycle Accident Settlements to the Rider
Every accident is different. Minor case details can affect its value. As a motorcycle accident attorney in the San Fernando Valley, I have a lot of experience in evaluating cases. Part of the evaluation process requires an objective assessment of how the accident occurred, who is at fault, and how the injuries that were suffered by the motorcyclist in the accident manifested over time. Also, and probably most important, how can the damages be proven?
One of the most important skills that an experienced personal injury attorney possesses is the knowledge of when to prepare a demand package to send to the insurance company. Too soon and you risk leaving money on the table and probably setting yourself up to not receive adequate compensation for your losses. This would be a most undesirable result. Especially because you have probably been made to suffer a great deal because of your accident.
If personal injury law was as simple as writing demand letters, then I wouldn't be in business. Personal injury lawyers value a settlement demand based on what they believe they can prove if a case were to go to trial. Insurance companies also factor in the cost and complexity of trial for a given case when they suggest a value for a settlement. Because insurance companies know that an unrepresented motorcycle accident victim will not sue them if they don't receive a fair settlement offer, the insurance companies will give them low ball offers. That's the reality.
To make sure that you can get adequately compensated for your injuries and damages, you should call a lawyer before you speak to the insurance company. The insurance company will only try to minimize your suffering. There are many more factors to be analyzed. That's why you should find a lawyer that you trust so that they can evaluate your case from a professional standpoint and offer suggestions on how best to proceed.
I offer FREE case evaluations for injured motorcycle riders and passengers. CALL me at Jacob Regar Law today to learn about your rights and the steps that you need to take to protect them. When you're injured in an accident, you don't have to fight the insurance companies alone. And you don't have to guess what your case is worth.
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