Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence on the road. Though they can be thrilling to ride, they also come with a significant amount of risk. Riders are more likely than those in cars to be injured in an accident, and when these accidents happen, the victims often need to file a motorcycle accident settlement. That’s why it’s important to understand how these settlements work so that you can be prepared in the event that you’re ever involved in an accident.
1. The Value Of Your Case
The reason for even starting a motorcycle accident settlement is, of course, to recover money damages. This is important because not only is it likely that your motorcycle will be damaged, but receiving compensation for your injuries will also help you pay off your medical bills. There are a few factors that go into assessing the value of your case. However, before going into the more universal ones, it’s important to note that your location will have a big impact on how much you can expect to receive in damages. In other words, a good settlement for a motorcycle accident in Sacramento will not be the same as a good settlement in San Francisco. Your state’s comparative negligence laws will also come into play. That said, the common factors that will affect the value of your case are:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of your medical bills
- The amount of time you missed from work
- Whether or not you can return to work
- The motorcycle value
As you can see, a lot goes into assessing the value of your motorcycle accident case. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you understand the worth of your case and get you the settlement you deserve.
2. The Insurance Process
After you’ve been in an accident, the first step is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It’s important to note that you should never give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to a lawyer first. The insurance adjuster will likely try to lowball you on your settlement offer, and if you’re not careful, you could end up accepting an offer that’s far less than your case is actually worth. Once you’ve filed a claim, the insurance company will open an investigation into the accident. They may try to contact you to get more information about what happened. It’s important that you do not speak to them without your lawyer present. The insurance company will also likely try to contact any witnesses to the accident to get their side of the story. Once the insurance company has all the information they need, it will make a settlement offer. Again, it’s important that you’re positive that you want to accept the offer before you sign anything. Once you accept, you will likely not be able to get more money from the insurance company, no matter how much your medical bills end up being.
3. Different Types Of Motorcycle Accident Settlements
There are a few different types of motorcycle accident settlements that you may be offered. The first is a lump-sum settlement. This is where the insurance company offers you a one-time payment for your injuries. The second type of settlement is a structured settlement. This is where the insurance company agrees to make periodic payments to you over time, rather than a lump sum. The third type of settlement is a hybrid settlement, which is a combination of the two. It’s important to discuss with your lawyer what type of settlement would be best for you, given your unique circumstances. The lump-sum is usually preferred in cases where the injuries are relatively minor and the victim doesn’t expect to have any future medical expenses. However, if the injuries are more serious or if there is a good chance that the victim will need future medical care, then a structured settlement may be a better option.
4. Case Time Estimate
It usually takes about a year for a motorcycle accident case to settle. However, there are some cases that take longer and some that settle more quickly. Your lawyer will be able to give you a better estimate once they have a better understanding of your case. The factors that go into determining how long a case will take to settle include the severity of the injuries, the amount of evidence that needs to be gathered, and whether or not the insurance company is willing to negotiate. Of course, this will also depend on how cooperative the at-fault driver is being. If they are uncooperative or if they refuse to give a recorded statement, then it will likely take longer for the case to settle.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into understanding how motorcycle accident settlements work. It’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand the value of your case and get you the settlement you deserve. The important thing to remember is that you’re more than likely to receive damages if the accident wasn’t your fault, so you should never hesitate to seek the medical attention you need.