What Is the Process for Claiming Damages in a Motorcycle Crash?

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Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

March 4, 2022

Damages from a Motorcycle Accident and Your Claim

Despite the thrill of riding a motorcycle, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than car and truck passengers. Those who survive the first collision are often left with significant, life- changing injuries.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might have heard the words claiming damages or collecting damages but are confused about what they represent. Continue reading for additional information on the damages involved in motorcycle accidents, as well as the legal procedure for claiming them.

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What Are Motorcycle Accident Claims Damages?

In a legal case, such as a motorcycle injury lawsuit, damages related to the monetary payment made to the claimant for the expenses and effects on his or her life as a consequence of an accident caused by someone else’s irresponsible or reckless behavior.

Motorcycle accident lawsuits often seek two forms of compensation:

Damages for compensatory purposes: As the name implies, compensatory damages are meant to pay a person for incurred expenses (known as economic damages) as well as the life effects that a motorcycle accident victim has as a consequence of his or her injuries (known as non-economic losses).

The court may give this monetary compensation for compensatory damages or secure via a settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Compensatory damages are not considered income and hence are not taxed by the Internal Revenue Service.

Punitive measures: Punitive damages, unlike compensatory damages, are not paid to compensate for economic or non-economic suffering experienced as a consequence of the accident. Instead, the court awards punitive damages to penalize the offender for extremely dangerous actions.

A motorcycle accident case in which the at-fault person was driving intoxicated and very recklessly after having several past convictions for driving under the influence is an example of a case in which punitive damages might be considered. Punitive damages, unlike compensatory damages, are taxed since they are unrelated to reimbursement for the harm itself.

A Look at the Different Types of Damage Available After a Motorcycle Accident

What expenses may be claimed in the case of compensatory damages? Here are some instances of both economic and non-economic consequences of a motorcycle accident that are often mentioned in a monetary judgment or settlement.

Motorcycle Accidents’ Economic Costs

Non-economic damages, as previously stated, refer to real out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a consequence of the accident.

Medical expenses, including emergency care at the scene or in the emergency room; ambulance or air transfer to the hospital; diagnostic tests; medical or surgical services; hospitalization; prescription medication; physical therapy and rehabilitation It is also possible to claim the supply of prosthetic limbs or assistance aids such as a wheelchair or crutches.

Lost pay due to being unable to work after the accident or being obliged to skip work to attend an injury-related medical visit.

Loss of future earning potential. This type of damage is claimed when an individual suffers a permanent disability as a result of the accident, rendering him or her unable to perform the same job- related tasks as before the accident or even preventing the claimant from returning to any type of work as a result of his or her disabilities.

The expense of repairing or replacing the claimant’s goods, such as his or her motorcycle or motorcycle helmet, was damaged in the accident.

Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of altering the claimant’s house or car to meet his or her disability or transportation to and from medical appointments.

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are related to the detrimental effects of an accident on a person’s daily life. Non-economic losses that are routinely claimed after motorcycle accidents include:

Physical pain and suffering as a consequence of the accident’s injuries

Emotional anguish.

Loss of enjoyment of life is claimable harm if the injury prevents the claimant from participating in activities and interests that he or she formerly loved. For example, if the claimant liked hiking before his motorcycle accident but can no longer do so since he lost his leg in the accident, he might sue for loss of enjoyment of life.

Dissolution of the consortium. This is compensation for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship due to a major accident or permanent handicap on behalf of the injured person’s spouse.

Begin the Process: Obtaining the Services of a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Are hiring an expert attorney to give advice and fight for your right to be paid for your injuries after a motorcycle accident is a critical aspect of beginning the process of claiming damages. Many individuals are tempted to seek compensation for their injuries without the assistance of an attorney.

This is nearly always a mistake because the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will almost certainly try to avoid paying you totally or will provide you significantly less than your case is worth. Insurance firms are in the money-making industry. One method they achieve this is by avoiding substantial compensation to those wounded due to their insured’s thoughtless or reckless acts.

Insurance firms often seek to contact accident victims before they have even been released from the hospital. Speaking with an insurance company representative bears the danger of stating anything misconstrued as an official statement or raises doubts about who was responsible for the accident.

Another typical strategy insurance companies use to provide a rapid, cheap settlement in the expectation that the victim would be enticed by the amount given and the possibility to resolve the case swiftly. Unfortunately, these rapid settlements do not give enough money to pay all of the claimant’s expenses.

However, once the settlement is approved, the claimant cannot subsequently seek additional money if he or she finds that the compensation was insufficient. A competent attorney will appropriately evaluate your case to assist you in obtaining compensation based on the expenses and consequences you have incurred and will likely incur in the future due to your accident.

Motorcycle accident lawyers devote a significant amount of effort to understanding the law and the difficulties that their clients encounter in obtaining compensation. People who are not lawyers should not be expected to comprehend precise specifics regarding the legal procedure, such as the right jurisdiction to make your claim, the time restrictions given by the state for filing such claims, and other court formalities.

However, suppose you miss a deadline or fail to follow the right method for claiming damages. In that case, you may be limited in the amount of compensation you may obtain or may even be denied compensation entirely.

Your case is constrained by insurance. The quantity of insurance that the at-fault person possesses is one of the most crucial elements in your ability to collect compensation for your damage. While it is feasible to file a motorcycle accident injury case and achieve a judgment against an uninsured defendant, collecting your award will be challenging since most uninsured defendants do not have the money to pay for someone’s medical bills out of pocket.

A competent attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to establish all sources of culpability and insurance resources that may be used to properly pay you.

Calculating the Value of Your Motorcycle Accident Case

As previously said, your motorcycle accident attorney will attempt to determine the worth of your case. This is accomplished by using the formula below.

Economic damages are easy to measure since they entail real monetary expenses. Your attorney will total those charges based on the data you give, such as medical bills or the estimated cost of repairing  or replacing your motorcycle.

Your medical providers can assist you in estimating the cost of future medical bills based on the severity of your injuries, your prognosis, and the cost of operations you will most likely need in the future. Your pay stubs will be used to calculate lost earnings. You may utilize your prior year’s tax returns or invoices for your services if you are self-employed.

The loss of future earning capacity is assessed by calculating the amount of monetary compensation and benefits you would have earned if you continued working in the industry and in the position you had before the accident.

Insurers often calculate non-economic losses by taking the total of your economic damages and multiplying it by a value between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier utilized increases with the severity of the accident.

The whole sum of economic losses and non-economic damages are combined. It should be noted that this does not take into account a possible punitive damages judgment, which a jury may consider at trial.

How to Negotiate a Motorcycle Accident Settlement

Once your attorney has appropriately evaluated your case, he or she may file a motorcycle injury lawsuit on your behalf, gather evidence and witness testimony to assist you to show guilt and expenses, and begin the process of negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Negotiating a settlement takes time because of: the length of time it takes to achieve maximal medical improvement. The moment you have achieved as much physical recovery from your injuries as you can likely ever make, even if you continue to get therapy, is referred to as maximum medical improvement.

While it is feasible to compute your losses before reaching maximal medical improvement, this is the optimum time to show your spending. By this time, you should have a decent understanding of how the injury will affect your life, which will help your attorney determine the worth of your case.

Concerns about responsibility. Most states enable a person to claim damages even if they were somewhat to blame for the accident that caused their injuries. On the other hand, having any guilt will normally limit the number of damages you may collect.

The insurance company will almost always claim that your guilt in the accident was more than it was and will use this as an excuse not to appropriately reimburse you.

At the time of the accident, your general health. Another tactic used by insurance firms to lessen their insured’s responsibility is to claim that your injuries result from pre-existing conditions.

Your attorney will require time to gather the facts needed to demonstrate that the activities of the at- fault party were, in fact, the cause of your expenses and damages.

Your endurance. Initial settlement offers are often modest in value and increase in value as the matter approaches a courtroom. Paying the expensive expenses of litigation, with the possibility of having to pay your claim as well, is something insurance companies dislike even more than paying out on third- party claims.

The fairest settlement offer is often given right before litigation starts or even after the trial has begun but before the jury issues a verdict. Your attorney will present you with the information you need to make an informed decision about any settlement, and whether or not you accept that deal is ultimately up to you.

Seek the advice of a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorney.

The great majority of motorcycle accident cases are settled before ever entering a trial. That being said, your attorney should be as comfortable and confident in representing you in court as he or she is in achieving a fair settlement via negotiations, which is the last option and ultimate step in a motorcycle accident claim. There is no way to predict the result of a motorcycle accident case, and litigation is always an option.

If you want further information about your case, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in your area right away for a free consultation.

What Should You Do After Suffering a Brain Injury in a Motorcycle Accident?

According to the Colorado Department of Highway Safety and Motor Cars, there were 8,706 motorcycle collisions in 2018, with 497 deaths. Biking is a popular sport for fans in Colorado because of the lovely weather, but riding a motorcycle is dangerous.

Because motorcyclists have little to no protection in the event of an accident, life-changing and deadly injuries are prevalent.

Brain damage is perhaps one of the worst injuries a person may incur in a motorcycle accident. When motorcycle accident victims have moderate to severe brain damage, they may face long-term challenges due to the injury.

You may have been informed you have a TBI after sustaining a brain injury in a motorcycle accident, but you aren’t sure what happened to your body or what your prognosis is. For people who have experienced a brain injury in a motorcycle accident, this guide includes in-depth information on brain injuries, including how they arise, typical symptoms, long-term effects, and treatment choices.

What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a brain injury, also known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), happens when the brain’s normal function is disturbed “by a bump, blow, or shock to the head, or a penetrating head injury” (CDC). Moderate TBIs, also known as concussions, vary in intensity from mild to severe TBIs, which may leave a sufferer unconscious or in a lifelong vegetative condition.

When a motorcycle accident happens, motorcyclists, particularly those who do not wear helmets, are at a greater risk of brain damage. It’s fairly unusual for a motorcyclist to be thrown from their motorcycle and hit their head on the ground due to the impact of an accident, particularly one at high speeds.

Motorcycle Accidents Cause Various Brain Injuries

TBIs are classified into five categories by medical specialists, each with its unique set of issues. During your motorcycle accident, you may have experienced one or more of these.

Concussion

The most frequent kind of TBI is a concussion. Although minor concussions may recover, many do not, significant concussions can leave a motorcycle accident victim with long-term problems. A concussion is most usually the consequence of a direct hit to the head or abrupt movement at the impact of an accident. Concussions may produce long-term effects; however, many people recover after a few months or years of therapy.

Contusion

Bikers who directly hit the head in a motorcycle accident are in danger of a contusion. This is a nice word for a bruise, but it means brain hemorrhage. When surgeons need to remove big contusions that exert pressure on the brain following a brain injury in a motorcycle accident, surgery is a routine procedure.

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