Factors That Most Impact the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement
After a motorcycle accident, many victims face large medical bills and other hurdles, such as the inability to return quickly to work. They need expensive medical care and rehabilitation, which puts additional financial stress on their families.
As experienced Denver motorcycle accident lawyers, we receive many questions from the public. Some revolved around the average motorcycle accident settlement a person can receive. This is an excellent question, which unfortunately does not have an easy answer.
Most settlements are private, so lawyers cannot disclose how much money their clients received. We could give you a number--$70,000—but it probably does not tell you much about what you can receive.
In this article, we’ll run through some of the most important factors that go into calculating a motorcycle accident settlement. If you have a question, give us a call.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT TOPICS COVERED HERE
- How Much are Your Injuries Worth?
- How Strong is Your Proof the Defendant is to Blame?
- How Large is the Defendant’s Insurance Policy?
- Ask Us Questions You May Have
Determining the “value” of injuries involves estimating how much a jury would award you if you went to trial. Most cases settle, but going to court is always a possibility if the settlement amount offered is too low.
What factors go into valuing a person’s injuries? Basically, you need to add up:
- Medical bills, including future medical care
- Lost wages and lost future wages, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job
- Property damage, to fix your motorcycle
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering are the hardest to estimate because they are subjective. But if you suffered permanent, disfiguring injuries, then you probably will receive more than if your injuries can heal in a couple of months.
How Strong Is Your Proof the Defendant Is to Blame?
You can only receive a settlement if the defendant was at fault for the accident. In some situations, fault will be clear cut. For example, you might have multiple witnesses who saw a motorist run a red light and crash into you. In other situations, it might be unclear whether you are partially to blame for the crash.
The stronger your evidence of fault, the more likely you can receive a top settlement. If the evidence is weaker, then the amount of compensation could be lower.
How Large Is the Defendant’s Insurance Policy?
You can’t receive $1 million in a settlement if the defendant has no way of paying that. In most accidents, the only money at play is the defendant’s insurance policy. Under Colorado law, a motorist must carry a minimum of $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance (up to $50,000 per accident). Many drivers only carry this much. Some motorists are even uninsured.
If you have suffered large losses, you can always sue the defendant personally. If you win at trial, you can then try to foreclose on some of his property. But this is risky, and as a practical matter, few victims receive more than what a defendant’s insurance policy can cover.
After a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced attorney by your side. Denver Trial Lawyers ® has represented many injured motorists, and we are prepared to help you, too. Give us a call to schedule a free initial consultation.