How Much is Your Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?
While we try to explain things to our clients in plain English and avoid lawyerly answers, we are afraid that we have to resort to the old legal standby and answer this question with “it depends.” There is no one set answer that can tell you what your case is worth. It all depends on the particular facts of your case.
The Elements of a Motorcycle Accident Claim
When you file a claim for compensation, you can expect the following to be a part of the settlement or jury award that you receive:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Physical impairment
- Payment for damages to your property
Some categories of these damages can be quantified with more certainty than others. For example, payment of your medical bills and damage to your motorcycle may be more clear-cut than other classes of damages.
Motorcycle Accident Claim Valuation Is Subjective
However, there is always some subjectivity in motorcycle accident cases. For example, even something that seems to be easily quantifiable, such as lost wages, could be subjective because the insurance company could feel that your earnings have been reduced less than you are claiming.
There is even more subjectivity when it comes to things like pain and suffering. Parties could have completely different viewpoints about things like pain and suffering and emotional distress. Of course, the insurance company or defendant will almost always have a lower estimate than yours. This is part of why you need a motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to value these elements of your claim properly.
If you are looking for a rule of thumb about how much your claim is worth, it is that your case is almost always more valuable than the insurance company initially says. They are often trying to get away with making you a lower offer to see what you would be willing to accept. Insurance companies are businesses that are out for their bottom line, and they are not trying to give you one extra penny.
As a claimant, you need to recognize that your case may be worth more if you go to trial. However, very few motorcycle accident cases will actually proceed to a full hearing. There is a reason for that. It is usually in everyone’s best interests to settle the case. Plaintiffs will usually accept somewhat less than the absolute full value of their case in order to be assured of an expedient financial recovery and receive it quicker. For their part, insurance companies recognize that settlements are their way of managing their risk of juries that could make large awards.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you think that you have a strong case, you still need an attorney to help with your motorcycle accident claim, especially if the insurance company is talking settlement figures. At Jahrmarkt & Associates, we fight for our clients to receive top dollar for their claims. Contact us online or call us at (310) 226 7676 to schedule your free initial consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.