EVALUATING DAMAGES IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS
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In 2018, an estimated 82,000 motorcyclists were injured in a crash. After an accident, victims may suffer from serious injuries and face financial burdens from medical bills, lost wages, and motorcycle repairs. To seek the compensation that victims may deserve, it is important to evaluate the damages and value of a case.
The motorcycle accident personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing motorcycle accident victims and helping them determine the compensation they may be entitled to after an accident. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with motorcycle accident lawyers.
Calculating Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident may leave victims with physical, emotional, and long-lasting damages. When another person is responsible for a victim’s injuries after a motorcycle accident, they may be held responsible and have to pay for the harm they have caused.
There are different categories of damages, but in general, the amount of money victims may be able to seek in a motorcycle accident will depend on the extent of their injuries and damage to their property. Accident victims may be able to recover the following damages:
Economic damages include the tangible financial damages that can be assigned a number. economic damages include:
When you’re injured in a motorcycle accident and need treatment, there may be many tests, appointments, and prescriptions that are needed. Medical bills may also include emergency room visits, follow-up appointments, x-rays, crutches, and prescription medication costs, among others.
Your injuries may require physical or occupational therapy to help you recover. It can take months or years of rehabilitation to help you achieve the level of health and mobility you had prior to your accident.
Mental health treatment
In some cases, victims may suffer from psychological injuries as well as physical injuries. If you have expenses related to treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, or other mental health injuries from your accident, the treatment you receive may be a recoverable expense.
When you have to take time off of work to recover from your injuries, you may miss out on a significant amount of money that you would have been able to earn if you weren’t injured. Economic damages take this into account and may allow you to recover this money.
Loss of earning capacity
In serious injury cases, you may be unable to return to work or to return to your previous position because of your injuries. In many cases, experts will be needed to calculate the exact amount of the potential future income you could have earned.
Although non-economic damages may be harder to calculate, they can oftentimes have more value than economic damages. These damages could include:
Pain and suffering
A motorcycle accident can cause victims to suffer. The pain of resetting a broken bone, undergoing surgery, and extensive rehabilitation can all be considered in determining the extent to which a victim suffered.
Loss of companionship
When a victim is seriously injured or killed, spouses, partners, children, and parents may feel as though their lives have been turned upside down. When victims cannot provide their family with the same level of love, affection, or comfort that they provided before the accident, there may be a loss of companionship claim.
There is a wide variety of damages that may be considered emotional distress, but it generally is designed to compensate victims for the psychological impact that their accident caused. It could include problems such as the inability to fall sleeping or feeling anxious.
In cases where a defendant is seriously reckless or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded in some circumstances. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future. However, not all states allow victims to pursue punitive damages. A motorcycle accident personal injury attorney may be able to assist you in determining whether your state allows punitive damages.
How to Maximize the Damages You May Be Able to Seek
After a motorcycle accident, the more proof that you can provide of how the accident occurred, such as the amount that your medical treatment and injuries cost, time taken off work, and damage to your motorcycle, the greater your chance is of recovering these expenses. Whether you reach a settlement with the other party’s insurance company or go to trial, receipts and records will be relied on to help determine a fair compensation amount. To help ensure you are able to seek the compensation you deserve, you should take the following steps after your accident:
Document Your Damage
As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of the damage to your motorcycle and any injuries you sustained in the accident. You should also take pictures throughout the healing process for your injuries to help demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
Obtain the Police Report
If a police officer responded to your accident, he or she will have filled out an accident report. If you were not given a copy at the scene of the accident, call the police department to ask for a copy of the accident report or how to access this report once it becomes available. This report may help demonstrate how the accident occurred and which party may be responsible for the accident.
Document Your Expenses
One of the most important items that you can do to help maximize the compensation you can recover is to document and track all of your expenses related to the motorcycle accident. This could include receipts and paperwork related to:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractor bills
- Documented time taken off from work due to any injuries
- Receipts for the repair or replacement of your motorcycle
- Receipts for a rental motorcycle while yours is being repaired
What a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Do for You
Our motorcycle accident personal injury attorneys are here to help walk you through every step of the process. This may include ensuring you receive proper medical treatment, investigating the accident, interviewing witnesses, collecting crash reports, negotiating with the insurance company, filing a lawsuit, and going to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law Group, we can help you determine the damages you are entitled to and may work to help ensure you do not pay for a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will be affected by factors such as the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle.
Can I Still Recover If I Am Partially Responsible for Causing the Accident?
Even if you believe you may be partially at fault for causing the accident, you may still be entitled to recover money. Each state has its own laws on whether a party can recover damages in a motorcycle accident even if they were partially responsible for the accident. Determining fault and recovery can be complicated, but an experienced motorcycle accident attorney may help navigate the process for you.
Will My Motorcycle Be Repaired or Declared a Total Loss?
After an accident, if the motorcycle is damaged, the choice will usually have to be made to repair or replace your bike. There are many factors that go into deciding which option makes sense in your situation, but insurers will often look at the age of the vehicle, the extent of the damages, and the current value of the motorcycle.
Sometimes, insurance companies will declare a motorcycle a total loss even when riders would rather pay to have the bike repaired. It depends on your state and insurance company, but when it costs more to repair the bike than to replace it, insurance companies will typically pay the lowest amount possible.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and want to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. Each state sets its own statute of limitations, so it will depend on how much time you have to file a claim for your injuries. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you navigate the filing timeline and help you receive the compensation you may deserve.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Motorcycle Accident Cases
At Zinda Law Group, our motorcycle accident attorneys have helped many crash victims seek compensation after suffering an injury. We have the knowledge and resources to help you calculate the damages you may have suffered and want to assist you in seeking compensation for those damages.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you injured in a motorcycle accident and need a lawyer, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. Check out our blog for more helpful resources.
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