When you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash the impact can be devastating. Medical expenses, loss of income if you can’t work, and other costs can take a serious toll. When you have these bills to pay, you might be wondering what is the average settlement for a motorcycle accident? There isn’t a simple answer to this question because every motorcycle accident is different. No two settlements are exactly the same. That said, there is data from Thomson Reuters Jury Verdict Research for the years 1999-2006 that shows the median award in personal injury cases for motorcycle accidents was approximately $74,000. But, as you can see, this data is fairly old. And as noted before, every case is different. Some settlements may be far less and some may be much more. What your settlement could be worth depends on several things. How badly you were injured, how long your recovery might take, the type of insurance coverage you and the driver you crashed with have, and other things will all be taken into account.
An Attorney Can Help You Learn What’s a Good Settlement for a Motorcycle AccidentWhile learning about average awards can give you an idea of what’s a good settlement for a motorcycle accident, that won’t help you know what your own accident could be worth. You should consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer to get more specific settlement information about your own case. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will examine all of the evidence and damages you’ve suffered in your injury crash. They can also look at settlement amounts in cases with similar circumstances as yours to arrive at an amount to ask for. It’s always a good idea to talk with an attorney before you try to negotiate a settlement claim with an insurer. Skilled motorcycle accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies and their lawyers. You may be at a distinct disadvantage trying to negotiate on your own.
Understanding Damages in Motorcycle Accident CasesYour settlement amount will depend on how badly you were hurt and the losses, or damages, you’ve experienced. Damages in motorcycle accident cases include things like:
- Doctor bills, hospital costs and other medical expenses
- Medical costs for possible future treatment
- Lost wages if you’ve missed time off work
- Future lost income if you can’t work anymore or if you can work only in a more limited, and lower-paying capacity
- Pain and suffering for your physical and emotional trauma
- Punitive damages when extreme negligence caused the injury accident.
How Do Kentucky No-Fault Laws Affect Lawsuits?Insurance settlements in Kentucky can become quite complex because of the state’s no-fault insurance laws. In Kentucky, automobile drivers are required to carry personal injury protection insurance at a minimum of $10,000. This no-fault insurance pays auto drivers for their accidents no matter who is responsible. In many cases, it also prevents drivers from suing other drivers in court for their accidents. Kentucky drivers also have the option of opting out of this insurance. To opt out they must file a no-fault rejection form with the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Motorcyclists are not required by law to carry no-fault PIP insurance. However, there is a catch. If you don’t buy it, you must also opt out by filing the rejection form, even though you aren’t required to have it in the first place. If you don’t officially opt out and you are in an accident, you can’t recover that first $10,000 from the other driver’s PIP plan, even if the other driver caused your accident and serious injuries. You are also limited in your right to sue. This applies to both motorcycle operators and their passengers. Even if you have opted out and can collect from other drivers, they may not have enough insurance in their policy to pay for all of your damages. Or in some cases, the insurance company may refuse to settle with you for a satisfactory amount. When this happens, you might consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit. You can see that the laws surrounding insurance in Kentucky are complicated. A motorcycle accident attorney can tell you how they can affect the settlement value in your individual case. An attorney can also advise you about your options for a legal claim.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident to Get the Best Payout?It takes the right evidence to get the best payout possible after a motorcycle accident. Here are some things you should gather to help your insurance or personal injury claim. If you can’t physically gather them yourself because of your injuries, your attorney can help. Be sure to pull together these items:
- Copies of your doctor, hospital and other medical records
- A copy of the police report from the accident scene
- Contact information from witnesses to the accident
- Photographs of the accident scene, if possible, and of damage to your bike.