If you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim, you are perhaps wondering how much the case of yours might be worth. In any given motorcycle accident, there are lots of unique factors to predict its outcome with regards to a dollar figure. Below discussed are the main considerations when trying to value the motorcycle accident case.
Overcoming Bias as well as Prejudice against Injured Motorcyclists
A preconceived judgment or one with a personal bias should never play a role in compensating one who is injured in a motorcycle accident, but there is no escaping human nature. Several people distrust the motorcyclists; naturally, the jury members are not exempt from this bias. They may be less likely to give out handsome verdict to them as opposed to the car’s driver or passenger. Insurance adjusts are also aware of this prejudice, and may decrease their settlement offer fittingly. Because of this reason, the whole burden of making a concrete accident case and proving the important matters described hereunder becomes more important for the injured motorcyclist.
How the Parties Usually Value a Potential Accident Case
To “value” the case means to come up with the best possible guess at what the jury might grant the plaintiff and guess what the defendant would be willing to pay. This also means to figure out what you/the plaintiff would eventually be willing to settle for prior to trial. That is a lot for you to keep track of. However, the two main factors in valuing it are your damages’ extent, meaning how bad the accident was as well as how major the consequent injuries are, as well as how likely the jury will find the defendant responsible.
The Damages of the Plaintiff
Estimating the potential outcome of the case is quite tough due to one major reason. At the trial, it will most likely be the jury, which eventually decides how much the defendant has to pay the injured party/motorcyclist/plaintiff.
Personal injury damages such as lost wages and medical bills are relatively easier to predict since concrete costs such as these will mostly be based upon the amount the plaintiff illustrates she or he has lost or paid and/or will continue to lose or pay. For subjective and less concrete damages such as your “pain and suffering”, predictions at best are an educated guess based upon awards in similar accident cases that unfolded in the past. Since each case and jury is different from one another, even the best of analysts will only predict the said less concrete damages in a broad range.
How the accident affects a specific plaintiff is key too in valuing the damages. For instance, if he or she is left with a limp, but earlier was an extremely active person who preferred taking part in a range of sports as well as outdoor activities, then his or her damages based upon “loss of quality of life” will possibly be higher in the jury’s eyes. However, if they had been relatively inactive physically prior to the permanent injury, it might lead to a less value. In case the accident left the plaintiff disabled in such a way that does not really affect his or her livelihood, their damages for the lost earnings potential will be lower than one whose livelihood is affected by the accident.
The Defendant in the Accident Case is Found Responsible for it
The other main factor in valuing the case is the possibility that the defendant party is found responsible at the trial for the motorcycle accident. If the other party has little or no proof showing that the defendant was responsible for his or her injuries, then the case’s value goes down big time.
Even if the possible damages are high, the defendant will be relatively less willing to settle as well as be more inclined to taking their chances at the trial especially when their fault is clearly in question. Likewise, the plaintiff party will be more inclined to settle for a low amount since he or she runs the risk of taking home nothing at the trial.
One more factor that affects the predictions of whether the jury will find one liable for the accident is the fact that by and large juries are unfavorable to motorcycle riders. Note that this does not necessarily mean that in case the plaintiff was riding it, the jury will be automatically in the favor of the defendant, but it does reduce the plaintiff’s odds in case the proof of the liability of the other party could go one way or another.
Insurance Availability and Amount
If the defendant party has few other assets, then a settlement will not go beyond the liability limits of his or her automobile insurance. The verdicts of the jury can and do go over insurance liability limits, though that does not mean that the plaintiff is able to get the entire amount of the accident verdict. As long as there is no other possible way to get it, the best option of the plaintiff is typically to settle for an amount that equals the coverage limits, even if the actual damages are higher as well as easy to prove.
Your motorcycle accident attorney should have access to past verdict and settlement data. The motorcycle lawyer will use the data to find past cases with similar circumstances and injuries to yours, as well as the settlement or verdict amounts at trial in your jurisdiction.