How much is a motorcycle accident claim worth?
That question varies tremendously with the circumstances of an individual crash. In order to arrive at an accurate value for settling a motorcycle accident case, attorneys look at two factors: liability and damages.
Determining Liability In A Motorcycle Accident Case
Determining liability in a motorcycle accident means deciding who was at fault. In order to recover damages, the victim must be able to show that the other driver was negligent. Proving negligence is the responsibility of the injured party, so the victim must have some type of evidence that the other driver is responsible for the damages caused in the crash in order to win the case.
In order to prove negligence, the victim must be able to show that the driver acted carelessly by committing some act or failing to do something important that resulted in the crash. For example, the victim might prove that the driver was negligent by showing that the driver was speeding or drinking behind the wheel, or by showing that the driver’s brakes failed because he or she did not maintain the vehicle properly.
How Much Can A Victim Collect In Damages?
Damages are the losses suffered in a motorcycle accident. In order to collect compensation, it is not enough to simply show that the driver was negligent. The victim must also show that he or she suffered physical or emotional trauma.
Another important element of determining the amount of damages a victim can collect is comparing trial value of a case to settlement value. Most cases settle out of court for much lower sums than are possible in a trial verdict. However, settlement allows the victim to receive a guaranteed amount, while a trial outcome is never certain.
Attorneys generally compare the possibility of a favorable verdict with the possible award in a trial to determine the target settlement amount. For example, if the attorney believes there is a 50 percent chance that the victim will win the case at trial and could recover $250,000, the attorney will probably aim for a settlement of about $125,000.
Additionally, the attorney will calculate the amount of special damages, which are those costs that can be documented, as well as estimate the amount of pain and suffering or other intangible costs. This will help the attorney and the victim determine whether their settlement estimate is reasonable. Sometimes attorneys use a formula for calculating intangible awards such as pain and suffering by multiplying the amount of actual damages by a factor of four or five.
Ultimately, settling a motorcycle accident claim can be complicated. It is important to have the help of an attorney with experience in handling these types of claims so that victims can be sure they have sound legal advice.