If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, you are probably curious what your settlement amount could be. No case is the same, but recent research by Jury Verdict Research found that the average motorcycle crash verdict was $560,000, and the median award was $70,000.
To value a motorcycle crash claim, two things must be considered carefully: liability and damages. Liability refers to who was at fault for the car accident. If there was not another driver responsible for your injuries, there is no liability. This could be because the other driver was not negligent. Or, it could be that you are unable to prove the other driver was negligent. If this is true, your motorcycle accident claim will not be worth very much, as the other driver was not negligent.
Damages concerns the level of injuries you had when you were in the motorcycle accident. The more serious your injuries, the more compensation you could potentially receive.
For example, say that you are rear-ended on your motorcycle at a red light. But you were not injured and your motorcycle was not damaged. The person who struck you was at fault and negligent, but if you did not incur injuries and damages, there is no case. You could settle for a small amount for the hassle, but it would not be more than a few hundred dollars.
Now let’s look at a more serious case. Say you are in a motorcycle crash with serious damages, and the other driver probably was not negligent. In fact, the crash may have been your fault. In this example, your settlement also would probably be small. If the defendant was not negligent, their insurance company is not obligated to pay you anything.
Settlement Value and Trial Value
As we value a motorcycle injury case, there are two valuations to consider: settlement value and trial value. The settlement value for a case is what you hope you can settle the case for. This will be substantially lower than the trial value; you settle a case to avoid a risk of losing in a trial.
On the other hand, trial value means what you expect you could win in a trial.
Let’s say you think that if you went to trial for your motorcycle accident case, the jury would decide to pay you $200,000. But you only think you have a 20% chance of winning the case at trial. In this case, it may make sense to just settle the case for $40,000, which is 20% of the trial value. Generally, the settlement value for a motorcycle accident case is a bit less than the trial value, times the estimated odds of winning at trial.
To get a true idea of what your motorcycle accident settlement could be, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.