If you were in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder what your settlement could be. Motorcycle accidents often involve serious injuries, so it is important to get a fair settlement. All cases are different, so arriving at a ‘good’ settlement amount for your case on a general basis is difficult.
To value your motorcycle accident case fairly, two things must be considered: liability and damages. Liability means the person who was at fault for the motorcycle accident. If there was no liability, because the person who hit you was not at fault, or because you cannot prove it, the case will not have much value. The reason is that it is on the plaintiff to prove that the other driver was negligent.
Damages involves the injuries and losses that you suffered related to the motorcycle accident. The more serious your injuries, you the higher amount of damages you may be entitled to.
When you are trying to value your motorcycle injury case, remember there are two values – settlement value and trial value. The settlement value for a case is what you hope you can settle for. This amount is much lower than the trial value. After all, you settle your case to avoid any risk of losing in a trial, where you would get nothing. The trial value is what you expect you could win at trial.
Let’s look at this example. Say based upon damages and liability, you think that if you went to trial and won the case, you would get $200,000 from the jury. But you think you have just a 20% chance of winning. In that case, you may be wise to settle for less than $40,000, which is 20% of the expected value at trial. Generally, the settlement value for a case is a bit less than the trial value, multiplied by the chance of winning at trial.
There are two types of damages in a motorcycle accident case:
- Special damages, such as medical costs and lost wages
- Pain and suffering that are harder to calculate
Special damages are your past, present and future lost wages and earning capacity, medical costs and other related financial losses. Pain and suffering cannot be exactly calculated. Because of this, the judge will tell the jury to use good sense to determine what the pain and suffering amount should be.
Your personal injury attorney can review your case and provide you with a rough idea of what your motorcycle accident case settlement could be, including pain and suffering.