Motorcycle accidents can be devastating. They can cause financial, physical, and emotional losses to the victim. Most of the losses a motorcycle accident victim sustains will be long-term.
Following an accident, insurance companies will reach out to the victim and offer compensation for their losses. But what they offer will be much lower than your actual damages. Only experienced lawyers can spot these lowball offers. This is one of the primary benefits of hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Actions to take following a motorcycle accident
The actions you take following a motorcycle accident are very important and will have a significant impact on your case. The following are some of the important things you need to do after an accident:
- Exchange contact information with the other driver
- Collect the contact information of eyewitnesses
- Take photos and videos of the accident site and your injuries
- File a police complaint
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Reject any offers made by the insurance company
- Consult an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer
- Never speak with the insurance company without your lawyer’s presence
- Do not use social media until you get your compensation
The damage calculation process
One of the important things a lawyer will do in the initial stages is calculate your losses. Knowing the full extent of your losses is important to obtaining fair compensation. When calculating damages, your lawyer will consider many factors, such as:
- The severity of your injuries
- Types of losses
- Liability of the victim
The severity of your injuries
The first factor that plays a major role in calculating your losses is the severity of your injuries. Obviously, you will receive more money for severe injuries and less for minor injuries.
For example, imagine two people getting injured in a fire accident. Person A sustained first-degree burns, while Person B sustained third-degree burns. Person B will receive more compensation even though both got injured in the same accident.
This is because person B suffered much more serious injuries than person A.
So the severity of your injuries will be considered when calculating your losses.
Types of losses
The different types of losses you incurred as a result of the motorcycle accident will be considered. A motorcycle accident will sustain two major types of damage:
- Economic losses
- Non-economic losses
Economic losses are the financial expenses a victim incurs as a result of a motorcycle accident. Economic losses have many sub-categories, such as:
- Medical bills
- Property repair costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Funeral expenses (in case of death)
The aforementioned losses are very common in motorcycle accidents.
Non-economic losses are hard to compute since you can’t put a definite value on these types of losses. Non-economic losses are the emotional losses of the victim. Some types of non-economic losses are:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Reputation loss
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of quality of life
- Mental trauma
Motorcycle accidents can cause the above types of emotional losses. Your lawyer will use the per-diem method or multiplier method to calculate non-economic losses.
Liability of the victim
This is a factor that might reduce the compensation you receive. The following factors reduce the compensation you receive:
- According to the pure comparative negligence rule, the victim can file a claim even if they are mostly at fault for the accident. But the compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of responsibility
- The modified comparative negligence rule states that victims cannot file a claim if they are more than 50% responsible for the accident
- According to the contributory negligence rule, the victim cannot file a claim even if they are 1% at fault for the accident
Calculating compensation is an important part of a motorcycle accident claim. You need to consider the above factors to calculate the accurate amount. Instead of dealing with this on your own, just let your lawyer handle it.