Whenever a motorcycle rider gets involved in an accident, they wonder how to calculate their motorcycle accident compensation payouts. The team at Russ Brown Motorcycle Accident Attorneys knows that this is especially important to riders who have suffered severe injuries from their accidents. When you are out of work for an extended period, or worse, unable to return to your previous job, your financial future can look grim. It would be extremely irresponsible for an attorney to give you a definitive, exact quote for a motorcycle accident compensation payout. Accident compensation is more of an art than a science: there are too many variables to accurately predict how much a settlement will go for. An attorney’s best offer is to show their client what previous cases they have succeeded in have been settled for, particularly those with similar situations to the case in question. Alternatively, they can provide a national average for compensation in motorcycle accidents that resulted in similar injuries. Any estimate made should take into account:

  • The likely compensation a jury verdict would award the rider
    • Most cases are settled before coming before a jury. However, it isn’t out of the question. Despite the restrictions of the court and jury, personal feelings often are influential in determining motorcycle accident compensation payouts.
  • The settlement amount you are prepared to accept
    • Through the settlement process, you will need to determine the short- and long-term effects of the accident.
  • The amount the insurance company is prepared to pay, based on what they have paid out previously in similar cases

Russ Brown Motorcycle Accident Attorneys has the experience to provide you with the necessary guidance to make the best decision.

Guide to Motorcycle Accident Settlements

From the moment you speak to Russ Brown Motorcycle Accident Attorneys, we will protect you from insurance adjusters and others seeking to undermine your case. Other parties may want to minimize your case’s seriousness. They may even seek to transfer blame onto you when you were not the party responsible for the accident. Settlements can typically go through five stages, although it is uncommon that an insurance company will proceed through all five of the stages before offering an acceptable settlement.

  • Service of the answer: The written response from the party being sued (the defendant) to the allegations your lawsuit raises. Depending on the state, the defendant can have up to 30 days from when the lawsuit is served to file an answer.
  • Discovery: This is the investigative section of the case. Both parties and their agents will gather information about fault and damages. This can include depositions, bills of particulars, interrogatories, medical records, police officers’ reports, physical examinations, and more.
  • Motions: Written requests which ask the court to resolve a legal issue or other matter before the case goes to trial. This can be based on a party’s failure to comply with discovery requests.
  • Conferences: State laws and local court rules could stipulate that conferences be scheduled. These require the parties’ attorneys to meet with a judge and discuss the case’s status. When these occur, the goal is to ensure that the case is progressing towards some sort of resolution, whether that be a trial or out-of-court settlement.
  • Trial: Finally, if the previous steps have been completed and no settlement has been agreed upon, the case is scheduled for trial. At a trial, the plaintiff must produce evidence to prove fault on the part of the defendant. The plaintiff must also produce evidence to back their claim of the extent of their injuries and other damages suffered as a result of the accident. A judge or panel of jurors will decide whether the plaintiff has met this burden of proof and pass a verdict in favor of either the plaintiff or the defendant.

Settlement Factors in a Motorcycle Accident Case

The amount of compensation awarded to the victim in the event of a successful settlement or a trial being decided in favor of the plaintiff varies tremendously. According to Jury Verdict Research, the median motorcycle accident verdict after a personal injury trial between 1999 and 2006 was $73,700. Any of the following factors can influence the actual amount.

  • Defendant’s negligence: Many accidents also result in citations for traffic violations. With that established, negligence can be proven. In accidents where nobody is found at fault, it is harder (but not impossible) to establish negligence.
  • Severity of injuries: Motorcycle accidents occasionally result in minor injuries. However, broken bones and even more severe consequences are also common.
  • Prognosis: Even when wearing a helmet, motorcycle accidents can require extensive medical treatment and physical therapy. In instances such as these, an expert report on the cost of the expected medical expenses of returning the plaintiff to their previous standard of health is vital. In cases of permanent disability, an expert report is necessary to ascertain the cost of caregivers and other related costs throughout the plaintiff’s life expectancy. These estimates can range from the thousands of dollars to several million dollars.
  • Impact on lifestyle: Some injuries are so severe they mean the plaintiff cannot continue in their usual line of work or provide care for their dependents. The more a person’s injuries impede their ability to return to their usual quality of life, the more compensation a jury is likely to think is required.
  • Plaintiff’s commitment: A plaintiff interested in a quick payout or an easy payout will not gain the maximum settlement amount. The case must develop and negotiations continue for the largest payout to be secured. It also helps when a plaintiff is determined to fight and to provide all information their attorney requires.
  • Jury verdict research: It’s likely that a jury in your area has heard and decided on a similar case involving similar injuries. Cases such as these provide a framework for what may happen if the case comes to trial. What’s more, these verdicts can be used in pre-trial negotiations to establish a baseline for a reasonable sum of compensation.  
  • Property damage: The more it costs to replace or fix the motorcycle, safety equipment, and other personal property damaged in the accident, the larger the settlement.
  • Adjusters: Most motorcycle accidents lead to the plaintiff negotiating pre-trial with an insurance adjuster. Adjusters seek to minimize the amount their company pays out. Some will be deaf to the facts of the case in the pursuit of this goal. How reasonable your assigned adjuster is will be a factor in how pre-trial settlement talks go.
  • Attorneys: The skill and experience of your motorcycle accident lawyer and law firm will naturally affect settlement talks, and the trial. In general, the harder an attorney works, the higher the settlement.

Get Real Life Motorcycle Accident Case Results with Russ Brown

When you need to make a motorcycle accident claim, you want a specialist motorcycle accident lawyer. Russ Brown Motorcycle Accident Attorneys has been in business for over 40 years. In that time, we have pioneered in the field of motorcycle accident injury. Don’t put your lost wages, medical bills and future financial solvency in the hands of opportunistic personal injury attorneys. A motorcycle accident differs substantially from a car accident, and only an attorney who also rides can appreciate the multiple distinctions. That’s why our company motto is ‘We Ride. We Win. We Care’. Serious motorcycle crashes can change your life in an instant, leading to immense and ongoing pain and suffering. A generous settlement offers an opportunity for something more.

Your initial consultation is free. Call us today at: (800) 424-5377 or click here to contact us online.