Motorcycle accidents can result in devastating injuries or fatalities. Our motorcycle accident lawyers are often asked the question: What is my claim worth? The circumstances of each motorcycle accident can differ significantly. Therefore, putting a dollar amount on a claim can be a tricky proposition. Eventually, the damages a jury awards may be affected by jurors' inherent biases, what the defendant agrees to pay and what the plaintiff agrees to accept.
In a motorcycle accident, victims are likely to suffer a variety of injuries and outcomes. The motorcycle accident settlement that is awarded could depend on a number of factors such as the nature and severity of the injuries, the victim's job and income, and the impact of the injuries on the victim's life.
Damages that can be claimed in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Here are some of the damages that you may be able to secure by filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit:
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you are probably looking a medical bills piling up. They start to pile up right from the time you make that trip to the emergency room. You will also be looking at bills for doctor's office visits, surgeries, hospitalizations, cost of medication, medical equipment, etc. Getting prompt medical attention and following your doctors' instructions with regard to treatment will not only help put you on the road to recovery, but will also show that you did everything you can to take care of yourself after the accident and to recover from your injuries.
These are damages that you can claim as part of your motorcycle accident lawsuit. In addition, if your doctors tell you that you are going to need ongoing treatment and care, you can claim cost of future medical treatment as well. However, this has to be more than something that is speculative. You will be required to back up that claim. It is important that you save all receipts and all documents associated with your accident-related injuries and the treatment you received for them.
Cost of rehabilitative treatment
Motorcycle accidents also result in injuries that might need rehabilitative treatment and care such as physical therapy. Bone fractures or broken bones are some of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents. While these types of injuries may not be life-threatening, they do often require lengthy and extensive rehabilitation, which may not be covered by health insurance policies. As a result, victims and their families may have to pay these expenses out of pocket, which could add up very quickly. Rehabilitation expenses may also be claimed as damages as part of your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Loss of earning capacity
Wages or income lost as the victim is recovering from his or her injuries are of course included in a motorcycle accident claim. However, you can also include loss of earning capacity both in the past and future. It includes money you did not earn as a result of not going to work. However, in some cases, motorcycle accident victims suffer such serious or catastrophic injuries that they are unable to return the job they did before the accident. They may be able to work a different job. So, they don't necessarily lose wages, but they may be making less money or have a lower earning capacity than they had prior to the accident. They would have a loss of earning capacity both in the past and the future, assuming that they would continue on for the rest of their lives.
Pain and suffering/Mental anguish
This includes the physical pain victims endure on a daily basis because of their injuries. But, they also endure mental anguish, which is the emotional pain and trauma that typically comes with these types of traumatic events. Victims may experience grief if they've suffered a catastrophic injury such as a limb amputation. They may suffer from depression or anxiety if they are unable to return to work or provide for their families.
Victims may also be able to claim damages for activities they cannot do temporarily or permanently, which might affect their quality of life. Examples include not being able to participate in leisure activities such as riding a bike or golfing. It may even include not being able to do household chores or play with your children.
These are damages awarded to punish a defendant for conduct that is said to be egregious. For example, the court or jury might award punitive damages to a plaintiff, for example in a case where a motorist's reckless, negligent or malicious conduct caused the accident and the victim's injuries. These damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but are intended to punish the defendant for his or her recklessness.
In a motorcycle accident case, the main piece of property that could be damaged is the motorcycle. In many cases, the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of the motorcycle. If that happens, the insurance companies will declare it a total loss. This means that the insurer will pay you the fair market value for the motorcycle. It would be in your best interest to get an estimate for the cost of repairs from a body shop.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you seek the counsel of an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Getting a knowledgeable attorney on your side early in the process will help ensure that the lawsuit is filed and the paperwork is properly completed before the statute of limitations or the deadline to file a personal injury claim runs out. A motorcycle accident lawyer will also be sure to gather all the evidence that is required to make your case stronger.
The experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Timothy J. Ryan have successfully handled motorcycle accident claims. We have helped clients seek and obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, damages and losses. We've helped hold negligent and reckless drivers accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Orange County, call us at 714-898-4444 to find out how we can help you.