Because every motorcycle accident is different, determining your claim’s worth is split between two types of damages or losses:
- Damages that can pinpoint an exact dollar amount (also called special damages)
- Damages that can’t be calculated (referred to as pain and suffering)
Special damages are monetary losses, so think about things like:
- Medical treatment from any injuries sustained from the crash
- Past, present, and future lost wages at your place of employment
For pain and suffering, there aren’t any strict guidelines or boxes to check to determine a specific dollar amount. If your case goes to trial, the amount of money you’re awarded depends entirely on the jury; what they decide is appropriate is the amount of money you’ll get from the accident. You can go into trial and state your expectation, but there’s no guarantee.
Motorcycle Insurance Can Help Cover Costs
In most cases after a motorcycle accident, your insurance will cover many of your expenses. However, it typically won’t cover your lost wages, missed opportunities, or pain and suffering. There may be large deductibles you will have to pay before coverage begins. Some motorcycle insurance policies have limits on the amount they’ll pay to accident victims.
Where Does Liability Fall?
Before you take any legal action after your motorcycle accident, think about liability (who was at fault for the crash) and damages (injuries or losses in relation to the motorcycle accident). If the other driver was not negligent or you can’t prove the accident was his or her fault, you likely can’t pursue a lawsuit for injuries or monetary losses. If you aren’t quite sure who was at fault, you’re not alone. Accidents are complicated, especially motorcycle accidents.
The most important information you’ll need to file a claim after your motorcycle accident can be discussed with an experienced car accident or motorcycle accident attorney. He or she should give you a breakdown of road regulations, traffic laws, how to calculate damages for your specific accident, how to prove fault, and so on. Be sure to find an attorney licensed in the state your accident occurred, as traffic laws vary by state. If you can’t speak with an attorney immediately after your accident, don’t sign any paperwork or admit fault–not to a friend, family member, insurance company, and certainly not in a police report or the other motorist(s).