Most of us motorcycle enthusiasts have heard all of it about how dangerous riding can be. Mostly we hear it from wives or mothers, but its unavoidable in most conversations with those who don’t ride. We get to hear about their uncles friend who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, or how a normal person wouldn’t be caught dead on a bike. Most of us who love the feeling of riding out on the road can’t help but get annoyed hearing all of this every time we want to talk about riding.
Unfortunately most of these people do kind of have a point. In Nevada alone, 306 people have lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in the last four years, and these accidents account for over 19% of all auto accidents out on our roads. Riding is dangerous, just like driving a car, however the level of skill involved in driving a motorcycle is much greater than driving a car.
After being injured out on the road while riding, you will need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to represent you. The insurance agencies will try to use the increased danger of being on a motorcycle, as opposed to a much safer car, to try to weasel their way out of paying you the compensation you deserve.
Difference in Motorcycle Accidents vs a Car Crash
The chances of being injured while on a motorcycle as opposed to a car are much greater. This is because motorcycles have only two wheels, no seatbelts or airbags and are much smaller than most cars. A car or truck shields its occupants by being enclosed in metal, while a motorcycle doesn’t offer any such protection.
Motorcycles are also much more susceptible to the effects of potholes and road debris causing a loss of control. Motorcyclists are more often, and more seriously injured as well when an accident does occur. Therefore, when it comes to filing a personal injury case, they are much more difficult to handle.
How is a Motorcycle Personal Injury Case Handled?
The very first step in making sure that you will receive the compensation that you deserve is for your motorcycle accident attorney to compile all of the evidence available surrounding the crash. This evidence will include any police reports that were made at the time of the accident, any traffic or dash cams available, witness statements and any other evidence that clearly shows just who was responsible for the crash. This evidence will be vital in convincing the insurance agency that it was in fact their insured that was responsible for your injuries.
Your injury lawyer will also compile all of your medical bills that have been incurred due to your injuries. These bills will be all of the past and current bills from the hospital, doctors and for medication. Your injury lawyer will have to also try to calculate the amount of any future medial bills that will be incurred as well.
All of this evidence will be included in what’s is called a “demand letter,” which will be sent to the legal department of the insurance agency. Along with all of the evidence that your motorcycle accident attorney has compiled. This letter will also demand that the insurance agency pay a certain amount of compensation.
At this point, your lawyer and the insurance agency will begin to negotiate a settlement. Hopefully, and if your attorney has done a good job, the evidence that has been provided will be enough to convince the insurance agencies lawyers that they would surely lose of the case when to court. This will give your lawyer a great amount of leverage during the negotiations.
This is about as far as the majority of motorcycle injury cases will go. Since neither party will want to have to pay the added expense of litigation and trial. Most injury cases will settle out of court. If your attorney must file a complaint for damages, a great deal more work will have to be done, and therefore the fees that you will end up having to pay your attorney will increase.
The Maximum Amount of Compensation You Can Receive
How much money you will get for your injuries unfortunately rarely have much to do with your injuries themselves. No matter how good of a job your motorcycle accident attorney does, the maximum amount that can be paid has everything to do with the insurance policy of the liable party.
While the extent of your injures are important, if the insurance policy of the liable party only covers up to $20,000 in damages, then regardless of your injuries you will only get $20,000.
In fact, the Insurance Information Institute has reported that the average claim for a bodily injury accident in the U.S. is only $20,235, with the property damage claim coming in at only $4,711. The reason for such low numbers is that most people out on the road only have what called “liability insurance,” which puts a cap on how much you will receive after being injured.
However, if you are struck by a company vehicle while out riding, such as a UPS truck or a government vehicle, by law these company vehicles must have much better insurance and therefore the compensation you will receive will be much higher.
Josh is writer and paralegal, with over 10 years of experience in family law, personal injury, criminal defense and more.