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If you’re injured in a crash, you’ll probably wonder what is the typical settlement for a motorcycle accident? It’s normal to want to find that out, but it’s not very helpful. The factors that lead to coming up with a settlement in your case may not be average. Your case could be worth more or less.

Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, PC, has represented hundreds of clients injured in motorcycle accidents. Over the decades, settlements in these cases have varied based on the severity of the accident, as well as several other factors involved in determination of settlement amounts. We’ll look at those factors more closely below.

If you’re injured by another’s negligence, the settlement will almost always be covered by an insurance policy. Claims adjusters may treat you very nicely, but they don’t work for you. They work for the insurance company. Adjusters want to settle a claim as cheaply and quickly as possible. If you want to improve your chances of a higher settlement, a motorcycle accident lawyer from Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, PC, can help.

What’s a Good Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident? It All Starts with the Damages.

Every motorcycle injury claim and settlement starts with adding up the victim’s damages. Damages measure in dollars the harm to the injured party. They are the tangible losses (like physical injuries or damage to your motorcycle) and intangible losses (like pain and suffering), both those easy to calculate and less concrete ones.

Motorcycle crash damages could cover:

  • The costs of past, present, and expected future medical treatments and rehabilitation. The more serious your injury and the longer the expected impact, the higher this will be.
  • Repair or replacement of damaged property, such as your motorcycle.
  • Wages, bonuses, and benefits lost in the past, what you’re missing now, and the expected loss in the future. The greater the effect of your injury on ability to work and the longer the impact, the greater the damages
  • Physical pain and suffering. The longer and more complex your medical treatment and rehabilitation are, the easier it is to claim these damages.
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish. This number increases if you need professional counseling to cope with the stress caused by the accident and if your emotions are triggering physical symptoms like insomnia.
  • Punitive damages punish the defendant and discourage them, and others like them, from taking the same actions in the future. Under Alabama law, you would need to show by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant consciously or deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice. Because this standard is so high, punitive damages are rare.

This list of possible damages illustrates how each case is different.  An “average” settlement for a motorcycle accident may better be viewed as determining what a typical settlement would be for a motorcycle accident which caused a specific type of injury with an expected recovery period and medical costs.

The best way to understand what amount you can anticipate in a settlement for your case would be to talk to a skilled attorney. Our team at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana has experience you can trust to list all possible damages you can pursue and the possible value for each. Call us today at (251) 444-7000 so we can discuss the details of your motorcycle accident case.

What is Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident? It Boils Down to a Formula.

To calculate the amount of a motorcycle accident settlement, the first step is to identify the damages. These damages fall under two categories:

  • Special damages, or “specials,” are the easy-to-measure costs like healthcare costs, lost pay, lost benefits, and out-of-pocket expenses like property losses. Medical expenses and wage loss can drive up this figure. Medical costs include everything related to your treatment, from major items like surgeries and MRI scans to crutches and medication.
  • General damages compensate for pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and impact on relationships.

To help your attorney calculate and track expenses, it is essential that you retain all records associated with those expenses. You need invoices, receipts, and wage statements to document your claims.

How a Multiplier Works in Calculating a Motorcycle Accident Settlement

What’s a good settlement for a motorcycle accident? It may come down to the multiplier. A common way to come up with a motorcycle injury settlement amount is to multiply general damages by a multiplier (usually from one to five) and then add that sum to the special damages.

The parties commonly disagree on how high this number should be, which sets them apart in settlement negotiations. Depending on the amount of special damages, the difference between a multiplier of 1.5 and 4 could be tens of thousands of dollars.

This multiplier starts at one and could go as high as ten in extreme cases. Factors that increase the number include:

  • The insured’s fault is clear.
  • Reputable physicians easily diagnosed your injuries. Your diagnosis is undisputed.
  • Your injuries are obviously painful and traumatic.
  • Recovery takes six or more months.
  • There are permanent consequences (discomfort, pain, scarring, disability) that are documented.
  • Your physicians clearly believe you’ll have recurring, worsening, or future problems due to your injuries, even if they have stabilized now.

Some Settlement Factors are Beyond Your Control

Knowing what the average payout is for a motorcycle accident may not matter much, because of your unique situation. Despite what these figures are, you need to be realistic about the value of your case. You may have been very traumatized by the accident, but without severe injuries, it may be difficult to settle for a high amount.

A factor to consider is that under Alabama law, if it can be shown that you played any role in causing the accident, your case can be dismissed.

If an insurer sees this potential weakness in your claim, it will show in a lower settlement amount or no settlement offer at all. Even if you are not to blame, you still have the burden of proving your case. How strong is the evidence that the other party was at fault?

Insurance companies will pay only for covered accidents and only up to coverage limits. Damages often go beyond those limits. You may get all the money you can from an insurance company but still not have enough to cover all your losses. This is especially true if the same driver caused an accident involving multiple vehicles. That one policy may cover many claims.

There are other factors that can impact your settlement amount, as well. Not all insurance companies work the same way, so how we handle settlement negotiations for our clients will vary, depending on the insurer involved. In our experience, we also find that our clients have their own priorities. Some may be more willing to push a harder bargain, refuse to accept a settlement offer they think is too low, and risk going to trial. Others want to avoid the uncertainty and stress of a trial, so they will accept a lower amount in a settlement offered by the insurance company.

Talk to Our Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyers About the Potential Value of Your Settlement

If you or your loved one is a victim of a motorcycle accident, call a motorcycle accident lawyer at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, PC, to discuss your legal options. You don’t lose your legal rights when you get on a motorcycle. You or your family may be compensated for the harm caused by negligent drivers.

Schedule your consultation with our motorcycle accident lawyers today by calling (251) 444-7000.  We have offices are in Mobile, Foley, and Daphne, AL.