A motorcycle accident is devastating to every party involved, although it’s particularly damaging for the motorcycle driver if the accident wasn’t their fault.
After all, compared to the other driver, you’re more likely to sustain debilitating injuries.
Thankfully, you can recover damages from a motorcycle accident by agreeing to a settlement. This will enable you to seek compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and motorcycle repairs, as well as non-economic losses like pain and suffering. If you wish to take this route, this article will guide you through the process.
A Brief Overview Of A Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A settlement is when the at-fault party’s insurance provider offers a motorcycle accident victim compensation for damages. If the at-fault party isn’t insured, then the claim goes directly to the individual responsible for the accident. Through this procedure, victims of motorcycle accidents can receive an average of USD$50,000 as settlement money, although it ultimately depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. In some cases, the amount may reach double this amount.
In exchange for the money, you give up your right to pursue the matter any further. That means upon receiving the settlement money, you can no longer legally sue the at-fault party.
Your other option to recover damages from a motorcycle accident is to file a lawsuit. It can yield more money, but it’s a lot more stressful as you have to appear in court several times. Since you most likely have sustained injuries, it’s not the best course of action in this type of scenario.
Can You Recover All Damages Through A Settlement?
Yes, you can, but it’ll require negotiations as the at-fault party’s insurance provider will likely do their best to minimize the amount they have to pay. They may do so by downplaying your injuries, pointing out the lack of evidence, and other attempts. That’s why it’s often advisable to seek assistance from personal injury lawyers. This post covers that topic in more detail.
Nevertheless, the fact that you won’t always recover all the damages remains. On the bright side, you can maximize the settlement amount you may receive through these precautions:
- Take photos of your injuries before seeking medical treatment if possible. It captures the severity of your injury more clearly and can give you an edge in negotiations.
- Once you receive medical treatment, request a copy of the medical records from your healthcare provider. It should be an objective way of proving the severity of your injuries.
- Seek all kinds of medical treatment, including those that examine your emotional state. Emotional damage can also translate to a higher settlement amount.
- Contact witnesses who were at the scene of the accident. This is only possible if you got the contact information right after the incident, so it’s not always applicable.
- Look for the police officers who wrote a police report of the accident. Try to ask for a copy of the report to include as your evidence. Your aim here is to simply collect the facts surrounding the case, which are often included in the report.
- While you’re at the station, you can also ask for possible security footage from cameras around the area. It doesn’t have to be showing footage of the scene directly. As long as it’s footage of the vicinity at the time of the accident, it may prove to be useful.
- Avoid posting any photos on social media. It may give the at-fault party a reason to downplay your injuries if you appear well enough to continue with your daily life.
Since these take a lot of time and effort, many victims of motorcycle accidents hire a lawyer to engage in these activities on their behalf. Not only is it convenient, but it also gives you time to heal, which is especially important if you have critical injuries.
If you don’t want an out-of-court settlement, thankfully, there’s a grace period on how long you have to file a lawsuit.
How Long Do You Have to Seek Compensation?
In the United Kingdom, there is what experts call a limitation period. It corresponds to the maximum amount of time after an incident within which you can take legal action.
The limitation period may vary depending on the incident. In the case of motorcycle accidents, you have three years to file a lawsuit. Consequently, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party during this time. Also, keep in mind that the limitation period may vary from one place to another.
Motorcycle accidents don’t always end on a good note. Receiving no compensation is as likely to happen as receiving an exceedingly high settlement amount. Various factors can affect the amount that you may receive as compensation for damages. However, you can follow the tips given above to maximize the settlement amount.