After being injured in a motorcycle accident, you will likely begin to see your bills start to pile up at the same time that your income likely takes a hit due to your injuries. Medical bills after a motorcycle accident can be significant, but the good news is that if someone else is responsible for your accident then they are also responsible for compensating you. In order to get the money that you are entitled to, you have a few options: attempting to settle directly with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit in order to get the money that you believe you deserve that the insurance company or defendant refuses to agree to.
In order to arrive at a settlement amount that you have deemed to be fair, you and your attorney will need to do extensive research and calculation that takes into account many different specifics about your situation, the impacts that the accident has had on you, and the measurable financial impacts that your injuries have—and will continue to have—on your life.
The question of what makes a good settlement after a motorcycle accident is one of the most reasonable and common questions that an attorney will work with you to define during an initial consultation. You can learn more about accident law here, and schedule a free initial consultation while you are there. Take a look below about how you can understand what a good settlement for your situation may be, but working with a lawyer is the only way to truly answer this question.
Determining Your Damages
Determining how much you are owed for an out-of-court settlement or what you will seek in a lawsuit is a multi-faceted process that requires a close examination of many different unique factors about your life. The following sections can provide you with a better general idea of how you can reach these figures and may help you get some general sense of your situation before talking to a lawyer.
Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury claim, and they seek 1:1 compensation for all of the measurable financial impacts that your accident has had. These damages include your medical bills, impacts on your income, and any other expenses of financial losses that you have suffered as a direct result of your motorcycle accident. These also include things like any services that you may need to hire to help you perform routine tasks such as driving, grocery shopping, or cleaning that you would have otherwise been able to do yourself.
Non-economic damages are more complicated than economic damages, simply due to the fact that they attempt to put a dollar value on things such as pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. These types of damages are often determined by using a “multiplier,” a number selected along a scale from 1.5x – 5x that is meant to indicate the severity of these damages, and then multiplied against your economic damages. If you suffered $50,000 of economic damages and choose a multiplier of 2x, then you will seek $100,000 in non-economic damages.
Alongside determining the actual value of your damages, you will need to consider the fact that Florida uses something known as “comparative negligence” in personal injury cases. This function allows a victim to still seek damages even if they are partially responsible (less than 50%) for an accident, and their final award is reduced by the amount that they are at fault. Therefore, you will need to work with your attorney to ensure that if you face any sort of reduction to your award, it is fair and reasonable.
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