Motorcycle Accident Settlement Negotiation Factors
Personal Injury - September 8, 2021
Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries for those involved. Injured motorcyclists, unfortunately, can struggle to recover the compensation that they are entitled to. All too often, we find that insurance carriers and other parties involved have various unwarranted biases against the motorcyclist. Here, we want to discuss some of the factors that can affect a motorcycle accident settlement. It is incredibly important to work with a skilled Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer who has experience handling motorcycle accidents if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by another driver.
Overcoming Unwarranted Biases During the Negotiations
It is crucial for an injured motorcyclist to overcome any unwarranted biases or preconceived judgments from insurance carriers and other parties involved. Unfortunately, many people simply think that all motorcyclists are unsafe. This can lead to an insurance carrier or even a personal injury jury placing blame on the motorcyclist even if they did not cause the incident.
In order to properly overcome these biases or preconceived notions, it is important for a motorcyclist to build a solid case to prove the liability of the other party. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer will be invaluable in these situations. An attorney can use their resources to fully investigate the incident and prove, without a doubt, what happened in the incident.
Valuing a Potential Claim
When working to understand the value of a claim for a motorcycle accident, there will be various factors that have to be examined. First and foremost, this will mean examining how bad the motorcyclist’s injuries are. It may take some time before a person understands the extent of their injuries, and no settlement should be made until a motorcyclist reaches maximum medical recovery. Other factors that can affect the value of a claim include the level of property damage, whether or not a motorcyclist can work while they recover, the level of a motorcyclist’s pain and suffering, and more. An attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to handle every aspect of valuing a claim.
Shared Fault Issues
It could be the case that some of the blame falls onto the motorcyclist for an accident. Shared fault is not a new concept, and Illinois handles this with a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that injury victims can still recover compensation so long as they are less than 50% responsible for the incident. Any person 50% or more responsible for a crash will not be able to recover compensation. If a motorcyclist is less than 50% responsible for a crash, the total compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Because of this comparative negligence law, it is crucial for a motorcycle accident victim to have a skilled attorney who can push back against any claims made by the other party or the insurance carrier that the motorcyclist was at fault.
Settling Before a Trial
There will likely be various settlement offers that come forward during the course of the negotiation. Sometimes, a settlement offer comes very quickly, particularly if the at-fault party’s insurance carrier thinks that they will lose the case. However, initial settlement offers are likely far below what an injured motorcyclist should receive. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance carriers to recover higher compensation amounts. If the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, or if they deny the claim, it may be necessary for an injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to move the case to the civil court system.