What Is My Motorcycle Accident Case Value?
Automobile Accidents - January 5, 2021
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating for victims. Not only do those involved in a motorcycle crash have to worry about immediate medical emergencies and bills, but also the possibility of lasting pain and suffering.
Determining the total value of a motorcycle accident case can be complicated, and motorcycle crash survivors often need assistance from an attorney to help them handle their insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, our motorcycle accident lawyers in Illinois have a thorough understanding of how these cases work and how to properly calculate the value of a case.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Calculating motorcycle accident damages can be complicated. As with traditional vehicle accidents, survivors of motorcycle crash victims often incur significant economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to things that are relatively easy to calculate in order to arrive at a dollar amount to give insurance carriers.
- Emergency medical bills
- Follow up doctor visits
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical devices or prescription medications
- Lost income if a victim cannot work
- Any general household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
Calculating non-economic damages is a little more challenging. These damages do not come with bills or receipts that can be easily added up using a calculator. This type of compensation refers to the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Decreased quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement damages
- Physical impairment damages
Calculating non-economic damages is usually done by using a “multiplier method” in which an attorney will add up all of the total economic losses their client has sustained and then multiply that total by a set number (usually 1.5 to 5).
For example, suppose that a motorcycle accident victim incurs $100,000 in total economic damages. This number may then be multiplied by three to arrive at $300,000 for non-economic damages. This means that the attorney will ask for a total of $400,000 in compensation for their client.
The total amount of compensation awarded in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation.
Factors That Can Affect Your Case Value
One significant factor that can affect the value of your motorcycle accident claim is whether or not you had any fault for the incident. Illinois operates under a modified comparative negligence system, which means that an injury victim can still receive compensation even if they are partially at fault for the incident, so long as they are not 50% or more responsible. However, the total amount of compensation victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Another factor that can affect the value of a motorcycle accident claim includes discontinuing medical treatment before reaching maximum medical recovery. It is crucial that motorcycle accident injury victims continue all recommended medical care.
Finally, motorcycle accident victims in Illinois must file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within two years from the date the accident occurs. Failing to file a claim within this two-year statute of limitations window will result in the victim being unable to recover any compensation.
Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Costs?
The state of Illinois requires that all motorcyclists have insurance as separate policies from any auto insurance policy they may have. The minimum requirements for motorcycle accident insurance in Illinois include the following:
- $25,000 for injuries to or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 for injuries to or death of more than one person in an accident
- $20,000 for property damage coverage per accident
These are only the minimum amounts required, and motorcyclists may choose to purchase more if they so wish. If you are injured by a motorcyclist with only the minimums, the insurance will only cover up to these amounts. If your injuries or damage expenses exceed these amounts, it may be necessary for you to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party to recover compensation.
Settlement vs Trial Value
The vast majority of motorcycle accident cases are resolved through settlements with the insurance carrier is involved in these cases. Cases that are handled through insurance claims will typically not last as long as cases that are resolved through personal injury lawsuits. However, if an insurance claim is denied or if the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary.
Even after a lawsuit is filed, most personal injury claims are settled through negotiations with legal teams from both sides. However, it still may be necessary to go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be negotiated. Cases that go to trial could take well over a year to reach a conclusion, but you could end up receiving more compensation than was offered in a settlement.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Illinois
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 2,266 total motorcyclists injured during the latest reporting year across the state. Unfortunately, 118 motorcyclists lost their lives during that same year. When looking at the breakdown of where these incidents occur, we can see that motorcyclists have a higher chance of sustaining an injury or being killed in an accident on urban roadways as opposed to rural roadways.
Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are often severe. It is not uncommon for our Illinois motorcycle accident lawyers to help clients who have sustained the following:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional and psychological trauma
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, contact the team at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and work to calculate your total injury expenses and other losses.
Our team is not afraid to stand up to aggressive insurance carriers or at-fault parties when working to ensure that our clients are fairly compensated. When you need a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney, please call our office at (815) 723-8822. You can also call our toll free number at (800)-985-1819.