Though the occurrence of motorcycle accidents has slightly reduced, they are still quite common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges motorcyclists and drivers to uphold the traffic rules because motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to road accidents than drivers.
Motorcycle accidents are more dangerous, and the damages are also harder to claim. If you have been in a motorcycle-related accident, you may need to contact the at-fault insurance company to get financial compensation for your pain, loss, and injuries.
However, since these accidents and claims are hard to deal with, you should hire an experienced lawyer to help you claim. Insurance companies tend to pay out less compensation to motorcycle accident claims than car accident claims, and it can also take you longer to receive the compensation.
Working with an experienced Austin motorcycle accident lawyer is the best way to handle insurance companies and get your rightful compensation. Here is what you need to know about motorcycle accident claims.
Negligence Claims, Damages, Fault, and State Laws
The laws and regulations that govern these claims vary from one state to another. They are also influenced by several factors like if the rider was partly at fault, the value of damages, injuries sustained, and more. It is important to know your state laws before filing a claim to know what you should legally claim for.
For example, if the accident happened in a comparative negligence state, the victim can only be awarded damages as per the percentage of the other driver’s fault. If you were responsible for 25% and they were responsible for 75% of the accident. You will only get 75% of the damages and not 100%. You should also know your state’s statute of limitations to file your claim in time.
According to the DMV, if the accident was caused by negligence, the victim has a right to ask for compensation for the damages and injuries. However, if the motorcyclist was not abiding by the state’s traffic rules, they might get a lesser settlement even if the other driver is entirely to blame.
Determining the At-Fault Party
Your lawyer will work with the police to determine who is mostly or entirely liable for the accident. To help your lawyer, you should give them information such as the following:
- If the police have a report of the accident
- If the police came to the scene
- If you were careful when riding
- The available witnesses and how to contact them
- The time and weather conditions of the day of the accident
- If you were upholding the traffic rules and wearing proper riding gear such as a helmet
Your attorney will review the accident, talk to a witness, and investigate your case, and once they determine who is liable, they will know how to file for a claim according to the state laws.
Determine Damages and Their Value
If you have a valid claim, the next step is to know the damages to claim for. This will be determined by the following:
- The extent of your injuries, including temporary or permanent disability
- Medical expenses incurred
- Missed work days or lost income
- Ability to resume normal duties or work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Damages to property
- Future medical expenses
Determining the amount you should claim for damages is similar to other personal injury cases. Your lawyer will claim for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easier to determine because they involve damage to your property, lost wages, and your present, past, and future medical expenses. To determine non-economic damages such as emotional distress, trauma, pain, and suffering, lawyers and insurance companies use the multiplier method to calculate the damages.
Call a Lawyer to Handle Your Claim
Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure that you legally claim for damages after a motorcycle accident. A lawyer will also help you determine if you should settle or sue to get the best damages possible.