Factors That Could Impact the Value of a Motorcycle Claim
Victims of motorcycle crashes often face long recovery times and many financial pressures. So it is only natural that many may wonder about the value of their claim and if a settlement will be enough to cover the damages sustained. That said, every claim is unique, which means that your claim’s potential value may not be the same as another motorcyclist injured in a crash. There are several considerations that can determine the outcome of your claim.
Below, PKSD discusses some of the main factors that contribute to the value of a motorcycle crash claim, including how an attorney may be able to help.
Injured in a motorcycle crash caused by another driver? Our Milwaukee-based motorcycle accident lawyers have years of experience advocating for injured victims, and we are here to help. Call our law offices anytime, night or day, to learn more.
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Liability of the Parties Involved
One of the first factors that can impact the outcome of your motorcycle crash claim is whether the other party was 100 percent liable. Since Wisconsin follows a contributory negligence system, you may still seek compensation for your damages against the other party’s insurance if you are not 51 percent or more to blame for the crash. However, if you are assessed any liability, that percentage will be deducted from your final settlement amount.
If you are 51 percent or more liable for the crash, you will be barred from any recovery.
Another consideration that can impact the amount of compensation you may receive for your damages is what insurance may or may not be available to cover the damages. If the at-fault party is underinsured or uninsured, then you may have to go through the uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) portion of your motorcycle insurance policy. Remember, that in Wisconsin, you cannot seek compensation for your motorcycle damages through your car insurance. Under state law, you must purchase separate insurance and meet at least the minimum requirements for coverage.
Optional coverages you may also consider include UM/UIM coverage and Medical Payments coverage. However, it is a good idea to research other coverage options that could benefit you as well.
Helmet and other Safety Gear
Although wearing a helmet or other recommended safety gear could save your life if you are involved in a crash, Wisconsin does not require it unless riders are under 18 or still operating their motorcycle on a learner’s permit.
If you choose not to wear a helmet or protective gear, it should not keep you from filing a claim. Be aware, however, that you could be assessed with some liability for your injuries, which can impact the final value of your claim.
Extent and Severity of Your Injuries
If you only suffered minor injuries in your motorcycle crash, the value of your claim is likely to be considerably less than for a collision that caused you to suffer long-term or life-altering injuries. Your claim is directly impacted by the tangible damages you sustained, such as medical costs, property damages and lost wages. Additionally, more severe motorcycle crash claims would likely also result in higher pain and suffering damages being awarded than for a minor incident.
One of the unique challenges of a motorcycle crash claim is dealing with and overcoming certain preconceived ideas that people often have about motorcycle riders. Insurance adjusters, police officers, even judges in a court of law, may be biased and believe that motorcycle riders:
- Are rebellious, reckless drivers
- Ignore safety laws
- Speed excessively
- Are gang members or disorderly thugs
A knowledgeable attorney knows how to address and overcome these biased opinions and represent your rights as an injured victim.
How Injured Victims May Help or Hurt Their Claim
Sometimes victims injured in motorcycle and other traffic accidents may hurt their own claims, such as:
- Failing to contact the police after a crash, which can get help to you sooner and create an official record.
- Delaying medical care could jeopardize your health and ability to fully recover, as well as the value of your claim.
- Apologizing or claiming fault, either at the scene or later. Let investigators determine liability.
- Posting anything on social media until your claim has resolved.
The best way injured motorcycle victims may be able to help their claim is by contacting a licensed attorney who is prepared to help to protect your claim throughout the legal process.
Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? PKSD Law is Ready to Help
The factors discussed today, along with others not mentioned, may impact the value of your motorcycle accident claim. Having an experienced attorney working to protect your interests may help to benefit your claim and optimize its value. Injured victims who have legal representation often recover significantly more compensation than those who do not.
At PKSD Law, we have decades of experience representing injured victims from all types of cases, including motorcycle crashes. We know how to determine if you may have a case and what evidence is needed to make a strong claim on your behalf. We also have a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation for our clients.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and are seeking compensation for your injuries and other losses, our qualified attorneys are prepared to work tirelessly on your behalf. Learn if you may have a case at no cost to you. We offer a free initial consultation, with no obligation for you to hire our firm. If we do represent you, there are no upfront costs.
We do not get paid unless you do. 877-877-2228