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How Much Should You Demand In Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?

Were you recently hit while you were riding your motorcycle? Unfortunately, the road isn't as safe as it should be for motorcyclists. That's especially true now that smartphones are prevalent on the road. Many drivers are so distracted by their phones they don't see other cars on the road, let alone motorcycles.

If you were hit, you may be thinking about filing a lawsuit and wondering how much you should demand in compensation. Below are a few factors to keep in mind as you plan your suit and estimate your compensation demand. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you develop a strategy and pursue your suit.

Is a suit justified?

Before you estimate your compensation, you should determine whether a suit is warranted in your accident. For a suit to be warranted, two things must be present: negligence and damages. First, the other party must be negligent. That means that the accident must be the other party's fault. If it was determined that they weren't at fault or no one was at fault, it's unlikely their insurance company will take your suit seriously.

Secondly, you must suffer some kind of damage in order to file a suit. Were you injured? Were you unable to work? Did your motorcycle suffer damage? If the answer to all these questions is no, then you likely don't have a case, even if the other driver was at fault. However, if you did suffer damage and the other driver was negligent, then your suit may be appropriate.

What are your total damages and costs?

Next, consider your damages from the accident. The obvious costs are your medical bills and any repairs needed for your bike. There's also any wages you lost due to missed work. A more subtle cost to consider is wages lost in the future. Perhaps your injury forced you to move into a lower-paying position. That could impact your wages for years to come. Your lawyer can help you estimate a present value for future lost earnings.

What's the expected settlement value and trial value?

In an accident lawsuit, there are really two different compensation amounts in play. One is the trial compensation, which is what you'd ask for if the case went to trial. That's likely to be a high number, but there's also a chance you won't get it because you may not win at trial. There's also settlement compensation, which is likely to be a lower figure. 

Essentially, you're giving up part of your compensation demand to eliminate the risk that you may lose at trial. It can be hard to find a balance between these two and negotiate for the right amount in a settlement discussion. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you develop your settlement strategy and can communicate on your behalf with the other party.

Ready to move forward with your suit? Talk to several motorcycle accident lawyers in your area. They can analyze your case and provide their best recommendation on how to take the next step.