Breaking down the details of an accident and the factors involved in causing it can be a window into how a settlement offer or a jury’s verdict will turn out for you, the plaintiff. Every accident is unique—any number of factors can be the defining ones that can make or break a case. It is possible to break down a generic case into a few basic parts however, so we did just that. Note that the structure of every motorcycle case won’t necessarily adhere to these five parts, but this should provide an idea of the basic structure at least.
- Bias against motorcyclists.
Unfortunately, some people have a bias against motorcyclists as being dangerous or irresponsible motorists—also unfortunately, these people may end up on your jury should your case go to court. It’s possible that jurors will be less likely to hand a good verdict to a motorcyclist because of that prejudice in comparison to how they may treat the driver or passenger of a car or truck. Along the same lines, insurance adjusters are aware that this bias exists and so they also may reduce their settlement offer to reflect that. Because of this, it’s crucial to have a solid case and have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side to defend your rights and ensure you get the settlement you truly deserve.
- “Value” of a potential case.
Value in a settlement case is more than just the settlement itself. “Valuing” a case is the act of projecting how a jury may lean in terms of awarding the plaintiff and making conjectures about what the defendant may pay—it also means figuring out what the plaintiff would (or should) accept as a settlement before the case goes to trial. The two biggest factors of these conjectures are the extent and degree of the plaintiff’s damages—vehicular damage and bodily injuries both—and how likely the jury is to find the defendant at fault.
- Liability of a defendant.
If a plaintiff has little to no evidence that can prove the defendant is liable for the accident or any injuries the plaintiff sustained, the value of a case will drop. Regardless of the severity or cost of damages, a defendant may pass on paying a settlement and take their chances in court if they think they can get out of paying. On the same wavelength, a plaintiff who is aware that their evidence is lacking may take a low settlement if their chances in court look bad.
- Plaintiff’s damages.
If a case goes to trial, it will most likely be the jury that decides how much a defendant has to pay the plaintiff. Sometimes costs are concrete—any medical bills, lost wages, and damage costs can be pretty easily calculated. However, nine times out of ten there are non-concrete, subjective costs to accidents as well like the cost of “pain and suffering” and emotional distress caused by the accident.
- The verdict (and settlement).
According to Jury Verdict Research, the median motorcycle injury verdict after a personal injury trial (based on trial outcomes between 1999 to 2006) was $73,700. Despite this being the average, your verdict depends on having an experienced, aggressive motorcycle accident attorney on your side to ensure your rights are protected and you get the maximum compensation for your case. If you or a loved one have been in a motorcycle accident, contact Boughter Sinak today for a free evaluation.