There are several factors that affect the value of a motorcycle accident claim. Following are some of the most common factors that our Vancouver WA motorcycle accident lawyer believes can determine the worth of a case.
Damages and Liability
Determining damages and liability are two major factors that influence the value of a motorcycle accident claim. The term damages refers to injuries, damaged property and other losses connected with an accident. In general, the more serious the injury is, the higher the amount of damages.
The term liability refers to who was responsible for the accident. If the person who hit the motorcyclist was at fault for the accident, then the motorcyclist is likely to receive a settlement. On the other hand, if the driver was not at fault, then the case would not be worth much, if anything. It is worth noting that the burden of proving negligence on the part of a defendant falls to the plaintiff, according to a Vancouver WA motorcycle accident lawyer.
Calculating the Damages
There are two categories of damages in a motorcycle accident, or personal injury case:
- Damages that can be calculated as an exact figure, such as property damage, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and lost wages.
- Damages that cannot be calculated as an exact figure, such as physical or emotional pain.
Damages that can be calculated are known as special damages and represent concrete financial losses, such as lost earnings, medical expenses, and lost earning capacity. These damages can be precisely calculated using earnings statements, medical bills, and other documentation.
There are no standard formulas for determining intangible losses such as loss of quality of life, physical pain, or psychological trauma. Instead, jurors are usually instructed by judges to use common sense and personal experience to determine the value of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering.
The Difference between Trial Value and Settlement Value
There are actually two values that apply to a motorcycle injury claim. One value is the settlement value, and the other is the trial value. The settlement value refers to the amount that the plaintiff reasonably hopes to settle the case for. In general, the settlement value is significantly lower than the trial value. The reason for this is that at trial, the plaintiff might lose the case and receive nothing. Therefore, it might be worth negotiating for a lower settlement rather than risk losing the case at a trial.
Working with a Vancouver WA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you would like to set up a confidential appointment with a personal injury lawyer, please call The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff at (360) 693-2919.