Motorcycle Accident Injuries And Claim Value
How Motorcycle Accident Injuries Factor Into Motorcycle Claims
Recovering from a motorcycle accident can take weeks or months or even longer in some cases. During that time financial pressures can mount as victims must pay for treatment and some are unable to work during their recovery. These financial pressures are one of the primary reasons why motorcycle accident victims file accident claims. The settlement proceeds from these claims can help cover the costs of their medical care and lost wages which eases financial pressure and reduces stress. The absence of these two pressures can aid healing.
Since every claim is unique, it is impossible to say with any accuracy how much a victim can expect to recover from a motorcycle accident claim. Several factors influence the outcome of claims, including the type and severity of injuries sustained.
Factors That Influence Motorcycle Accident Claim Outcomes
- Insurance Coverage. Insurance is often the first resource that injured cyclists have available to them after a motorcycle accident. Wisconsin requires motorcyclists to carry separate insurance for their motorcycles and they must meet minimum coverage requirements as set by the state. Cyclists cannot claim damages from a motorcycle accident under their car insurance policy. In addition to the minimum requirements, it is advisable to add Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage to your policy and Medical Payments coverage. How much coverage you obtain through insurance policies can affect the final outcome of a claim settlement.
- Motorcyclist Liability. Insurers (and courts) always look at who is at fault for the accident when determining claim settlement amounts. Wisconsin is a contributory negligence state, which means that victims can seek compensation for damages from the other party’s insurance company if the victim is 50% or less liable for the accident. The amount awarded will ultimately be based on how much responsibility the victim bears for the accident and reduced by the same percentage amount. If the victim is found to be more than 50% liable for the accident, they will be unable to seek compensation from the other insurance company.
- Safety Gear. Even though the State of Wisconsin does not require riders over 18 to wear a helmet or other protective gear, choosing not to wear protective gear could impact your claim. Victims can still file a claim even if they were not wearing protective gear, but if they were not wearing the appropriate protective gear at the time of the accident, victims can be assessed some liability for their injuries. If this happens, you may receive a reduced award amount.
- Injuries. The type and severity of injuries sustained will affect the claim amount. Claim amounts are based on the cost of acute medical care as well as any long-term care you may need. Claims are also influenced by whether or not the injury is short-term and resolvable or long-term and life-changing or somewhere in between. You may even be able to receive compensation for lost wages and time off work.
A Hidden Challenge to Claims Success: Motorcycle Bias
One of the most challenging aspects of motorcycle claims is overcoming the bias that different parties have against motorcyclists. Insurance companies, adjusters, other drivers, the police and even judges can all have negative biases towards motorcyclists. The biases usually take the form of one or more of the following: Motorcyclists are reckless and rebellious drivers who ignore the rules of the road and safety laws, usually speed and belong to gangs or have no regard for conventional driving courtesies.
Consult a Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Claims Advice
The accident attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices are well-versed in the tactics that insurance companies use to deny motorcyclist claims and the biases that can influence claims decisions. Before you file a claim for your injuries, consult one of our attorneys. We will be able to guide you through the process and help you avoid common mistakes that could harm your claim such as:
- failing to report the accident to the police
- skipping medical care
- claiming fault before an investigation is conducted
- posting information about the accident in public or on social media before it has been resolved.
Any of these actions could reduce your claim amount or even result in a denial of a claim. Our injury attorneys will look out for you every step of the way and help you build a case that maximizes your claim amount so that you can recover fully from the accident. Contact our Madison law office at 608-256-8356 or email@example.com.
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Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.
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