If one is involved in an insurance claim following a motorcycle accident, they may wonder how much the case may be worth. There are numerous factors in an accident, too many to allow one to accurately predict an award of a certain amount. However, this article discusses some of the main considerations in valuing a motorcycle injury case.
Biases Against Motorcyclists
Preconceived notions about motorcyclists should never play a role in compensation, but human nature is strong. Many people have an active distrust for motorcycle riders, and jury members are by no means immune. In many cases, riders receive smaller verdicts than passenger car drivers or passengers.
Valuing a Potential Case
Valuation means estimating a potential award, and it also means guessing what a defendant may pay. In motorcycle accident cases, it also means determining what a plaintiff may accept to achieve a pretrial settlement. The biggest factors in valuation are the extent of a plaintiff’s damages, and the likelihood that the jury will find the defendant legally responsible.
Estimating a potential award is difficult for a primary reason: during a trial, the jury will decide how much the plaintiff gets. Some damages, such as lost wages and medical bills, are easy to predict because costs are based on documented losses. For subjective damages such as pain and suffering, amounts are educated guesses based on similar cases. Every jury and every case are different, and even a good analysis will predict damages within a wide range.
Likelihood of Defendant Liability
The other big factor in case valuation is the chance that the defendant will be held responsible. If a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer in Toms River NJ has little to no evidence proving the defendant’s fault, the case’s value diminishes significantly. Even if potential damages may be high, defendants are less willing to agree to a settlement when fault is in doubt. Another factor in determining defendant liability is the above mentioned bias against motorcyclists. Not all juries automatically decide in favor of the defendant, but prejudice does lower a plaintiff’s odds of a successful case.