So nowadays virtually everyone has seen the Google results for “personal injury settlement calculator." But the whole point of the results is that there is no sure-fire way to determine the value of a motorcycle accident insurance claim or court award.
You can get as close as you can by building the suit itself, while it is still in the investigatory phase. But still, most accident victims want to know how much their case is worth.
In any event, it takes evidence like medical treatment records, and bills, and witness testimony to win. Plus, pictures of injuries, as well as of the property damage builds value. But it is a lot of work to get a case to the point a client and attorney can agree on the value. A jury uses this information to guide them. Once the defendant is found liable, the next question is “how much?”
A strong, straightforward advocate will be able to compile all of the information. Then he can place it on a plausible settlement demand letter. Afterward, he notifies the insurance provider for the liable defendant. No doubt, this could help settle or prepare for trial.
Doing the initial work up, getting investigative reports, as well as other evidence, enables your personal injury law firm to represent your interests properly. It is only following this method that gives your representative the best shot at getting you big money to compensate you handily.
The first and foremost important action a crash victim can take is to get into the ambulance and ride to the hospital E.R. Any delay in the chain of events and getting emergency medical care, allows a creative defense attorney to claim your injuries are fake.
P Is on way to rugby game. P gets rear-ended by B's car. Defendant B is in so much pain, he is medically evacuated. So he rides to the hospital in the ambulance. Plaintiff P calls a close by friend. So the friend picks him up. Next, P arrives at the hospital an hour later. But now he complains of and exhibits objective symptoms of a broken collar-bone. P sues B for the broken collar bone, easily proving the liability of B but only wins $1 in damages!
In the example above, the defense attorney successfully convinced a jury that P went on to play his rugby game. So he was able to suggest the P either broke or made his collar bone injury worse during the match. For this reason, alone, P decided to get treatment.
This example above with B and P describes a “gap,” in treatment or triage. When there is a gap, there is no unbroken documentation linking the cause to the effect of the injury. Defense attorneys love this and exploit it. Also, not seeking care demonstrates to many uneducated, cynical, or otherwise jaded third parties, that Plaintiff probably wasn't hurt.
Of course, experts can opine that adrenaline acts as a masking agent. Thus, pain takes time to show. This is because it remains chemically masked for a time. So although a gap in treatment is not fatal, it helps the defendant create doubt in the minds of the judge or jury. Because of this, Ehline always encourages the caller to get to the hospital. What we do is meet victims at the hospital and start protecting their claims right away.
Insurance companies also assign a high dollar status to some injuries. Examples include a blown, or ruptured disc, and any head injury. But any damage that takes longer to develop, or worsens over time, is an injury the defendant will dispute.
Typically, defense lawyers argue the later noticed injury was caused by your failure to mitigate. In fact, they may even argue things like a superseding, or intervening cause was responsible. For example, above we saw that a broken collar bone yielded a $1 award.
The sad part is the collar bone needs to be re-broken and reset. So that means costs of future surgery, a hospital, and an anesthesiologist must be hired. Also, a wheelchair and even a helper, like an at-home nurse are expensive. Sadly, in the example above, P wins on liability but loses on damages.
Hopefully, a smart rider understands that along with the fun of riding, comes other contingencies. Riding and injuries go hand in hand. As a result. For this reason, the smart biker will maintain a lawyer like Ehline on a retainer. Afterward, the biker has a lawyer tasked just for this purpose. Of particular interest, Ehline offers 24-hour support to our fallen motorcycle rider clients.
For example, be articulate in describing if you are unable to work, as opposed to simply working in chronic pain. The more details, the better the diagnostic report. Jury materials must be accurate. There is a significant difference between “ouch that hurts,” and “I can’t lift stuff at work and was fired as a result.” Understood?
The law allows a jury to assign a price tag to the emotions of grief, torment, humiliation, agitation, outrage, panic, and overall debasement. After all, the catastrophe has altered your life negatively.
Of particular interest, these damages are "subjective costs." In other words, the trier of fact must delve into the mind, body, and soul of a victim. Questions include: "how does this affect day to day quality of life?”
Juries want to know how valuable quality of life is. For example, what if the rider now suffers chronic pain and risks morphine addiction? So these damages are a major component of any injury claim. Evaluating a claim is just as much science as it is an art.
Running around, locating estimates and receipts can drain victims of their time and resources. A rider with no comp or collision coverage to replace the bike is left in the cold. So unless the wrongdoer pays money, your bike remains wrecked.
Even if the bike appears to be fixed, it is no longer “cherry” in the minds of any buyer or collector. So a top lawyer will be able to seek coverage for a new bike, or recompense for the lost value of the repaired bike, not just to have it repaired. Because of this, at Ehline we go the extra mile to get the full value out of your bike.
That victim with a regular job can use some sick pay, collect state disability. Also, if fired, he or she could probably collect unemployment insurance. But for the ambitious risk taker, nothing but torment and sadness remain after a smash up on a bike.
But for a lawyer, this remains important to know. In the meantime, the victim needs time to heal. If you fail to utilize the optimum time for recovery, your situation can worsen. Unfortunately, the nonemployee has a hard time recuperating. Most of all, he or she stresses over having no inflow of money.
No matter your job status, even a simple soft tissue claim can hurt a person economically. A more serious injury can harm your future earning capacity. And that could trigger a significant and rapid loss of funds.
But beyond that, victims must keep records with dates of tardiness from work, used up vacation, and sick pay. Furthermore, for the self-employed, they must keep records of lost contract(s), etc.
A crafty defense attorney will argue in mitigation that you were able to do work sooner. So they will assert you were playing hooky, or “milking” it. So in addition to employer documentation, your doctor must justify your absence in the medical reports. He will need to explain why you were not able to return to light duty.
Or, you will need to prove that your employer did not offer light duty. Of course, you will also probably need to show that retraining is not an option, assuming it is a permanent injury preventing you from your previous job description.
Our firm has the necessary training, knowledge, skill and time in grade to press your case to its maximum. Let us help you squeeze the maximum potential economic recovery. Speak to a legal pro experienced in motorcycle law. We have a proven record of excellent outcomes for aggrieved riders. Call us now at (213) 596-9642.