Q: What am I entitled to receive for my injuries?
A: Every case is different. The exact type of compensation and the amount you might receive depend on your individual situation. For example, the amount you receive will vary depending upon how severely you were injured, whether you are working and what type of job you have, if your injuries are permanent, if you are married, and numerous other factors.
As a general rule, you are entitled to recover for any of the following expenses:
In some cases, in which the other party's conduct was unusually bad, you may be able to recover punitive damages.
Q: Is compensation automatic?
A: The types of compensation listed above are not automatically awarded in every case. It is up to you to prove what expenses you have incurred, or will incur in the future, and how much those expenses were or will be.
Q: How long will my case take?
A: The length of time a case takes depends on a number of things. A complex case, with several different parties, all with different claims, can take a lot longer to resolve than a relatively simple case, involving one injured party, and one party who caused the injury.
Many straightforward cases are resolved in four to eight months. It is possible, but unusual for a case to take much more than one and a half years to resolve.
Q: I wasn't wearing a helmet when I was in an accident. Does that make a difference?
A: You may bring an action for your injuries even if you were not wearing a helmet, but not wearing a helmet may make a difference in the amount of damages you receive. If not wearing a helmet did not cause or aggravate your injuries (for example, if you were hurt in your legs, and wearing a helmet would not have made any difference in your injuries), it probably will not make a difference. Your attorney will discuss your specific case with you.
Q: What is comparative negligence?
A: Comparative negligence compares the negligence of everyone involved in an accident. When a jury hears the case, the jury members decide what percentage of the total fault goes to each person involved. The amount of compensation awarded to a person will be reduced by his or her share, or percentage, of the total fault.
Q: I was hurt in an accident last week, and the other driver's insurance company has offered to pay me some money. Should I accept it?
A: No! Accepting that check may mean that you have released the other driver from all liability for your accident. You may have to sign a release to get the promised money, or the back of the check you get may have a notation on it that your endorsement of the check means that you release the other driver from any past, present, or future liability for your injuries. “Some” money might be all that you get for your injuries.
The problem with a quick settlement, such as the one you have been offered here, is that it may take weeks or even months before you know the full extent of your injuries. Perhaps you've been out of work since the accident: do you know for sure when you will be working again? Do you know how much your medical bills will be? Odds are good that there are too many unknowns to make it a good idea to settle your case now. You would do best to consult with an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle injury cases before you sign anything.
If you have any questions about the information provided above or if you have lost a loved one or were injured in a motorcycle accident, please schedule a free consultation by calling us toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or, if you prefer, filling out our intake form and having us contact you.
At Weber and Nierenberg we understand your anxiety about getting all of your medical bills paid, loss of earnings reimbursed, compensation for pain, suffering or the loss of a loved one and the costs of high quality legal representation. We provide an initial evaluation of your claim at no charge to you. If you decide to retain us we will negotiate a contingency fee with you that you are comfortable with so that you will not pay any attorney fees or costs unless we get you compensation for your losses.