Auto Accident Attorney Canoga Park, CA
You were in an accident that you don’t believe was your fault while riding your motorcycle, your bike was destroyed, you were injured and incurred medical expenses and were unable to work for a few weeks. You do not know the long-term prognosis of your injuries. How do you determine how much compensation you can expect to receive should your case go to court?
First and most importantly, hire a personal injury attorney that specializes in motorcycle accidents. These type of accidents are different from typical automobile accidents as the injuries are usually more serious because of the nature of the type of vehicle.
How is Liability Determined?
It is always the responsibility of the plaintiff (in this case the motorcycle rider) to prove that the defendant (driver of the other vehicle) was negligent and the accident occurred because of that negligence. If you cannot prove the defendant was negligent, you will not be able to collect much compensation.
How are Damages Considered?
Even if you were not at fault, but the accident did not result in serious damage to your bike or injuries to you, your case is probably not worth very much.
Another scenario would be if there was significant damage to your bike yet you cannot prove the other driver was negligent or, in fact, the accident was all or partially our fault, you will not receive much in damages. An insurance company is unlikely to settle for much if their client was not found to be at fault.
Is it Better to Go to Trial Instead of Accepting a Settlement?
If you are deciding whether or not to take the case to trial or settling the case without going to trial, think about the value of going either route. The settlement value is going to be smaller than the value of going to trial because going to trial means risking losing the case altogether. Sometimes, the risk of losing justifies taking the lower settlement value.
How is the Compensation Calculated in a Motorcycle Accident Suit?
A motorcycle accident case falls under the personal injury category and damages are generally split into two types:
- Damages that can be calculated exactly (actual damages)
- Damages that cannot be exactly calculated, such as suffering and pain
Actual or special damages include medical expenses, property damages, lost wages both present and future, as well as any lost job benefits. These costs are easily converted to dollar amounts.
Pain and suffering damages are more subjective and cannot be calculated by the dollar. There are no specific rules given to a jury when determining pain and suffering awards. The judge advises the jury to use good judgment and experience to determine damages for pain and suffering.
It is simple to figure out past lost wages. It gets more difficult when figuring out wages that could be lost in the future. Because calculating future lost wages is a bit more complex, an auto accident attorney Canoga Park, CA relies on at Barry P. Goldberg will usually enlist the assistance of an accountant or economist to gather this information for presentation to the jury during the trial.