If you are a motorcyclist injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, your first step should be to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Unfortunately, motorcycles offer little protection in an accident, leaving riders wounded and facing expensive medical bills. A motorcycle accident lawyer in San Antonio and Houston can help you seek financial support for the bills you incurred because of the accident.
How Much Compensation Can an Injured Motorcyclist Get If They Work With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Sometimes individuals can be hesitant to pursue accident claims because they worry it will be a stressful experience providing a minimal reward. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you require to cover your medical expenses and lost wages due to the accident.
While it is impossible to predict an exact number without knowing all the information about a particular claim, certain factors will impact the amount of money you receive.
Factors That Influence Compensation for Injured Motorcyclists in Houston and San Antonio
Insurance adjusters separate physical injuries into two categories. The first is soft tissue injuries, where the primary evidence of harm is the patient’s statement of discomfort, and the damage may not be visible to others. The second is known as a hard injury. These injuries can be proven through a medical examination.
Soft tissue injuries involve muscles and other soft tissues. Injuries such as strains and sprains fall into this category; they are challenging to seek compensation for as adjusters know they are difficult to prove in court. Hard injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, burns, head trauma, and spinal injuries are compensated much higher. These injuries can cause complications, which makes adjusters motivated to settle before you realize the extent of your condition.
No matter how traumatic your injuries were, if you appear visibly healed and your medical records don’t show you were injured, seeking compensation will be an uphill battle. Make sure you inform your doctor about every issue you have from the accident so that they can note it in your file. Don’t suffer in silence or try to keep a brave face. Be honest with your doctor about the pain and struggles you are experiencing due to your injuries.
An example would be if you experienced a concussion; you may appear healthy to others after the accident. However, if you suffer from headaches, dizziness, vertigo, loss of coordination, or mood swings, make sure your doctor knows. When seeking compensation, every issue you list in your claim needs to be supported by a medical provider’s records if you want to receive the largest settlement possible.
If you can prove that the accident has left you with long-lasting or residual injury, you can seek higher compensation. For example, even a wound that seems minor can cause a great deal of pain and expense if it turns into a chronic condition. In addition, major long-term injuries, such as those affecting the spine and head, will earn you higher compensation than injuries impacting other parts of the body.
Scarring and disfigurement usually result in a large settlement because of aesthetic reasons and because scar tissue is often painful and limits your range of movement. However, sometimes insurers will try to compensate you less if your scarring covers an area usually hidden by clothing. In that situation, you should ask your doctor to refer you to a plastic surgeon and have them prepare you a quote that states what your scarring would cost to fix.
Impact on Your Life
If your injuries have limited your abilities to perform your job or participate in activities you once enjoyed, this can be leveraged to allow you to seek increased compensation. Be truthful when describing how your life has changed, and resist the urge to exaggerate or stretch the truth. It may be tempting to embellish your suffering, but it could cost you.
In high-dollar settlements, it is common for insurance companies to hire private investigators to monitor the injured individual to see if their behavior aligns with their claim. For example, suppose you claim you can no longer enjoy running marathons as you once did, and a private investigator catches you out jogging. Your chances at compensation will be significantly damaged in a case like this, even if you can now only jog periodically and are being completely truthful about your inability to run marathons as you once did.
Probability of the Defendant Being Found Liable
The defendant’s likelihood of being found liable is critical in valuing a motorcycle accident. If you and your personal injury lawyer cannot prove the other party is at fault for your injuries, the other party will not be inclined to settle. As a result, the defendant will often go to court instead, where if you cannot prove them to be at fault, you will risk leaving with nothing.
Victim’s Safety Precautions
If you were operating your motorcycle safely and wearing appropriate protective gear when you were injured, you are more likely to receive compensation. In addition, if you and your motorcycle accident lawyer can prove that you are a responsible, safety-conscious rider who was injured due to the other driver’s error, jury members will be more sympathetic.
Alternatively, suppose witnesses saw you behaving recklessly before the incident or not wearing a helmet. In that case, a jury will not be inclined to reward you as much compensation, even if you were indeed a victim of a negligent driver.
The Defendant’s Insurance Policy
When a defendant does not have very many assets, a settlement is unlikely to be greater than the defendant’s automobile insurance liability cap. While juries can determine an accident victim deserves more than the defendant’s limit, that doesn’t mean the victim will automatically receive the total amount. Sometimes the injured party will be stuck accepting a settlement amount equal to the defendant’s policy limit, even if their damages exceed that number.
Unfortunately, many individuals are unfairly prejudiced against motorcycle riders and may allow their bias to impact their view of your case negatively. In a perfect world, jurors leave their opinions at the courtroom door and focus only on the facts, but the world isn’t perfect.
Claims adjusters are familiar with some people’s poor view of motorcycles and will use this knowledge to leverage a lower settlement. However unfair it may be, injured cyclists must be more diligent in following proper protocol when seeking restitution for their injuries.
Being Represented by a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with a personal injury lawyer who has a successful track record offers you the best odds of getting a good-sized settlement. Since some factors will be working against you, if you suffer an injury while riding a motorcycle in Houston or San Antonio, you must employ the best legal representation possible.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than drivers operating traditional automobiles and frequently suffer long-term injuries from accidents. Therefore, these individuals deserve to be highly compensated for their medical bills, pain, and property damage. When seeking compensation for your injuries, the first move is to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Give the Gamez Law Firm a call today and let our team handle your accident claim.