If you were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you likely have a great many questions. You may have concerns about compensation for your injuries as well as whether you can receive financial recovery for a totaled motorcycle.
Tort Law and Your Motorcycle Accident
In the United States, compensation for injuries, damages, and losses arising out of an accident, including one involving a motorcycle, is governed by what is known as tort law. A tort is defined as an act or omission that results in injury, damage, harm, or other losses to another party. A tort is considered a civil wrongdoing for which courts are able to impose liability on the party that caused the wrongdoing or accident.
Overview of Compensable Losses in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Financial compensation awarded in an accident case, including one involving a motorcycle, depends on the facts and circumstances of the incident itself. In addition, the actual injuries, damages, and losses experienced by a victim of someone else’s negligence come into play.
With that understood, here are some common examples of losses for which compensation is often awarded in an accident case:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Physical disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Property damage or loss
Grounds for Determining That a Motorcycle is Totaled
As part of obtaining fair compensation for a severely damaged motorcycle, certain factors come to bear when making a decision that a bike is totaled or deemed worthless.
- Is damage to the bike is so severe that it cannot be repaired in a safe manner?
- Are the costs associated with repairing the motorcycle greater than the actual value of the bike itself?
- Is damage to the motorcycle so significant that it is not considered safe pursuant to state law or associated regulations?
Insurance Claim Settlement
Even if an insurance company intends to declare a motorcycle “totaled” during the claims settlement process, that determination does not guarantee that you will receive a fair settlement. Insurance companies are in business for a primary reason; they exist to make money for their shareholders. One way in which an insurance company increases its profits is to limit the amount of money expended on claims, including claims that seek payment for property loss such as a damaged motorcycle.
Insurance companies utilize a variety of strategies to limit their exposure in claims. Their goal is to reduce the amount of money they pay to claimants. Skilled and experienced motorcycle accident lawyers in Washington DC can assist you in taking on an insurance company that seems committed to preventing a fair, complete, and comprehensive financial settlement. This includes full payment for a totaled motorcycle.
Some people elect to forgo seeking legal assistance during the insurance claim settlement process. These individuals conclude that involving a lawyer would decrease the amount of money they obtain in the end. In fact, time and again, accident victims that retain legal counsel end up with larger claim settlements than is the case for those who do not have professional representation. This usually proves to be true even when attorney fees are taken into consideration.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen for their insight into motorcycle accident cases.