Your family member was just involved in a serious accident. You jump in to offer help where you can and find yourself making repeated phone calls to an insurance company that represents the at-fault driver. They take a few days and send your family member an offer to settle the matter, in full, for a small fraction of the medical bills.
It's normal to feel offended, helpless, and afraid in the days and months that follow a car accident. It's also normal to need the support of an accident attorney in deciding whether an offered settlement amount is reasonable. If you've found yourself questioning what settlement amount you can expect from a motorcycle accident, here are just a few factors to consider when deciding whether to take the settlement.
Insurance Is a Business
Insurance companies are businesses first and foremost. They will look at a number of things when deciding whether to pay for a claim and when determining how much to offer. If you're lucky enough only to need your vehicle to be replaced, the settlement offer will typically be the estimated cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle. If you have a serious scratch on the body, the insurance company is likely going to offer to replace the panel. They aren't very likely to offer you a new motorcycle if the damage is cosmetic or easily repaired.
Injury Settlements Are Complicated
Injuries are harder to settle because insurance companies price injury settlement separately from property damage. The insurance company will look at your current medical bills, some lost wages, and future complications that may arise from your injuries. A complicated area is found in pain and suffering damages. These damages are designed to pay you for the actual pain of being injured in a violent car accident. You need to participate in medical treatment, document all complications stemming from the accident, and work closely with motorcycle accident legal services if you are going to maximize your recovery for damages from pain and suffering.
Injury Settlement Amounts Are Subjective
Insurance companies are likely to push back on pain and suffering claims, particularly when you are seeking compensation for future medical complications and psychological complications. They're also likely to limit payment to the policy limits of the at-fault party. If you suffered $200,000 of damages and the other driver only had a policy limit of $15,000, the insurance company will never pay more than $15,000 to resolve the matter. You'll need to sue the driver personally for the balance of the money.
Reach out to motorcycle accident legal services for more information.