When an injured motorcycle rider or passenger learns that he or she may be eligible to file suit against the at-fault motorist who caused his or her collision and injuries, one of the first questions that injured party is likely to ask his or her motorcycle crash attorney is, “How much money can I get?” This is a legitimate question: after all, the injured party has likely incurred significant medical expenses and may have missed several days or weeks of work as a result of the motorcycle crash. The injury victim is often eager to get his or her personal and financial life back in order so he or she can achieve some sense of normalcy in his or her life again.
Before the question of “How much money can I get?” can be answered, another question must first be addressed: “How much is the case worth?”
How are Motorcycle Accident Cases Valued?
“Valuation” refers to the process whereby a dollar figure is attached to a motorcycle accident case or other personal injury case. This “dollar figure” tells not only the injured party and his or her attorney but others as well how much harm (expressed in terms of dollars) the motorcyclist suffered and, hence, how much compensation the motorcyclist believes he or she is entitled to receive from the at-fault party. Different attorneys and plaintiffs may arrive at the dollar figure for a case in different ways, but the underlying goal is the same – to arrive at as accurate an amount as possible.
Valuation requires injured motorcycle accident victims to first compile and consider his or her economic losses. Economic losses refer to those expenses and financial losses which can be easily documented and verified using billing statements, insurance benefits reports, time cards, and receipts. Economic losses also refer to future anticipated expenses that are capable of estimation with reasonable accuracy.
Economic losses include:
- The cost of hospital stays, medical treatment, and surgeries – both those that have already occurred as well as those that the motorcycle crash will likely need in the future. For example, if the motorcycle crash suffered disfiguring injuries and scarring, he or she may need multiple surgeries before he or she will experience the maximum benefit from medical treatment. The cost of both the past procedures and the future procedures will need to be considered;
- The cost of physical therapy to assist in rehabilitating the motorcycle injury victim and enabling him or her to regain functioning and independence;
- The cost of home health care services, if the motorcycle crash victim is unable to care for him- or herself or needs assistance in meeting his or her medical needs;
- The expenses associated with prescription drugs and medical or assistive devices like crutches, wheelchairs, and other medical devices;
- Time the victim has already missed from work due to his or her injuries as well as time he or she is reasonably expected to miss. For instance, if the victim can reasonably expect to miss six additional months of work because of his or her injuries, this could be considered an economic loss and be used to help value the case;
- The victim’s lost lifetime earning potential. For example, if the victim cannot return to his or her job in which he or she made $25.00 per hour because of his or her injuries but must instead accept a job making $20.00 per hour, that $5.00 per hour (multiplied by the number of hours the victim would expect to work over his or her remaining lifetime) can be compensated.
Once the economic losses are valued, the injured motorcyclist and his or her attorney will look at the noneconomic losses incurred by the victim. Noneconomic losses include losses and expenses such as pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life. These losses are highly subjective: what one person believes his or her pain and suffering are worth (in dollar figures) is not necessarily what another person in the same situation would consider his or her pain and suffering worth – and neither is what a jury hearing their personal injury cases might consider their pain and suffering to be worth. Injury victims will need to work closely with their attorneys to determine appropriate figures for noneconomic losses.
Stern Law, PLLC Helps Injured Motorcyclists Complete the Case Valuation Process
Case valuation can be accomplished must more swiftly with the help of an experienced motorcycle crash law firm like Stern Law, PLLC. Our team can help identify economic and noneconomic losses in your case, and we know where to locate the records and evidence needed to back our case valuations up. Having an accurate picture of the value of your case can assist you in determining whether to accept a settlement offer or whether to proceed to trial. Let Stern Law, PLLC help you complete this important task in your case. Call us today at (844) 808-7529 to discuss the facts of your motorcycle accident case today.