When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you expect the at-fault party to pay for the costs of your injuries. They were careless, and now, you are suffering for it. Unfortunately, it is not always so easy to get the compensation you are due.
You may struggle to get compensated because of comparative negligence, which may lower the funds you receive for your injuries and suffering after a motorcycle accident. What is comparative negligence in a motorcycle case, and what should you expect from your claim? Here is what you need to know.
What Is Negligence?
When a person begins driving, they have a duty of care to avoid hurting others while in or on their vehicle. For example, you are not responsible for stopping other accidents, but you are expected to take care to avoid causing one. This means following the rules of the road and being aware of your surroundings.
Negligence happens when a driver fails to respect that duty of care. Often, this causes motorcycle accidents, some of which are severe. Proving negligence will also be a significant part of getting compensated for your case.
Your lawyer must prove that the driver was negligent, meaning they breached their duty of care and that you were injured or suffered damages because of their negligence. If you are unsure whether you can prove the at-fault party was acting negligently, a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer has tools at their disposal that can make this easier. Talk to an attorney for the guidance you need for your case.
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Comparative Negligence in a Motorcycle Case
While few accidents are solely the fault of one party, avoiding blame is a crucial part of securing your financial recovery. Comparative negligence refers to a shared responsibility between the parties involved in the accident. That means the fault will be split according to the percentage of fault between all involved parties, which can impact your compensation.
For example, you may have been struck by a driver who was texting and ran a red light. However, you may have been listening to loud music or speeding and could not hear or stop in time to avoid the accident. Because of this, you may be assigned 10% of the fault for the accident.
It may sound minor, but it can get serious fast. For example, your claim may be worth $150,000. When your compensation is reduced by 10%, you will lose $15,000, and this reduction will leave you with $135,000 for your injuries.
While this may seem like plenty of funds, motorcycle accidents can be especially damaging, meaning the costs of your recovery will be higher. A decrease in your claim’s worth may seriously impact your ability to fully recover.
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What Happens if I Already Accepted Part of the Fault?
As a motorcyclist, it can be tough to avoid partial blame for your accident. Even if you did nothing wrong, other drivers often stereotype motorcyclists as reckless and dangerous, and that stereotype has hurt many motorcycle accident cases.
Because of that, accepting fault and even apologizing generally for the accident is a bad idea. The insurance company will use that to its advantage to hurt your case and reduce its value. They may even try to avoid paying anything for your claim if you do not fight back.
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Maximizing the Value of Your Claim
Following a motorcycle accident, you need to get the most out of your claim that you can. Maximizing your claim gives you the tools to recover when you are hurt and suffering.
So, how do you maximize the value of your claim? Your lawyer can help you know your claim’s worth and build a defense for your case.
Know Your Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Recovery from a motorcycle accident can be costly. You may have already been injured, you are traumatized, and you are struggling to cover the costs of your injuries. These are all known as economic and non-economic damages, and you should receive compensation for these damages.
Because they can be challenging to calculate, it is easy to ask for a smaller settlement offer than you are due. For example, you may not know how much your pain and suffering are worth, so you aim lower than is correct. That leaves you with even less if you are blamed for your injuries.
Because of this, it is vital to get compensated fairly for your injuries, or you may be left with far less than you are due. Reach out to your lawyer for the tools needed to calculate your claim.
Avoiding Fault for a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Beyond ensuring you are asking enough for your claim, avoiding any penalty to your compensation is critical. It is also doable with the right lawyer.
Your motorcycle accident attorney has the tools you need to defend your case. That includes expert witnesses, photographs of the scene, and any other evidence you can provide.
Our lawyers will also represent you in the courtroom, which means you can focus on your health, not on whether you are saying the right things. If you worry about avoiding fault, your lawyer will do everything possible to reach the best outcome based on your circumstances.
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Speak with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help
When you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, getting the compensation you are due is vital to your recovery. You should not have to pay out of pocket for your healthcare and property damage, especially when you cannot earn that money while you are hurt anyway. Because the at-fault party will likely try to harm your claim, it is vital to speak with a lawyer to protect your compensation.
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, we know motorcyclists often face trouble in the form of blame for their own injuries. We also know you are more vulnerable to injury because you lack protection. Our team is ready to take on your case and maximize the compensation you receive.
Ready to speak with our motorcycle accident attorneys? Call us or complete our convenient contact form to start with a free consultation about your claim.