What damages should you get after a motorcycle accident? | Morris James LLP
Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries and life-changing property damage. Injured motorcyclists or their passengers may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries and losses from their own insurance company, the offending driver or his or her insurer, or another offending party. But sometimes injured motorcyclists are forced to negotiate with their own insurer or other parties, or even take legal action, to ensure they are fully compensated for all of their qualifying losses.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance in Delaware
After a motorcycle accident, some of your expenses may be covered by your own auto insurance company. The extent of your cover will depend on your individual policy. In Delaware, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP) per person and $30,000 per accident, but you may have paid for additional PIP coverage in your own policy. PIP requires your insurance company to pay for your (and your passengers’) medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident, regardless of fault.
Maximizing your coverage on your motorcycle insurance is crucial. Motorcycle policies are often sold as minimum policies with large deductibles, which are cheaper and therefore attractive. However, often motorcyclists are seriously injured in collisions with other motor vehicles. When this happens, a cheap insurance policy with a large deductible probably won’t cover all of your accident-related costs. The more coverage you have for payment of medical expenses and lost wages, the better. The lawyers at Morris James will be happy to discuss with you the coverage you have under your motorcycle policy.
If another driver is responsible for the motorcycle accident, you may also be entitled to compensation from their insurance company. Minimum insurance coverage requirements in Delaware for motorcycles and other vehicles are $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage. Therefore, if another driver is responsible for the accident and your costs exceed your own PIP coverage, you may be able to obtain compensation for your additional expenses from the responsible driver’s insurer.
Your losses and damages in a motorcycle accident
Insurance policies often do not cover all types of losses and damages you suffer in a motorcycle accident, or the total amount of your losses may not be compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurer because they exceed policy limits or the insurer refuses to pay in full. When this happens, it’s helpful (even crucial) to have a motorcycle accident attorney on your side. A lawyer can explain your legal rights and communicate with insurers or other parties on your behalf to help you get the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
A lawyer will explain to you the different types of damages that the law recognizes and compensates in a motorcycle accident. Not all of these categories of damage are covered by auto insurance policies, and it may be necessary to take legal action against a liable party to obtain full compensation for your losses:
Medical costs after a motorcycle accident can be significant. Ambulance charges, ER admission, hospital stays, surgery charges, rehab charges, PT bills, pharmacy bills, therapy charges, and medical device costs do not are just a few of the expenses you or your passengers may incur if you are injured in a motorcycle accident. .
Future medical bills
When someone is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, they may need ongoing medical care, including medication, a medical device (like a wheelchair), physical therapy, or counseling. Calculating a victim’s future medical expenses is complex, and victims who do not have the help of a lawyer often underestimate their future medical expenses, or do not account for them at all.
Loss of wages and benefits
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you will likely have to be off work for days, weeks, or even months. You have the right to be compensated for your lost wages and benefits when you miss work due to a motorcycle accident. This would include days lost to attend medical appointments for injuries sustained in the crash.
Future loss of income and benefits
If your injuries in a motorcycle accident prevent you from working in the future, either at all or at the same level of income as before the accident, you are entitled to be compensated for the wages and benefits you would have won had you not been injured in the motorcycle accident. As with estimating future medical bills, calculating future lost income is technical and should be done with the advice of an accident attorney who can ensure you are fully compensated. You should NOT accept an insurance company’s estimate of future revenue loss because they are acting in the best interest of their profit margin, not you.
Home and Vehicle Modifications
Serious injuries in a motorcycle accident can leave you with temporary or permanent disabilities that require changes to your living situation. For example, if you are left in a wheelchair, you may need a ramp, chair lift, widened doorways or hallways, or bathroom aids and modifications to your home . Adaptations to your vehicle may include a swivel chair or hand controls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides useful information on available adaptations and their costs hereestimating that a new vehicle modified with adapted equipment could cost up to $80,000.
pain and suffering
Pain and suffering are the physical and emotional trauma caused by a motorcycle accident, distinct from the medical costs incurred as a result of injuries. This includes pain and discomfort from physical injuries at the time of the accident, during recovery and in the future, as well as any emotional distress, mental anguish or loss of enjoyment of life that the victim experiences as a result of the accident. ‘accident. It is difficult to assign a monetary value to a victim’s pain and suffering because they are not evidenced by receipts, pay stubs or invoices, and they simply cannot be calculated accurately. The amount awarded to a victim for pain and suffering will be decided by a jury at trial. However, an attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents understands how juries review a case to determine an amount for pain and suffering, and can help victims get the amount they deserve for their physical trauma and emotional, whether in settlement or at trial.
Although most of the damage in a motorcycle accident is likely to come from your physical injuries and mental trauma, you are also entitled to compensation for property damage caused by an accident. Damage to your motorcycle and any protective gear would be considered property damage.
What to do if you are responsible for a motorcycle accident in Delaware?
If you are responsible for a motorcycle accident, your insurance coverage and your right to compensation may be affected depending on the location of the accident. Different states have different fault laws and different insurance coverage requirements. In Delaware, there are two very important pieces of state law that will affect your compensation:
- PIP coverage is mandatory in Delaware and applies regardless of fault. Therefore, when you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you will first turn to your own PIP coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.
- Delaware is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that if you are more than 50% responsible for a motorcycle accident, you do not have the right to claim damages from the other party.
This is a simplification of two laws that can have major consequences on your file and your financial recovery. The laws surrounding motorcycle accident compensation are complex and require the experience and skill of a competent attorney to interpret and apply them to your individual situation.
But how much can you recover after a motorcycle accident?
We understand that it is frustrating to be told all the expenses and damages that count towards your compensation in a motorcycle accident, but not receive a dollar amount. Every motorcycle accident is different and every victim is different, so it is not possible to give a standard amount of compensation for ALL motorcycle accidents. Some people have minor property damage that is covered by insurance while others are catastrophically injured, incur huge medical expenses and never work again. Their right to compensation would be radically different.
A reputable lawyer will never guarantee you a specific amount of financial compensation after a motorcycle accident. However, after learning more about your personal situation, an experienced lawyer will often be able to tell you what other people in similar situations have received in compensation. This is one of the reasons why it is invaluable to have a lawyer knowledgeable in motorcycle accidents on your side when negotiating a settlement amount or going through a lawsuit.