So, you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida and gotten the medical treatment you need; what’s next? Your first step should be to hire a personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you are owed for your injury and the damages you have suffered. Next, you need to determine what damages can be claimed after a motorcycle accident.
This article will take a look at the damages that can be claimed in a motorcycle injury lawsuit and how having a personal injury lawyer on your side will improve your chances of being awarded damages in a settlement. If you have any questions about your case, contact the Ocala motorcycle accident attorneys at Anderson Trial Group for a free case evaluation.
Compensatory Damages Vs Punitive Damages
What exactly are damages in a personal injury claim? Damages refer to the monetary compensation awarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit either by the court or through a settlement reached with the defendant’s insurance company. These damages are awarded to reimburse the victim for expenses, pain, and suffering incurred due to an accident caused by another person’s negligent actions.
Monetary reimbursement awarded to the victim in a motorcycle accident for economic damages, such as medical bills, or non-economic damages, such as emotional trauma, are known as compensatory damages. These payments act as compensation for the negative impact the negligent actions of the defendant have had upon the life of the plaintiff.
It is important to note that compensatory damages are not considered income by the Internal Revenue Service, and therefore are not taxable.
On the other hand, punitive damages are not awarded as compensation for hardships caused by the accident, but rather a punishment enforced by the court for extremely careless behavior on the part of the defendant.
For instance, in a case where the at-fault party was proven to be intoxicated at the time of the accident, they may be forced to pay punitive damages if they already had multiple substance abuse convictions. Be aware that punitive damages are considered taxable income unlike compensatory damages.
What Damages Can Be Claimed After A Motorcycle Accident?
You can help improve the overall value of your claim by understanding what damages you can claim in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. There are several different types of damages one may be able to pursue after being injured in a motorcycle crash. Here are some of the most common damages claimed after a motorcycle injury.
Medical expenses are perhaps the most common type of damage people claim following a motorcycle injury. Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous and can cause severe, often life-threatening injuries. These injuries often require expensive medical treatment to help the victim recover and may even require further treatment in the future.
Make sure to seek an immediate medical evaluation and treatment following an accident. Once your health and safety have been seen to, it is important to maintain organized and detailed records of your medical expenses. These expenses should all be included as damages claimed in your lawsuit.
Medical expenses following a motorcycle injury can include (but are not limited to):
- Ambulance fees
- Healthcare consultations and diagnostic testing
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Bodily disfigurement
- Surgery or other procedures
- Permanent disability
- In-home services (medical or non-medical)
- Accessories (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers)
- Ongoing or future treatments
Motorcycle accidents are often deadlier than car accidents due to the relative lack of protection a motorcycle provides riders. Families who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s reckless driving can claim damages for the wrongful death and any medical expenses incurred between the accident and time of death.
Lost wages can be another unfortunate windfall brought on by injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Serious injury can prevent you from returning to work temporarily or even permanently due to disability. People may lose opportunities to earn income following their accident due to:
- Attending physical therapy
- Time spent in the hospital (surgeries, diagnostic testing)
- Physical disability
If your accident has prevented you from earning wages or working in the way you usually would, your attorney should take this into account when calculating the value of your claim. You will need to prove that your injuries have prevented you earning income or will impair your ability to earn income in the future.
Damage to Personal Property
Any damage that has occurred to your personal property because of an accident where you were not at fault can also be claimed in a personal injury lawsuit. You may want to seek compensation for any damage to your motorcycle, motorcycle helmet, or any other personal property damaged during the crash.
Out-of-pocket expenses can be claimed as damages in a motorcycle injury claim as well. This could include the cost of transportation for medical examinations or therapy sessions, or the cost of altering the claimant’s motorcycle to accommodate any disability suffered in the accident.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering experienced after an accident can encompass any physical, emotional, or mental trauma the injury has produced. The damages a claimant can legally pursue due to pain and suffering can be determined by the severity and scope of their injuries as well as the likelihood of future pain and suffering the victim may endure.
Pain and suffering doesn’t simply refer to the physical pain an injury has caused, but also the emotional and mental trauma caused by the accident. Victims of a motorcycle accident may suffer from crippling anxiety or fear because of their injuries. This may prevent them from enjoying riding or other aspects of their life as a result.
Loss of Companionship
Loss of companionship is a type of damage that you can claim in a personal injury suit on behalf of the injured party’s spouse. Also known as loss of consortium, a claimant may seek compensation if their injuries have impaired or diminished their capacity for physical intimacy or companionship.
When To Hire A Motorcycle Accident Attorney
It is always important to remember that the first professional you should see after being involved in a collision is a doctor, even if you did not require urgent care. Your health and safety should always be your highest priority and the records from your initial medical examination may play a vital role in seeking damages for your injuries.
Once your physical wellbeing has been seen to, it is time to look for legal help. Insurance companies will often try to dissuade you from hiring a personal injury lawyer and attempt to intimidate you into accepting their initial settlement offer. However, motorcycle accident attorneys with experience taking on big insurance companies, such as those at Anderson Trial Group, will help you get the most out of your claim.
Motorcycle injury claims can involve complex litigation that may be difficult to navigate for the average individual. The attorneys at Anderson Trial Group are committed to providing the best legal representation available to the community of Ocala, Florida. Every case has its own unique set of circumstances and we focus on using our comprehensive knowledge of Florida injury law to attain the best possible outcome for our clients and their families.
Having a trained and experienced attorney on your side can benefit your case in a number of ways, such as:
- Full Accident Investigation: Your attorney will perform a thorough investigation of the accident, securing any video or photo evidence and tracking down witnesses.
- True Claim Valuation: Personal injury lawyers will look at all the factors involved in a case to assess what damages should be claimed and added to the value of a claim.
- Legal Counsel: An attorney will provide you with legal counsel over the course of your claim and be your legal representation in any proceedings regarding your claim.
- Your Attorney Wins When You Win: At Anderson Trial Group, you do not owe your attorney any payment unless your claim is successful or a settlement is reached.
How Is The Value Of Your Claim Calculated?
There are a multitude of factors that go into calculating the value of your claim. Insurance adjusters may calculate the value of your claim differently than a personal injury attorney. This is why hiring a lawyer can be very important.
An insurance adjuster may try to get you to settle for a payment that is far less than what the value of your claim should be. A personal injury attorney will look at all the circumstances surrounding your case and use this information to calculate a fair and reasonable value for your claim.
Your lawyer will calculate the value of your claim by adding up the monetary value of all the damages and expenses you have incurred due to your injury. Additionally, your attorney will consult with your doctor or any healthcare professionals treating you to assess the cost of any future treatments or procedures you may need later.
The value of any emotional or mental suffering (non-economic damages) caused by your accident is usually calculated by the insurer. Typically this value is reached by multiplying the total cost of economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5. The more severe an injury, the higher the multiplier is.
Speak To The Ocala Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Ocala, Florida make sure you hire the best local personal injury lawyers to represent you. The Ocala motorcycle injury attorneys at Anderson Trial Group have years of experience taking on insurance companies and fighting for the rights of our clients.
We will work night and day to make sure you and your family are not left suffering in the aftermath of a dangerous motorcycle crash. Contact our legal team today at (352) 619-0995 to schedule your free case evaluation.