Auto Accident Settlement
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident on Florida’s Treasure Coast, you may be looking into your legal options. Serious injuries, lost wages, and property damage can add up quickly, and filing a claim could put you on the path to receiving the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
If you are considering taking legal action with the help of a Florida motorcycle accident lawyer, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. One of the most common questions we get at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is how long it takes to settle a motorcycle accident claim.
Every case is different, so the answer to that question is not straightforward. Let’s look at the claims process to get an idea of what you might expect.
The Motorcycle Accident Claims Process
A motorcycle accident claims process is multifaceted. Your lawyer will need to thoroughly investigate your accident, determine fault, value your losses, and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company.
While every case is different, you may be able to resolve your claim in a matter of months in the most straightforward cases. However, your attorney will explain what is reasonable based on your unique situation. Here are the factors they may consider:
Duration of Medical Treatment
No matter the severity of your accident, it is imperative to seek medical attention. As a motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger, you likely sustained some injury. However, remember that not all injuries are visible or immediately noticeable.
When you go to the hospital, the doctor will evaluate your condition, provide a diagnosis, and give you a treatment plan and prognosis. You must follow through with the doctor’s instructions regarding your recovery. If you feel that you need a second opinion, you have every right to pursue one. But, remember that abiding by your doctor’s orders increases your chances of pursuing a successful claim.
It is advisable to wait until you are at or near what your doctor considers your “maximum medical improvement,” which refers to a state of being fully healed or as much healed as you are reasonably going to be. Only once this state has been reached can you thoroughly evaluate the costs of previous medical treatments and any treatment you are likely to need in the future.
As with any personal injury claim, your damages for a motorcycle accident will be separated into categories. Your lawyer will evaluate your claim for economic losses and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are calculable, so they are typically straightforward when assessing damages. The most commonly sought financial losses include recovery for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the impact they will have on your life, your lawyer may also be able to seek compensation for the cost of future medical care and any lost earning capacity.
Non-economic losses are harder to calculate because they are based on subjective losses. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional trauma. Essentially, the more significant your accident, the more damages you can seek for non-economic losses. Your lawyer may also refer to similar motorcycle accident claims in the past to determine what may be reasonable.
In rare instances, punitive damages may also be available to you. Punitive damages are awarded when the at-fault party was grossly negligent when they caused the accident. The most common example of this is If a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they crashed. Punitive damages seek to punish the at-fault party and dissuade people from acting similarly in the future.
Assessing damages can take time, including the time to reach maximum medical improvement. Your attorney and their associates may require time to investigate your case, consult with subject matter experts, and accurately assess your damages in total.
Insurance Company Negotiations
Insurance companies and their adjusters will fight to reduce your settlement offer. They may use tactics to get you to say something they could use to jeopardize your settlement. For example, a simple “how are you?” with a polite response of “I’m fine, thanks” can, in some cases, be used to say that you are nowhere near as injured as you claim — therefore, you do not deserve the compensation you’re seeking.
It is essential to let your attorney take the reigns when dealing with the insurance company. Your lawyer will be aware of the tactics adjusters use and ensure nothing jeopardizes your claim.
Once both parties have presented their information, negotiations can begin. There’s often a significant back and forth that requires strong evidence on your behalf to prove that you deserve the amount of compensation that you are seeking. If negotiations go well, you can choose to reach a settlement agreement, and you will be awarded the money for your financial and non-economic damages.
Insurance processes are complex, and in many cases, insurers will purposefully delay proceedings to make you more likely to relent and agree to a low settlement offer. Your attorney can help expedite the process, but it will take some time to resolve fully.
Going to Trial After a Motorcycle Accident
In select instances, motorcycle accident claims can turn into lawsuits. If you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, you have the right to pursue further litigation. Keep in mind that if a standard motorcycle accident claim can be resolved in a number of months, you will find that one that proceeds to a lawsuit will likely take a year or more to come to a resolution.
Once you notify the court and the opposing party that you are filing a lawsuit, both sides will undergo discovery. This phase is when the plaintiff and defendant investigate their sides of the situation to build their claims. It is crucial to note lawsuits do not always need to go to trial. You may be able to reach negotiations and agree to a settlement amount at any point in time during the lawsuit process.
The lawsuit process can seem intimidating, but with an attorney by your side, you will know what to expect and what you need to do to improve your chances of obtaining a favorable verdict.
Get Help From a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accident injuries aren’t always easy to recover from. If you are suffering and are hesitant to pursue legal action, you should know that a motorcycle accident lawyer from Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is prepared to represent you and guide you through the claims process.
Working with a Florida attorney can improve your chances of pursuing a successful claim and obtaining full and fair compensation for your losses. With us by your side, you can rest assured your claim will receive the attention it deserves.
If you want to learn more about filing a claim, call 866-460-1990 or contact us online today.
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