It’s not easy to give an exact value for a motorcycle accident claim, even if that motorcycle wreck results in a permanent, disabling injury. That’s because no two cases are alike. The injuries differ in severity and the effects may not be exactly the same from one injured rider to the next.
Permanent Injuries and Economic Damages
One of the most important aspects of any injury claim – and one of the easiest to calculate – is the economic damages you’ve suffered. This entails adding up the wages you’ve missed while you’re recovering, the medical bills you’ve incurred as you sought treatment, and any other expenses related to the accident.
But permanent injuries cause lasting and sometimes lifelong damages that create additional expenses. In extreme cases, if you require long-term care such as an in-home nurse, you must account for those expenses.
The same goes for wages. You may have to work with your attorney and an expert witness may provide testimony regarding the effects of your permanent injuries on your ability to work. An expert may also estimate your lost wages related to the accident and your injuries.
The Health Council published a study in 2010 on the incidence and total lifetime costs of motor vehicle-related fatal and nonfatal injury by road user type and they determined that the medical care and lost productivity cost roughly $99 billion. Of that amount, motorcycle fatal and non-fatal injuries made up $12 billion.
Permanent Injuries and Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they don’t come with receipts. An insurance company may calculate the value of your noneconomic damages based on the value of your economic damages by using a multiplier based on the severity of your injuries.
For instance, a permanent and serious head injury may warrant more non-economic damages than a permanent knee injury.
Talk to your attorney about how best to estimate your non-economic damages, these may address:
- pain and suffering;
- mental anguish;
- disfigurement; and
Should I hire a lawyer for my motorcycle wreck case?
In addition to establishing your damages, you must also provide evidence of the other motorist’s fault if you’re pursuing a liability claim. If the other motorist tries to place some of the blame on you, you may have to present evidence that you were not to blame for the accident, or at least not as responsible as the other motorist is claiming.
Because of Iowa’s negligence laws, if you’re 51 percent or more at fault, you cannot recover damages; even if you’re less than 51 percent at fault, it will proportionally reduce the damages you can recover.
A lawyer at Walker, Billingsley & Bair can help you recover damages for permanent disability if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Des Moines. If you are in need of help with your motorcycle wreck case, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a free consultation. Call us at (888) 435-9886 or use our online contact form.