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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Motorcycle Accident > Factors Affecting Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement

Factors Affecting Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement


If you believe you may have a claim after a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering how much a settlement or award could be worth.  Unfortunately, there are too many factors at play to know in advance just how much your claim could be work.  However, there are a few key factors that affect the level of compensation to which you are entitled and that you will receive.  Read on to discover them.

How the Parties Value the Case

The first factor to keep in mind is to determine how much the parties believe the case may be worth.  Valuing the case simply means coming up with the best guess as to what the case will be worth to both parties, guessing what the plaintiff will be willing to accept and what the defendant would be willing to pay.  This will help determine whether the case settles before trial as well.  The biggest element of valuing a case like a motorcycle accident claim is the plaintiff’s damages- both property and injury- and their intrinsic value.

Likelihood That the Defendant Will Be Found Liable

Another of the major factors in valuing your claim is the likelihood that the defendant will be found liable in the case.  At trial, if the plaintiff has little or no evidence proving the defendant was at fault, the value of the case decreases accordingly.  In that case, the defendant would be more willing to roll the dice with a jury verdict and less likely to settle, even if the case would ordinarily be worth a lot of money.  Further, a plaintiff would be likely to settle for less than the claim would be worth, because of the risk that at trial, the plaintiff may be awarded nothing.

Amount and Availability of Insurance

If a defendant has few assets, a settlement will not exceed the liability limits of the defendant’s auto insurance.  There have been plenty of cases in which a jury verdict exceeds these limits, but the plaintiff in those cases is often limited to that which can be collected via insurance proceeds.

Bias and Prejudice Against Motorcycle Riders

Ideally, personal opinion should take a backseat to logical thinking when it comes to determining who is at fault for a motorcycle accident and to what, if anything, the plaintiff is entitled.  However, preconceived notions are often not left at the door of the courthouse.  Many people dislike or distrust motorcyclists or believe they invite accidents by virtue of being on a motorcycle.  Juries might be less likely to award high levels of compensation, even if a plaintiff deserves it, compared to the driver or passenger in a car accident.  This is one of the reasons it is important to find an attorney with experience taking motorcycle accident cases, who can help fight against this potential bias on the jury.

 The Ability of Your Attorney

Many attorneys will line up to take your motorcycle accident case.  However, the best attorney for your case is one with experience in motorcycle accident cases.  You can contact a Columbia motorcycle accident attorney with experience at The Stanley Law Group.  Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.


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