Economic vs Non economic damages in a motorcycle accident
California is one of the best places in which to ride a motorcycle. The laws of the state have changed over the years to reflect the increasing number of people who use this form of transportation. Unfortunately, there has not been a corresponding improvement in the alertness and vigilance of motor vehicle drivers. Many such drivers feel that the road belongs to them and behave in ways that put motorcyclists in danger.
If you have been harmed in an accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver, then you do have legal options.
After the Accident
Few motorcyclists leave the scene of an accident without injury of some kind. If the crash you were involved in led to severe injuries, then you will need to be rushed to the hospital. The collision may have knocked you unconscious. In this instance, you will not know what was done to save your life until after you have sufficiently healed.
The more severe the accident, the more serious the injuries. And the more serious the injuries, the more money it will take for you to recover from them. The stark reality of accidents is that at some point you will need to figure out how you will pay your medical bills. The latter will include not only the treatment you required to keep you alive, but also the cost of staying in the hospital until you are well enough to leave it. You will also need to pay for rehabilitation services and prescriptive drug medicine.
When you have recovered your strength and are able to speak and think, you should talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer. You should speak to your lawyer before you speak to anyone else outside of your family. Indeed, the insurance company of the other driver may try to contact you to make an offer if they know that their client was at fault. You should not deal with insurers directly. You should instead refer them to your attorney. A lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents will know how to negotiate with the insurance company. They will know how to get you the settlement that you deserve.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
One of the first things your lawyer will do is discern the value of your case. You need not sue the person responsible for the crash or their insurance company straightaway. However, your lawyer will determine the amount of money they would ask for if such a lawsuit were to go forward. This figure is the amount they will demand in negotiations.
The amount is broken down into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages consist of money that you are entitled to owing to medical bills, loss of wages, loss of potential earnings, and other costs that you have incurred because of the accident.
Non-economic damages encompass a variety of things that you have suffered as a result of the accident. Emotional and psychological distress, loss of enjoyment of life, the strain on your family life—these are a few of examples of hardships that you may be forced to endure after the accident.
In some instances, the amount asked for non-economic damages will exceed that of economic damages. An experienced lawyer will know how to strike the right balance. You may be entitled to demand a great deal of money for non-economic damages if the accident has severely affected your quality of life.
In the state of California, there is no fixed formula for calculating non-economic damages. The main factors that affect jury decisions include the duration and severity of the injuries, the degree to which the injuries will affect your day-to-day life and that of your family, the length of time it will take you to recover from the injuries, and whether you will be able to recover from the injuries at all.
Again, the amount of money demanded by your lawyer is based on what a jury is likely to award you if the case were to go to trial. The insurance company will not want to take the case to trial, especially if you were badly hurt in the accident. Your lawyer will use this fact to pressure the insurance company to offer you a settlement that is at or near the amount they demanded. Your attorney will only advise you to file suit if the insurance company tries to stall or acts in bad faith. And they will only push for a jury trial if the insurance company refuses to offer a just and adequate settlement, and they are able to establish an air-tight case against the other driver and the insurance company’s obligation to pay. It is also important to remember that there is no cap for the amount of money that you can receive in this kind of case.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a lawyer to review and discuss your legal options.
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