After a motorcycle accident, you are probably wondering how you will afford to pay for all your expenses related to recovery. When you account for medical bills, costs to repair your bike, lost income from missing work, and other costs, paying for everything can feel impossible.
If another driver’s negligence caused your accident, you should not have to shoulder this burden on your own. Personal injury lawsuits are designed to help injured plaintiffs get compensation for their damages and injuries after a motorcycle accident.
Compensation may come after a lengthy trial, or it may come in the form of a settlement.
There is no real answer to the question of what makes a good settlement. A good settlement will look different for every case. For example, a settlement offer of $50,000 might be great for someone who suffered minor physical injuries and had to replace a totaled bike.
However, the same sum might be insufficient for someone who faced long-term hospitalization, extensive injuries, and expensive treatments. Determining whether a settlement is “good” requires looking at your own personal needs and the details of your case.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might need help paying for the related expenses. Our Maryland motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help get you covered.
We can advocate on your behalf at trial or negotiate the best settlement possible for your case. Set up a free, private legal consultation with our team at Rice, Murtha & Psoras. Call us today at (410) 694-7291.
Calculating the Value of Your Maryland Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim
When deciding if a settlement offer is a good one, you must consider your damages. Your damages include any injuries or losses you experienced because of your motorcycle accident.
It is important to talk to a skilled lawyer about your case because many people fail to realize the true extent of their damages.
Compensatory damages are most commonly awarded and are meant to put plaintiffs back in the position they were in before the accident, at least financially.
Punitive damages go beyond compensation and are intended to punish defendants.
Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages come with an explicit price or value, such as medical or repair bills.
Non-economic damages are losses that do not come with a stated value and whose worth is open to interpretation. To determine if a settlement offer is good enough for your case, you need to understand the total value of your damages.
Economic damages include medical bills, costs to repair or replace your motorcycle, and other similar expenses. Lost income from missing work while you recovered from your accident may also be included.
People often fail to realize how extensive their economic damages are. For example, most people know to include the cost of your hospital visit after an accident in your damages.
However, people tend to overlook costs for medication, physical therapy, and equipment like wheelchairs and crutches.
According to Md. Code, Cts. Jud. Proc. Art., § 11-109, economic damages include both current and future expenses. This means you can include the expenses you have already incurred and those you anticipate in the future.
Non-economic damages are also part of your overall compensatory damages and include injuries that do not come with a price tag. Under Md. Code, Cts. Jud. Proc. Art., § 11-108, non-economic damages can include pain, suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and other injuries.
These injuries all cause some degree of pain and discomfort, but they do not come with real monetary costs. Determining the value of non-economic damages requires analyzing how they have impacted your life.
The greater the impact on your life, the more money they might be worth. If you suffered serious non-economic damages, your settlement should be greater. Our Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyers can help you assess your compensatory damages and negotiate a good settlement.
In Maryland, plaintiffs are not entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are those that go beyond mere compensation and seek to punish the defendant for their bad behavior.
Punitive damages are separate from compensatory damages, so you must make a separate claim for these damages when you file your lawsuit.
You must prove that the defendant acted with actual malice rather than mere negligence to be awarded punitive damages. Actual malice could be an intent to cause harm.
It is unlikely that a settlement offer will include anything for punitive damages. Even courts are reluctant to award punitive damages unless the defendant’s behavior is particularly awful.
However, if you have strong evidence of malice by the defendant, you may be able to negotiate for a greater settlement.
Punitive damages can be very high if they are awarded. Not only that, but Maryland places no cap on punitive damages. Some plaintiffs have been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in punitive damages.
To avoid a potentially high punitive damages award, a defendant may be more willing to offer a generous settlement offer. Call our Annapolis motorcycle accident lawyers for help with your settlement.
What Makes a Good Settlement Offer After a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
What makes a good settlement offer will depend largely on your damages and what you believe your case is worth. Like any other negotiation, you will argue for a larger sum, and the defendant will make a much lower offer.
In most cases, the final settlement meets somewhere in the middle. Whether you should accept a settlement offer depends on whether the offer adequately covers your expenses and whether you could fare better at trial.
Do you feel satisfied with the settlement? If the defendant makes an offer you feel is unfair, but you are worried about your prospects at trial, do not hesitate to negotiate for a better deal.
Are your expenses covered? If the settlement offer does not fully cover at least most of your damages, it is probably a bad deal. Is your case strong?
If you have strong evidence on your side and you have a high likelihood of success at a trial, you stand in a better bargaining position. You can use that position to get a bigger settlement.
Our Dundalk motorcycle accident lawyers can review your case and help you get the best settlement possible. Keep in mind that settlements are often less than the total damages you claim when you file your lawsuit.
Accepting a settlement means accepting less than what you originally asked for. However, the settlement should still adequately cover your expenses.
Call Our Maryland Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might have numerous expensive medical bills and other damages. Our Maryland motorcycle accident attorneys can help you get the best settlement to pay for your damages. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free legal consultation.