Average Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident
In 2022, according to the Colorado State Patrol, 149 motorcycle riders died in accidents on the state’s roads, representing 20 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Riding a motorcycle can bring a great feeling of freedom, but let’s face it – a motorcycle is hardly a match for a vehicle weighing 3,000 pounds or more if the two collide. From the motorist’s perspective, it is often difficult to see a motorcycle approaching your vehicle because it may get caught in a blind spot. Or it may appear out of nowhere, making reaction time critical to avoid any type of accident.
Fatalities are one indicator of danger on the highway for motorcyclists, but injuries also loom large. Colorado is an at-fault auto insurance state, which means that as a motorcyclist, if you are injured by the negligence or actions of another driver, you are entitled to make a claim against that person’s auto insurance, and even to file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.
Auto policies have caps on bodily injury payouts starting as low as $25,000, which means a personal injury lawsuit may be the best route to recovering for your injuries and losses. According to Jury Verdict Research, the average award in a motorcycle personal injury lawsuit nationwide is $73,700. Some awards were higher and some lower.
If you have been injured as a motorcyclist in an accident in or around Denver or Aurora, Colorado, contact us immediately at the Gama Law Firm LLC. Our legal team will listen to your story, assess the circumstances, and advise you of your best options going forward. If you’re gong to file an insurance claim, we will handle the negotiations with the underwriting company and its representatives. If warranted, we can also pursue a person injury lawsuit.
Recoverable Damages After a Motorcycle Accident in Colorado
Damages is a legal term for compensation you can receive due to your injuries and losses in any type of accident that can be contributed to the negligence of another person or party. These damages are broken down into two categories – economic and non-economic. Economic damages are also referred to as special damages and non-economic damages as general damages.
Economic damages refer to anything that requires payment or loss of income, which include:
MEDICAL AND TREATMENT EXPENSES: These expenses can range from an initial visit to a doctor or an emergency room to any subsequent surgery, treatment such as physical therapy, and medications.
LOSS OF WAGES: If your accident-related injuries prevent you from working while you’re recovering or undergoing treatment, those losses are also compensatory. If your injuries keep you from working, then loss of future earnings is an option.
PROPERTY DAMAGE: Any damage to your motorcycle – or its total loss – would also be a factor in recovering economic damages.
Non-economic damages could include:
PAIN AND SUFFERING: The effect your injuries have on your everyday ability to function.
LOSS OF ENJOYMENT: You can no longer do the activities that brought you joy, such as dancing, exercising, or playing sports.
LOSS OF CONSORTIUM: Your physical or mental condition has lessened your ability to engage in companionship.
Factors That May Determine a Settlement Amount
Insurance adjusters will generally use what is called a “multiplier” to determine your settlement. This is especially so with economic or special damages. The multiplier is based on multiplying your losses by a factor of between 1.5 and 5. When calculating your settlement, adjusters will look at:
The severity of your injuries.
The medical treatment you have received.
The medical treatment you may need going forward.
Your prognosis – will you recover?
Are there any long-term or permanent effects?
The impact on your daily life.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, insurance policies have caps on them, and for bodily injury, drivers are only required to carry $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person, $50,000 for all persons they injure. After that, you may have to look at filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you do opt to file a lawsuit, you face a two-year statute of limitations from the date of your accident to do so. Also, Colorado uses the modified comparative negligence rule in determining fault in any accident.
For instance, if a jury – or a claims adjuster for that matter – determines that you were 30 percent at fault for the accident you were injured in, then you would receive only 70 percent of what you are seeking. Thus, $100,000 can become $70,000. If you are determined to be 50 percent or more at fault, then you are entitled to nothing. That’s why this standard is also known as “the 51 percent rule.”
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Of course, your health and well-being are the primary considerations if you’re injured in an accident. Get medical help as soon as possible. If you are able to health-wise, you need to get the insurance and other contact information of the driver with whom you had the accident. If there are witnesses, get their statements. Use your cellphone and take pictures or videos of the scene, including your injuries and damages to your motorcycle.
The most important step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney even before you file your insurance claim. Make sure you have all the essential medical and other evidence before submitting your claim, but you must be prompt. You can’t wait weeks or months to file an insurance claim. That will only draw suspicion on the insurer’s part.
Also, it’s best to let your attorney deal with the insurer and their claims adjusters. Your attorney will know all the tricks adjusters use to try to pin as much of the blame as possible on you, so they can low-ball or deny your claim.
Rely on Our Experienced Guidance
At the Gama Law Firm LLC, we have nearly seven decades of experience in helping clients with their personal injury claims. You will receive personalized, one-on-one attention and service from your attorney, and your claim will be handled efficiently and effectively. If a lawsuit is warranted, we will pursue that with the utmost vigor as well.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in or around Aurora or Denver, Colorado, reach out to us immediately at the Gama Law Firm LLC. We also proudly serve clients in Parker, Centennial, and Castle Rocks.