You think you have a really good shot at winning your motorcycle accident case. The driver who struck you on I-49 had been seen driving erratically just before he pushed you onto the shoulder near Red Bridge Road—even the police accident report supports your story. The driver’s attorney has contacted you with a settlement offer, but it’s not as high as you had hoped. Should you take it, or would you get more by going to trial?
Settlements Versus Trials in a Motorcycle Crash
There are a few things to consider before accepting a settlement offer. Firstly, while you are likely to win a larger amount in a trial than you would receive in a settlement, accepting a settlement will save you the trouble of going to trial—including collecting witnesses, paying attorney fees, and so on. Secondly, just because you go to trial does not mean you are going to win. If you accept a settlement, you are guaranteed to the amount you were offered; if you decide to go to trial and lose, you will not be awarded anything.
Lastly, you should understand that a settlement is forever. Once you accept the amount, you release your right to seek additional funds in the future, so you should be certain it is enough to compensate you for your losses.
How Can I Tell If the Settlement I Was Offered Is Enough to Cover the Damages of a Motorcycle Accident?
Before accepting a settlement, you should tally up all of the costs that you have paid out of pocket for your injury and any financial losses you suffered as a result. Your settlement should at least pay for costs you have already paid for your injury, as well as any salary and employment benefits you lost because you were unable to work. If those conditions are met, but you are still recovering or have a permanent injury, you should consider going to trial for payment of future medical costs.
Many settlements do not take into account the cost incurred from pain and suffering. Since these amounts vary depending on the parties involved, they are harder to calculate financially. You are much more likely to receive compensation for pain and suffering by going to trial, since it will be up to the jury to award you additional funds and you will be able to talk about the difficulties of your condition in court.
The best way to determine if you have received a fair settlement offer is to have an attorney consult on your case. Unfortunately, many drivers and litigators are biased against motorcyclists, assuming they are to blame for causing accidents on the road. James Roswold is an avid biker, as well as an experienced injury attorney, and knows firsthand the types of injuries drivers can cause motorcyclists. Fill out the contact link on this page for a personal evaluation of your case.