A motorcycle accident can be a terrifying and devastating experience. Whether you’re dealing with mental or emotional stress, physical injuries, or damage to your motor vehicle, the recovery process can be painful and difficult. When you’re the victim of an accident, you could be entitled to a financial settlement from the person who is responsible for the accident.
Your compensation should include both the tangible losses you suffered along with mental and emotional pain stemming from the accident. If your motorcycle accident occurred in the Indianapolis area, here are some things you should know about how your attorney will calculate your settlement.
Economic vs. Non-economic Damages
It is important to understand the distinction between economic and non-economic damages. This will help your attorney provide an accurate estimate of the compensation you should expect to receive.
Economic damages include medical bills, loss of income and future earnings, out-of-pocket expenses, and actual damage to your motor vehicle. It is easy to assess the cost of these damages: an appraiser can provide an estimate, and you can send an invoice or bill to the responsible party.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are not as easy to prove. Your emotional response to the pain and stress you’re experiencing can’t be calculated directly. This means you will have to provide proof of non-economic damages, such as a note from a therapist or counselor or testimony from loved ones, to prove that you’ve experienced mental and emotional distress because of the accident.
Pain and Suffering
The non-economic damages from an accident are often referred to as “pain and suffering.” These include any physical or mental impairment that affects the way a victim would normally function if the accident did not occur. Pain and suffering can be awarded for factors such as:
- loss of enjoyment of activities the victim once enjoyed
- physical discomfort
- loss of companionship
If you’ve received therapy or counseling for any of the conditions you developed as a result of the accident, the cost of treatment could be classified as economic damages. However, you may still be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering even if you did not receive treatment.
How to Prove Pain and Suffering
Since you may not be able to provide evidence of pain and suffering with an X-ray or photo, you’ll have to work with your attorney to prove that your life has drastically changed because of the accident. Family photos and videos from previous years, as well as detailed testimonies from close friends and relatives, can help the judge and jury decide if you should receive a pain and suffering award.
How Are Damages Calculated?
Most of the time, damages from pain and suffering will be calculated using a formula. Insurance companies will take the amount of the economic damages award and multiply that amount by a specific factor to determine how much the non-economic damages are worth. A multiplier between 1.5 and 5 is used to establish the non-economic damages award. Your lawyer will attempt to convince the court to use the highest multiplier possible so that you can receive all the money you deserve for your case.
Your attorney could raise the multiplier based on several factors. For instance, if it is proven that the accident was completely the fault of the other driver, and the lawyer shows medical records showing that your injuries are a direct result of the accident, you may receive more compensation. Your lawyer may also be able to get you a better settlement if you can provide evidence that it will take a considerable amount of time for you to recover from your injuries.
Talk to a motorcycle accident attorney in Indianapolis as soon as possible if you or a loved one has been injured. It is best to have a lawyer representing you when you have to negotiate with insurance companies concerning your accident settlement. An experienced attorney who is familiar with state and local laws will evaluate all the details of your accident case and help you gather evidence to prove how much your case is worth. The sooner you meet with an Indianapolis attorney, the sooner you and your family can receive the compensation you’re entitled to for damages and injuries.