There is a popular phrase quoted by many bikers. “If you want to be happy for a day, drink. If you want to be happy for a year, marry. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.” Many motorcyclists believe there is nothing like the open road and a comfortable bike seat. But when a motorcycle accident happens because of someone else’s negligence, your open road Zen can quickly become a mountain of medical bills and sorrow.
Luckily, most motorcycle riders injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence are entitled to collect compensation. The question is, how much are they entitled to collect? To learn more about the average settlement for a motorcycle accident in Virginia, keep reading.
What Is the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement in VA?
Virginia is an at-fault state, which means that the party liable for your accident will likely have to pay for your damages. But because motorcycle accidents vary widely in severity and the level of resultant injuries, it isn’t easy to calculate one “average” settlement amount. Every case is different, and each outcome depends on various factors and the circumstances surrounding the trauma.
Typically, adding up all your concrete expenses, like medical bills, lost wages, and property damages, will give you a general idea of what to expect. However, that figure does not include compensation for your noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are more subjective, harder to calculate, and typically include money for things like pain and suffering.
Damages in a motorcycle accident vary. But they commonly include the following economic and noneconomic losses:
- Ambulance bills,
- Medical and doctor’s bills,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Therapy costs, and
- Loss of consortium.
This is not an exhaustive list, and your lawyer may be able to identify damages not listed. In some cases, a court may also award punitive damages if the negligent party acted with willful and wanton negligence. Courts award punitive damages to punish bad actors for their outrageous behavior and deter others from acting similarly. In the very rare case that a court does award punitive damages, it can add up to $350,000 to your settlement.
What Are the Factors that Affect a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
How much economic loss your accident caused is a big factor in determining your settlement. Lost wages, property damage, and doctor’s bills can add up. However, your pain and suffering damages can also comprise a large portion of your compensation. Other factors that insurers and judges consider in determining a comprehensive settlement award include the following:
- Your accident’s cause,
- Your injury’s severity,
- The type of medical care you need and will continue to need in the future,
- How long you’ll need continuing medical care,
- Your employment type,
- How long you expect to miss work to recuperate,
- Loss of earning potential,
- How your injury affects your daily activities,
- How your injury affects your mental health,
- Your age and health before the accident,
- The egregiousness of the at-fault party’s negligent behavior,
- The way your pain and suffering affects your relationships with friends and family,
- Any loss of consortium,
- What courts or insurers awarded for other similar accidents,
- How many liable parties are involved in the accident, and
- Whether you hold any fault for your accident.
Virginia is one of only four states that follows a “pure” contributory negligence rule. This rule means that if an insurer or court finds you share any responsibility for your accident—even if you are just 1% at fault—that will bar you from any recovery. Virginia’s use of the pure contributory negligence rule makes it especially important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer after a motorcycle accident. A skilled personal injury attorney will know how to fight insurers’ attempts to shift the blame to you to avoid paying your rightful damages. Your attorney will also know how to calculate your case’s worth.
Contact the Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC Today
The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC, litigated the largest motorcycle injury verdict in Norfolk, VA—winning a whopping 10.2 million dollars for our client. With over 47 years of experience seeking justice for injured motorcycle accident victims under our belt, we know how to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies and hold at-fault parties accountable. Being in a motorcycle accident is a harrowing experience. The last thing you need is the hassle of chasing down insurance companies and defending your right to compensation. Recognized as a Best Law Firm by U.S. World News, our legal advocacy team will go to bat for you. We offer aggressive representation and a warm, compassionate environment where you can rest assured knowing you’ve got the best on your side. Call us now or contact us online for a free consultation to see how we can help you.