What to Expect in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Motorcycle accident survivors can almost always expect a settlement. About 95 percent of personal injury matters settle out of court. Generally, lawyers don’t settle claims because they’re afraid to go to trial. Instead, they settle claims because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Typically, people shouldn’t give up a good thing (a favorable settlement) in the hopes of getting something better (a larger trial verdict).
Settlement is a process, not a result. A Carlsbad personal injury lawyer must extensively prepare a case in order to obtain maximum compensation after a motorcycle accident. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Preparing a Claim
Based on the evidence, a San Marcos personal injury lawyer typically prepares an ordinary negligence or a negligence per se claim.
The evidence in a motorcycle crash case usually includes witness statements, the police accident report, and medical bills. The serious injuries that motorcycle wrecks usually cause sometimes affect the quality of evidence.
For example, if the victim didn’t survive, the victim’s testimony as a witness is unavailable, and the police report is one-sided. The officer only heard the tortfeasor;’s (negligent driver’s) version of events.
Electronic evidence, such as surveillance video camera footage and a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, which is much like a commercial jet’s black box, often fills in the gaps in these situations.
Ordinary negligence is basically a lack of ordinary care. Tortfeasors fall short of the standard of care if they drive aggressively or while impaired. If that breach (falling short) substantially causes injury, compensation is available.
Negligence per se, or the violation of a safety law, is a bit more straightforward. If the tortfeasor violated a safety law and that violation substantially caused injury, the victim could be entitled to damages as a matter of law.
The Pretrial Process
Once a claim goes to court, two major events happen. First, a Seattle personal injury lawyer gets a good look at insurance company defenses. Second, better evidence, and therefore higher compensation, becomes available.
During discovery, both sides must place all their cards face up on the table, in terms of their claims and defenses. Therefore, the insurance company’s legal strategy becomes clear, and an attorney can plan accordingly. Additionally, insurance companies have a legal duty to turn over all evidence in their possession, including proof like favorable witness statements.
As the pretrial process moves forward, the issues crystallize and settlement negotiations heat up. However, these talks often stall, usually because the insurance company drags its feet.
Resolving a Claim
If settlement talks deadlock, the judge usually appoints a mediator. In an informal, non-court setting, this person listens to brief opening arguments from both sides. Then, the mediator does what these professionals do best. They bring parties together and help them find common ground.
At this point, both sides are eager to avoid a trial. Regardless of the issues and evidence, a jury’s reaction is totally unpredictable.
Additionally, during mediation, each side has a legal duty to negotiate in good faith. During informal talks, many insurance companies go through the motions and then say “I’ll see you in court.” That attitude is not a good-faith negotiating position.
Mostly because of these two things, the mediation success rate in Southern California is over 90 percent.
Reach Out to a Hard-Hitting San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in San Marcos, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.