Motorcycle Accident Injury
Unfortunately, if you or a loved one get into a motorcycle accident, there are chances of sustaining road rash, serious injury or even death. This is because motorcycles, while generally safe when ridden by responsible motorcyclists, provide motorcyclists little protection from being hit or crushed by unsafe drivers of other vehicles or from flying off the motorcycle and hitting the hard pavement. Because of the chances of injury, many motorcyclists in New York want to know how much their motorcycle accident claim will be worth if they file a liability claim with the other motorcyclist’s or driver’s insurance carrier or they file a personal injury lawsuit against the other motorcyclist or driver. Here are the factors that are considered when calculating the worth of motorcycle accident claims in New York.
New York’s Pure Comparative Negligence Scheme
When assessing the value of a motorcycle accident case in New York, it is important to keep in mind that New York follows what is called the pure comparative negligence scheme. This means that even if you played a part in the accident by acting negligent in some way, you may still recover monetary damages from the other person involved in the accident so long as you can prove that the other person acted negligently and this negligence also caused the accident. If you can prove that the other person’s negligence caused the accident, then the amount you recover from the claim will be reduced by the percentage of liability the jury assigns to you for causing the accident. For example, if your claim is worth $100,000 in total, but the jury determines that you were 20% liable for causing the motorcycle accident, then you would be entitled to receive only $80,000 for your claim.
So, in determining how much your case is worth, you need to look at all of the evidence and assess whether it can show whether you are in any way at-fault for causing the accident, and, if so, how much fault can be attributed to you. If all the fault rests with you, then your claim is likely worth no money because you cannot prove that another person is liable for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
Once you are able to prove that another person is at least partially responsible for causing the accident that led to your injuries and property damage, being able to produce evidence to show both your economic and non-economic damages will largely determine the actual dollar value of your motorcycle accident claim. Economic damages are those that can be calculated with certainty using documents and data. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are those damages that cannot be calculated with certainty.
Economic damages such as past and future medical expenses, property damage repair and replacement expenses, and lost wages and future lost earning capacity may all be proven by retaining receipts and bills so that they may be produced to the other person’s insurance carrier or to a jury as well as by using the testimony of certain experts. So long as you can produce bills, quotes, and receipts for your past medical expenses and property damage, old pay stubs and documentation showing that you could not work for a period of time due to the injuries you sustained in the accident, expert testimony from a medical expert on the type of treatment that will be needed in the future and its approximate cost, and expert testimony of an economist who can testify to the amount of money you will lose due to no longer being able to work in the same job or capacity you once did before the accident, the aggregate value of your motorcycle accident claim will be the aggregate sum of all the expenses you incurred and all of the money you stand to lose because of the accident, subtracted by the percentage of liability the jury assigns you for acting negligently when the accident occurred.
In many motorcycle accident claims, non-economic damages are monetary awards for having experienced pain and suffering. Because of the nature of the damage, it is hard to determine whether a jury would award any money to a motorcycle accident victim if they claimed they experienced pain and suffering from an accident. For this reason, it is hard to determine how much, if anything, your pain and suffering damage claim will be before the jury assigns a number to it after deliberating. In the event that you are able to prove you experienced pain and suffering because of the accident, your motorcycle accident will be the sum of the amount of damages assigned for pain and suffering and the amount of economic damages you can prove, subtracted by the percentage of liability the jury assigns you for acting negligently when the accident occurred.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case in New York
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident in New York? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Proner & Proner represent clients injured because of motorcycle accidents in all of the New York City boroughs, and throughout New York. Call (212) 500-1003 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 60 E. 42nd Street, Suite 1503, New York, New York 10165, as well as offices in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Bethel, Connecticut.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.