Negotiating And Accepting A Settlement
Without the assistance of a motorcycle accident lawyer, you will have to negotiate a settlement on your own. People who are unfamiliar with state laws surrounding personal injury may find this to be intimidating. Here are some things to keep in mind when negotiating or accepting a settlement:
Beware Of The Initial Offer
Insurance adjusters will almost always offer you a low initial offer to start negotiations. You could be missing out on the compensation you are owed by accepting this first offer. It is always a good idea in negotiations to counter with an offer that is on the higher end of what reasonable compensation would be. This will give you room to negotiate for a more appropriate settlement.
The insurance companies will typically present you with their own counter-offer next. Take time to consider their offer carefully before accepting or continuing the negotiations. A settlement negotiation will usually carry on like this until a mutually accepted amount is reached.
“Pain And Suffering” Damages
Motorcycle accidents can cause a lot of pain, suffering, and emotional damage beyond that of just injuries. These factors should be considered in a settlement offer in the same way they would be if the claim goes to trial. A settlement offer that does not include compensation for your pain and suffering may be inadequate.
Personal injury lawyers can help you understand these damages and how they apply to your case. You may find that you are entitled to a larger settlement than you are being offered even if your injuries are minor.
Your Claim Could Go To Court
Any motorcycle accident claim has the potential to go to court. If you are unable to agree upon a settlement amount outside of court, your case could go to trial where a jury will determine the outcome. This is important to consider when evaluating a settlement offer. A settlement out of court can help you avoid court fees and court appearances but you want to be sure you are still getting fair compensation.
You must be able to sway the opinions of the jury in order to win a case in trial. People who are representing themselves may find this difficult, especially when insurance companies have lawyers on their side working against you.