When you’re hurt in a crash on your motorcycle, you deserve a fair settlement. It’s important to understand how a personal injury attorney arrives at a fair settlement for a motorcycle accident. Each case is different. Settlements for personal injury accidents are both large and small depending on the circumstances. Our personal injury law firm explains fair settlements for motorcycle accidents.
What is a fair settlement for a motorcycle accident?
A fair settlement for a motorcycle accident is an amount that represents your losses and your rights under the law. The factors that impact the amount of a fair settlement include:
- Physical injuries and their severity
- Costs associated with emergency and long-term medical care
- Mental health damages
- Pain and suffering
- Laws in the jurisdiction and whether no-fault laws apply
- Damage to the motorcycle and riding gear
- Comparative negligence
- Legal issues that call legal liability into question
The goal in awarding financial compensation for a motorcycle accident is to make the victim whole for their losses. The payment should be sufficient to cover the losses of the victim but not so much as to award a windfall to the victim. Because accidents differ in severity, it’s appropriate to vary the amount of compensation based on the actual losses of the victim.
Determining compensation for a motorcycle accident
Determining compensation for a motorcycle accident requires evaluating the actual losses and damages. In Pennsylvania, there is a form of no-fault law where each driver looks to their own car insurance in order to cover a minor accident. However, Pennsylvania is unique in that drivers have a way to essentially opt out of the no-fault system when they choose their car insurance. (See Pennsylvania Statutes Title 75 section 1705.) In addition, when a victim meets a certain injury threshold, they may pursue third-party compensation despite no-fault laws in Pennsylvania. Valuing compensation involves determining what damages the victim can claim including economic and non-economic damages.
Are motorcycle settlement laws the same as car accident laws?
Motorcyclists are given the same protections under the law that car accident victims have. Your rights to claim compensation are no different than they are for others simply because you are a motorcyclist. Whatever your damages are, you may claim them in full. If your case goes to trial, it’s important to work carefully with your personal injury attorney to choose a jury that can hear the case impartially and fairly apply the law to a motorcyclist.
Valuing a fair settlement for a motorcycle accident
Valuing a fair settlement for a motorcycle accident requires valuing each category of damages. As the victim, it’s critical to ensure that no category of damages is overlooked. A personal injury law firm can assist you with identifying losses and gathering the needed proofs in order to support the claim. Your personal injury attorney can help you address any legal issues that are relevant to the case as well as any factual issues that may be specific to motorcycle claims.
Many insurance policies include something called a duty to defend. That’s a promise from the insurance company to defend the insured party if a case involves coverage from the policy. Whether it’s because of a car accident or another personal injury case, understanding the duty to defend is important. Our personal injury attorney team explains the insurance company duty to defend in Pennsylvania.
What does the duty to defend cover in Pennsylvania?
The insurance company duty to defend in Pennsylvania covers any claim that is within or is even potentially within the scope of the policy. For example, say someone is in a car accident. They have liability insurance. The other party believes they are at fault, and they want to make a claim against the insurance policy.
If the insurance contract contains a duty to defend, this situation triggers it. The facts of the situation are that the insurance company may have to pay a claim. Therefore, they must fulfill the part of the contract that requires them to defend the insured party in the claim. A duty to defend exists in a range of different types of insurance. It is common in car insurance policies in Pennsylvania.
How does Pennsylvania law determine if a claim triggers the duty to defend?
The State of Pennsylvania says that the parties must look at the four corners of the insurance contract and the four corners of the legal complaint in order to determine if the duty to defend is triggered. It’s important to look at the language of the insurance contract and what exactly it says about the insurance company’s obligations. Then, it’s important to look at the language of the complaint.
When looking at the complaint, it’s important to look at the facts alleged in the document itself. The labels of the causes of action are not necessarily controlling. However, the court does not accept extraneous information when determining whether the insurance company has a duty to defend.
Notice for the duty to defend in Pennsylvania
One important issue that our personal injury law firm frequently encounters is notice for the duty to defend. In order to defend the insured party, the insurance company has to know about the case. The insured party has a duty to tell the insurance company about the claim.
Pennsylvania law is quite broad when it comes to what notice is sufficient for the duty to defend. Any reliable source is sufficient. For example, notice from a co-insured about the claim is sufficient. If notice is late, the insurer must show how the delay prejudices their ability to defend the insured.
Determining Pennsylvania rights under the duty to defend
If there’s any question about rights and obligations under the duty to defend, the parties may seek declaratory relief. If you’ve been in a car accident, a personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights. Our personal injury law firm can help you address any issues present in your case including the duty to defend.