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What Compensation Should I Get If I Am in a Motorcycle Accident?

Posted on July 19, 2021 in

motorcycle accident compensation

Oregon is a fault insurance state, holding negligent drivers financially responsible for the harm they caused their victims—including motorcyclists. Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can hold the at-fault driver accountable and recover compensation for certain losses, known as damages. 

These damages vary based on the circumstances surrounding your accident, so it can be difficult to estimate your potential settlement without speaking to a Portland accident lawyer. However, there are certain forms of compensation you are entitled to receive, and certain factors can influence your claim value. 

Economic and Non-Economic Damages in Motorcycle Accident Claims

The bulk of a motorcycle accident settlement will involve the economic and non-economic damages you sustained in the accident. Economic damages refer to the tangible, financial losses you experienced due to the accident and your resulting injuries. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, involve your physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Common damages in Oregon motorcycle accident claims include the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses, including surgeries, doctor’s visits, and prescription medications
  • Lost wages during your recovery period and loss of future earnings, if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
  • Property repairs and replacements for any damage you sustained in the accident
  • Mobility equipment, live-in care, modifications to your home or vehicle, and other disability accommodations you may require
  • Rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other specialized treatments
  • Physical pain and suffering, such as chronic pain, disability, discomfort, disfigurement, and scarring
  • Emotional pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, depression, anxiety, loss of quality of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder

An Oregon motorcycle accident lawyer can help you identify the types of compensation you may qualify for and accurately estimate your award. He or she may enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, who can calculate your long-term care costs. Using this information, you can advocate for sufficient compensation during the claims process.

Factors That Influence the Value of Your Claim

While it can be difficult to estimate your award without speaking to an attorney, certain factors may influence the value of your claim. If you have very severe injuries, for example, you will likely need more medical care, incur long-term care costs, and require more time away from work. You may be unable to return to your previous job and need disability accommodations to perform daily tasks. Your pain and suffering costs will also be higher with more serious injuries; many insurance companies use formulas based on injury severity to calculate these intangible damages. All of these factors can increase the amount of compensation you can expect to receive. 

Unclear liability could also impact your case value. If the insurance company believes that you are partially responsible for your accident, the representative assigned to your case could use this information to reduce or deny your award. Under Oregon’s comparative negligence laws, the court could reduce your settlement by the amount of fault you allegedly share. If the court finds that you are 51 percent or more responsible for the accident, it will prevent you from recovering any compensation.

In these situations, you need an attorney on your side. A Portland motorcycle accident lawyer can defend you against accusations of shared fault and help you gather the evidence necessary to establish the at-fault driver’s liability. After receiving treatment for your injuries, contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.