What factors could affect the value of my motorcycle accident claim?

Motorcycle on the Ground in Front of a Car After a WreckEvery motorcycle collision in Virginia is unique. The amount of compensation victims will recover from the negligent driver’s insurance company could be different even if they suffered the same injuries.

Why is this true? It is because each case has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are the factors you need to know about that could affect the value of your claim.

#1: At-Fault Driver’s Actions

The negligent actions of the other motorist could have an impact on how much your claim is worth. If they were driving at an excessive speed, such as 90 or 100 miles per hour, or were drunk or high on drugs when they caused your crash, this could increase your claim’s value. You may even be entitled to punitive damages if their actions were especially egregious.

#2: Severity of Your Injuries

If you suffered a long-term injury, such as internal organ damage, spinal injuries, or a traumatic brain injury, you could need medical treatments for the rest of your life. You may need to take off work for an extended period of time—if you are not permanently disabled. This can significantly increase the value of your claim.

#3: Amount of Insurance Coverage

The amount of insurance coverage available to compensate you will have a direct bearing on the value of your claim. The negligent driver’s insurance company is only responsible for compensating you up to the motorist's insurance coverage limits.

If this is insufficient to compensate you fully, you may be able to file a claim under your own underinsured insurance coverage if you purchased it. However, your insurance company would also only have to pay you up to your insurance coverage limit. If there is not much insurance coverage, this will reduce the value of your claim.

#4: Your Own Fault

Another factor that profoundly impacts the value of your claim is your degree of fault in causing the motorcycle accident. Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence law that would prohibit you from recovering any damages if you were even one percent to blame for the collision.

#5: Your Actions After the Motorcycle Accident        

The actions you take right after your motorcycle crash will also affect the strength of your case. If you want to have a strong claim against the negligent driver, you should take these five actions right away:

  • Contact the police at the scene and obtain a copy of the police report.
  • Take pictures of the collision scene, damage to the other vehicle and your motorcycle, and your injuries.
  • Get the contact information for the motorist, their insurance company, and eyewitnesses.
  • Obtain prompt medical care within 72 hours even if you believe you were not hurt or that your injuries are minor.
  • Retain a skilled motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Were you injured in a motorcycle crash in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk areas? Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are here to fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.