Should You Sue or Settle Your New York Motorcycle Accident Injury?
In New York, motorcycle accident injuries, along with other types of vehicle accidents, are one of the lead reasons people seek legal help from personal injury attorneys.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you should talk to a New York motorcycle accident injury attorney before talking to insurance investigators about any sort of settlement. Always keep in mind that the goal of an insurance adjuster is to pay you as little as possible for your injury. Anything you tell the insurer may be used as a reason to lower the amount they offer. A qualified attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company to get the best settlement for your motorcycle accident injury.
But what if the insurance companys best offer is less than you think you are entitled to? Youll have to decide whether to sue or accept the offer. Your New York motorcycle accident injury attorney can help you review the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
New York law requires you to prove that the other party was negligent and that the other partys negligence is the primary cause of your injuries. If the other party is the driver of another vehicle, you may be negotiating with that drivers insurance company. If your injury was caused by some defect on your motorcycle, you may be dealing with the manufacturer or its insurance company.
Since New York is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, you must also prove what percentage of the fault was the other partys versus what percentage was your own fault. Generally, you must be less than 50 percent at fault in order to recover damages. Any damage award you get from the court will be reduced by the percent that you are found responsible for your own injuries.
For example, if the court finds that your injuries are worth $100,000 but that you were 40 percent responsible, while the other party was 60 percent responsible, you will only be awarded $60,000.
Valuing Your New York Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim
The amount of damages is based on a variety of factors, including:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Damage to your property (such as your motorcycle)
- The cost of hiring someone to assist you while you recover from your injuries
- Any permanent disabilities you suffer from the accident
- Your emotional distress such as anxiety or depression following the injury
- Where applicable, the nature of the defect of the product, such as your motorcycle
A good New York motorcycle accident injury attorney can help you determine the approximate value of your claim. The lawyer can also help you figure out whether you have enough evidence to prove your case in court. Weighing these factors together will help you decide whether to accept a settlement offer or take the matter to court.