accident with a motorcycleA serious motorcycle accident can be scary. The injured rider may be struggling physically and shaken emotionally. Sadly, motorcycle accidents account for a significant amount of traffic crash injuries and deaths.

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, you may be anxious over how you will make a full recovery. Meeting your family’s financial needs may also be on your mind. You might wish to settle your accident claim as quickly as possible to get your life back on track.

Each individual motorcycle accident claim is different; some motorcyclists receive a settlement within weeks of the incident, while other claims take longer. The experienced attorneys of Siegfried & Jensen have decades of experience helping Utah injured victims navigate the claim system and maximize settlements. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at Siegfried & Jensen today at (801) 845-9000 or complete the online form to schedule a free case review.

Factors That May Impact How Long It Takes to Settle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

Motorcycle injury claims have many variables. The complexity of the case, the parties involved, and the extent of the damages all have an impact on the length of time required to pursue an accident claim successfully. When calculating how long a settlement negotiation may take, it is important to consider certain key factors, such as the following.

The manner of the accident

Some motorcycle injury cases are straightforward and proven with ease. Such claims can often be settled within a relatively short period of time.

Conversely, alleged negligence can be much harder to establish in other cases. Sometimes, liability for the accident is fiercely disputed, or multiple drivers were involved in the incident. Under such circumstances, more time may be needed to determine exactly how the accident happened.

The amount of damages involved

When you seek considerable damages, your case could take longer to resolve. High-value settlements resulting from complex injury claims are sometimes delayed.

Depending on the extent of your losses, you may be able to gain compensation for such things as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • In-home care
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Disability
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

Such high-stake cases usually involve extensive insurance negotiations. It is not uncommon for insurers to prolong the negotiations in an attempt to pressure the accident victim into accepting a less sizable settlement.

You have not reached maximum medical improvement

If you experienced minor injuries and recovered quickly, you may be able to reach a personal injury settlement relatively fast. Yet, for good reason, serious injury cases often take a significant amount of time to resolve.

Serious or even catastrophic injuries may impact your daily life for the foreseeable future. If you are still receiving medical treatment for your injuries, you have not reached maximum medical improvement. It is rarely in your best interests to settle an accident claim without first assessing the complete scope of your injuries and calculating how much money is needed to cover your medical bills over time.

The recovery process is not always what you expect it to be. If there are complications, the amount of time you need to reach maximum medical improvement may change. However, your medical providers can submit documents detailing your prognosis to the insurance company and the court.

Together with your doctors and attorney, you can establish how much financial compensation you need to cover your current and future medical expenses. Assigning an accurate monetary value to your claim can help you reach the best quality of life attainable after your accident.

Multiple parties were involved in the accident

If multiple parties were involved in the crash that led to your injuries, the settlement process will likely be more complicated. When multiple defendants are involved, this often means dealing with more insurance companies, lawyers, and claims adjusters. Reaching an acceptable settlement agreement between several parties can be a demanding and time-consuming process.

Further, if your own actions in some way contributed to the motorcycle accident taking place, this will impact the claim process. Under the Utah comparative negligence law, the award for damages the plaintiff may receive in a personal injury case is based on his or her degree of fault. This means that even if you bear a degree of responsibility for the incident, you can still recover damages as long as you are not 50 percent or more at fault for the accident.

The defendant’s willingness to settle the claim

When the defendant is willing to accept responsibility for the motorcycle accident, the entire claim process can go smoother. If you are offered a reasonable settlement and decide to accept, your injury claim will end when you sign the settlement contract.

Furthermore, some defendants are eager to reach a settlement if they are concerned with avoiding the expense or publicity associated with a lawsuit. On the other hand, large companies or corporations may intentionally draw out the legal process in the interest of protecting their bottom line and reputation.

Clearly, the party who was at fault for your accident – and their willingness to come to a fair agreement – can impact how long it takes to settle your injury claim.

Beware of Settling Your Motorcycle Accident Claim Too Soon

When you have been seriously hurt and are struggling financially, it can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer you receive after your motorcycle accident. However, a hasty settlement agreement is rarely in your best interest.

As a rule, settling a personal injury claim is final, so you should carefully consider the following before reaching a quick settlement:

  • You could be held responsible for outstanding medical bills. If you settle your claim without being completely healed or it turns out that your injuries are more serious than they seemed initially, you risk being unable to pay for your total medical cost. This is because you cannot reopen your case once it is settled. In other words, the defendant is no longer financially responsible for related damages in any way once the claim has been closed.
  • Your settlement may not be enough to meet your long-term financial needs. More is involved than just your medical expenses. The goal of a settlement agreement is to ensure that your family is financially stable and can maintain the same standard of living as before the accident.
  • The Utah statute of limitations is 4 years. The statute of limitations is the legal time limit to file a personal injury claim. After an accident, you have 4 years from the date of the motorcycle incident to file your claim.

For such reasons, it is important not to rush a settlement. By exercising patience, you and your lawyer can build a strong claim with maximum value.

Contact the Legal Team of Siegfried & Jensen for Advice

A serious motorcycle accident can leave you anxious and overwhelmed. At this point in your life, you need experienced legal advice to make the best decisions for you and your family.

The motorcycle accident lawyers at Siegfried & Jensen are ready to help you through this difficult period. We have dedicated our careers to helping Utah injury victims get the justice they deserve, recovering over $1.2 billion for our clients.

Motorcycle accident claims can be complicated and stressful, so why not make things easier for yourself? Our legal team can ease the stress of the settlement process for you, helping you get your rightful compensation as quickly as possible.

Reach out to a lawyer at Siegfried & Jensen today. Call us at (801) 845-9000 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation. A member of our legal team is standing by to take your call.