Amount of time to settle motorcycle accident claim

Our Skilled California Personal Injury Lawyers Provide Honest Answers About How Long it Takes to Settle a Motorcycle Accident Case 

When you’re in a motorcycle accident, you could suffer serious injuries and rack up substantial medical bills. The long-term impact on your life can leave you coping with significant, life-altering personal, professional, and financial changes. However, you could be entitled to compensation if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence.  

At Case Barnett Law, our results-driven personal injury lawyers provide honest answers about your case and help you recover fair compensation for damages. When you schedule a free initial consultation, we’ll learn about your case and explain how our dedicated California legal team can help you. 

If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, resolving your claim can take at least six months. If your injuries are severe or yours is a complex case and goes to trial, it can take over a year to settle. However, every motorcycle accident injury claim is unique, and each has its own set of facts, evidence, and extenuating circumstances that impact the duration of the case. 

Factors that Impact the Duration of a California Motorcycle Accident Injury Settlement 

There are many factors that can influence how long it takes to settle a motorcycle accident claim or take a lawsuit to trial, including the following:

Determining Fault

With some accidents, it’s easy to determine the at-fault party. Personal injury claims in these cases are usually settled quickly because no one is disputing liability. But if the accident is more complicated, and both parties appear to bear some weight of responsibility, the percentage of fault each party carries may not be clear or agreed on. 

Because California is a pure comparative negligence state, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. If there’s a disagreement about the percentage of fault both the defendant and plaintiff bear, your claim may require extended negotiation, and it can take longer to settle your claim. 

Determining Damages

There are two types of damages you can pursue after a motorcycle accident: 

  • Economic damages. These compensate you for financial losses directly related to the motorcycle accident. These can include past and future medical expenses, ambulance transportation, an ER visit, hospital and surgery costs, doctor visits, rehab, medication, past and future lost wages, property damage, reduced earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for intangible losses such as mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.

If you suffer emotional or psychological trauma or need extended medical care, it can sometimes be difficult to calculate your total losses. If the insurance company disagrees with your assessment of what these losses are worth, it can delay the progress of your claim.

Assessing Your Physical Health

If you suffer minor injuries in a motorcycle accident or an injury such as a broken leg or arm, they usually take less time to heal than a broken back or internal injuries. Before filing a claim, it’s important that you wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) to completely understand the extent of your injuries so that you can calculate the damages accurately. Waiting can add to the time it takes to settle your claim. 

Determining Lost Wages

It’s important that you don’t settle your motorcycle accident personal injury claim until you understand how your injuries impact your work life. You need to return to work and learn whether you’ll be able to perform the same tasks you were required to perform prior to the accident, if you’ll need to take a different job at the company you work for, or if you’ll have to take a job with a reduced salary. All of these things take time to sort out. Future lost wages should be factored in, and this can be a substantial amount of your claim. If you settle your claim before knowing how the accident affects your financial situation with regard to your job, you could lose a great deal of money.

Taking Your Case to Trial

Motorcycle accident victims may choose to take their case to trial if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith or if they offer a low-ball settlement. At the trial, each side presents their case and is given the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses from the opposing side. There are a number of factors that can affect the duration of your case: 

  • If there is a question of fault. If there are multiple parties involved in the motorcycle accident, determining fault can make the case take longer to resolve.  
  • The severity of your injuries. You may not know how extensive your injuries are for months or even a year after your recovery. 
  • The court’s schedule. Your trial date will likely be scheduled 12 – 18 months or more in the future, depending on the California county where you file your lawsuit. 

How a California Lawyer Can Help Move Your Case to a Fair Recovery

Hiring a California personal injury lawyer to represent you after you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident can often help expedite the settlement process for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • When you have legal representation, the insurance company knows right away that you’re serious about your case. The insurance company may be less likely to delay or deny your claim and/or use underhanded tactics to get you to accept a low-ball offer. The settlement process may go much more smoothly and, thus, possibly faster when you have legal counsel.
  • Our Case Barnett Law attorneys are skilled negotiators with strong legal experience who understand how to navigate the complex legal process. This can help move your case more efficiently through that process.
  • Our lawyers are strong communicators and will drive open, honest, and effective communication between all parties and the insurance companies. Resolving problems quickly, sharing information openly, and generating an open collaboration can be factors in a smoother, faster legal process.  
  • Our lawyers can gather evidence that may be difficult or impossible for you to obtain on your own such as video footage of the accident
  • Our lawyers will help ensure that you meet the statute of limitations. If you want to seek compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries, you must file your claim or lawsuit before this deadline passes. If you don’t, the court won’t hear your case, and you won’t be able to recover damages.