What Type Of Damages Should I Be Seeking After A Motorcycle Accident?
In any collision or any incident where you are injured, California law entitles the injured victim to general and special damages. Special damages include the medical expenses you have incurred, the medical expenses you will incur in the future, and your loss of earnings. In a motorcycle accident scenario or in any scenario where there are catastrophic injuries to that person, future medical care is important. This is the one opportunity that we have to present this person’s claim and we must do as much as we can for this person to be able to financially survive for the remainder of their lives. In incidents where one is involved in a catastrophic collision and is now a paraplegic or a quadriplegic, this person is going to need medical care for the rest of their lives.
For the purposes of economic damages, we usually hire a life care planner, who will prepare a comprehensive report that will outline all the necessary medical care and expenses this person will require for the rest of their lives. Often, though someone had medical insurance while they were employed, after they have been rendered catastrophically injured, they may no longer be employed. Their health insurance is no longer going to cover them. We have to make sure that we have the extensive medical specials categorized for the remainder of their life to argue or get them the future medical care they will need.
Pain and suffering or general damages are also recoverable and are a great part of one’s financial remedy for their claimed loss. When someone is rendered a paraplegic by way of example, he or she will no longer be able to enjoy the routine things we ordinarily do and take for granted, such as walking, getting in and out of bed, showering on their own, and sadly even using a restroom at will without the use of a catether, etc. As attorneys we will through a production company record a “day in the life” video to show how this person’s life has changed; before the accident, he or she may have played soccer, was an avid golfer, and had a social life. We show the differences in their life to illustrate their general damages or pain and suffering they suffered and suffer as a result of the horrific collision.
Our audience is always the jury. We are always trying to persuade the insurance adjuster to avoid the juror award and pay us what we are entitled to. Every case we take is contemplated as though it’s going to be tried. If I can persuade 12 jurors after putting up a good enough case, where the evidence and documentation is there, the insurance adjuster is not going to take the risk of those 12 jurors coming up with an award. They will resolve it via settlement.
In certain scenarios, an injured victim may also be entitled to what are called punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible party to deter them from doing the same harm again. For example, in an automobile collision involving a drunk driver who though is aware they should not drink and drive, choose to ignore this and then drive and cause a collision harming another they must be punished both criminally of course and civilly by being ordered to pay punitive damages, In California, there is a case called Taylor vs. Superior Court where the California Supreme Court has ruled that if someone causes a collision while under the influence, they must pay punitive damages to the injured victim as this act is considered a malicious act.
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