How Motorcycle Accident Settlements Work
Shortly after opening an insurance claim for a Nevada motorcycle accident, you’ll receive something known as a settlement offer from your insurance adjuster. In the simplest terms, settlements are a legally enforceable, written agreement that both parties come to, exchanging financial compensation in exchange for waiving the ability to sue. Lawsuits are expensive, tedious, and risky, so it’s usually in both the insurance company’s and victim’s best interests to come to an agreement outside of court via settlement.
Accident Settlements, Explained
After an insurance claims adjuster conducts a thorough investigation, cataloging your losses based on the evidence you and your attorney provide, they’ll make a financial offer in the form of a settlement. Settlements aren’t vague, lump-sum payments. Rather, they’ll feature a detailed categorization of all of your damages, which will generally fall into one of two categories:
- Special damages, which are countable financial losses such as lost wages, bills, attorney’s fees, and so on and so forth.
- General damages, which are intangible “pain and suffering” damages awarded for mental and physical anguish.
The taxability of a settlement award is based on the nature of the individual damages awarded and may be broken down within the settlement offer. However, it’s always best to confirm this aspect with a lawyer who can more clearly outline your fiscal responsibilities. Varying insurance policies and accidents will also involve separate categories of damages and may be paid out at varying rates, whether via installment or lump sum.
Although settlements can, at times, be influenced by proportional determinations of pure comparative fault, this won’t usually be the case. Though a basic admission of fault may be made, liability isn’t a strictly necessary component of a settlement offer. Also, note that a settlement exclusively entails the items present on the document at the time of signing. Verbal promises, agreements over email, and other informal statements are rarely legally enforceable, so don’t make decisions based on an insurance adjuster’s mannerisms or implications.
Should You Accept a Settlement Offer?
Now that you know what a settlement entails, the question remains of whether or not you should actually accept an insurance adjuster’s settlement offer after a motorcycle accident. You can generally accept a settlement offer if either:
- Your motorcycle accident attorney gives you the go-ahead to accept, recognizing that the settlement offer constitutes a good faith claim and contains an accurate, fair evaluation of your damages.
- Your accident was extremely minor, usually entailing $1,000 or less of property damage exclusively. If you’re even slightly injured, you do not fall into this category.
Due to the very real risk of delayed-onset motorcycle accident injuries, you should always, always wait for a couple of weeks before accepting any settlement offer, without exception. If you and your attorney feel that a settlement offer doesn’t fairly represent the compensation you deserve, you can negotiate and make counter-offers or, if unsuccessful, resort to a lawsuit.
Talk to a Nevada Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Regardless of whether you accept a settlement, negotiate for better terms, or file a lawsuit, it’s in your best interest to seek the assistance of a specialized Nevada motorcycle accident attorney. Aaron Law Group’s legal professionals have extensive experience talking to adjusters and can help you avoid dishonest, cunning tactics they may employ to minimize your claim. Schedule your free consultation today at (702) 550-1111, and learn more about whether settling is right for you.