Injured in a car or motorcycle accident in Stony Plain? If the other driver was at-fault for the accident then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
The personal injury lawyers at Merchant Law are here to help you make your case against the negligent driver and their insurance company. It will not be easy, especially if you were on a motorcycle at the time of your accident. You are unlikely to get a large enough settlement to cover all of your expenses without a lawyer’s help.
Are motorcycle cases significantly different from motorcycle accident cases?
Car accident cases are the most common type of personal injury case. Car-on-car accidents can be quite straightforward. They aren’t easy to win—there’s no such thing as an easy personal injury case—but they’re easier than motorcycle accident cases.
Motorcycle accident cases require a greater degree of experience than car accident cases. They come with specific hurdles that your lawyer needs to know how to navigate.
The first thing your lawyer will have to deal with is gathering evidence and reconstructing the accident. Few motorcycle accident victims are in a position to start gathering evidence on their own case on the date of the accident. They’re often unconscious. Even when they aren’t they’re often losing blood quickly and in too much pain to worry about gathering insurance information or taking photos. This leaves their lawyer to have to gather the data after the fact. This isn’t an impossible task, but it’s still important to understand the defendant, insurance company will have a head start here.
The next thing to understand is that motorcycle accidents tend to come with severe, catastrophic, life-changing injuries. This means, on average, riders need more money and more care than their driver counterparts. It also means the negligent driver’s insurance company is going to work even harder to pay as little as possible. The negotiations can turn intense. In addition, the driver’s insurance company will be trying to pin as much blame on the rider as possible.
This matters in Alberta in particular. Alberta is a comparative negligence province. This means both the rider and the driver will be assigned a percentage of fault. It could be 10% and 90%. It could be 30% and 70%. As long as you’re less than 51% at fault you can sue, but there’s a catch. Your personal injury award may be reduced by the percentage to which you are found negligent. So if you get a $500,000 award and are found 30% negligent you’d only receive $350,000. Every percentage point counts, and you need a lawyer who will argue down every percentage point as hard as possible.
This isn’t always easy. Riders face a stigma. There are people who believe getting on a motorcycle is a negligent act in and of itself. Therefore, riders tend to be assigned a higher percentage of fault than drivers, even though passenger vehicle drivers cause the vast majority of accidents between riders and drivers. If your lawyer can’t tell a clear, coherent, and compelling story on your behalf then you’re not going to walk away with enough money to meet all of your expenses.
Before choosing a personal injury lawyer, ask what kinds of motorcycle cases they’ve handled and what the results were. We’ve won millions for our rider-clients. Can other lawyers you’re considering say the same?
What does a good personal injury settlement look like?
The appropriate settlement for your personal injury case will depend entirely on the facts of your case.
You will typically receive two types of damages.
The first type are economic damages. These include your medical bills, the cost of your projected future care needs, and compensation for your lost wages. If you can no longer work, which is something that happens in many motorcycle accident cases, then you should be compensated for your loss of earning capacity as well.
Some of these amounts are negotiable, some aren’t. If you have a $5000 emergency room bill that Medicare isn’t coming then that’s a set figure that can be worked into your settlement. Meanwhile, a loss of earning capacity amount is a guess. How many years would you have worked? Can you still work at all or has your capacity been reduced? How much would you have made had you been working? Your lawyer will have to negotiate for a figure that the other side will accept, or take the matter to litigation and let a judge and jury decide.
Then there’s the pain and suffering award. This is an amount, capped at $370,000, to literally compensate you for having to go through this experience. The more severe your injuries and the impact on your life, the higher this amount will be. This amount is also always entirely negotiable, which means your lawyer’s skill will play a big role in ensuring you maximize the award.
You can use these guidelines to help you evaluate whether a settlement is any “good.” Yet you should always consult with your lawyer before accepting or rejecting any settlement. Settlements are negotiable right up until the moment a jury comes back with a verdict, so you often have time to make decisions about your case.
Get Help Today
We have offices conveniently located in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Airdrie, and Cochrane. We also serve clients all across Alberta including Lethbridge, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, Spruce Grove, Lloydminster, Leduc, Okotoks, Fort Saskatchewan, Chestermere, Camrose, Beaumont, Stony Plain, Sylvan Lake, Brooks, Strathmore, High River, Canmore, Morinville, Whitecourt, Hinton, Olds, and Blackfalds.
You should try to involve a personal injury lawyer early if you want to maximize your chances of success. You can call the day of your accident. You don’t have to wait, nor should you! You also don’t have to worry about coming up with money for your case evaluation. We don’t get paid until we’ve brought your case to a successful conclusion.
Call (780) 474-4878 to schedule your consultation today. We help people throughout Alberta get the legal support they need for their personal injury cases, and we have a 30+ year track record of success. We’re here to help.