How Do I Collect Lost Wages After a Motorcycle Accident Injury?

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How Do I Collect Lost Wages After a Motorcycle Accident Injury

You can collect lost wages after a motorcycle accident injury through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The type of claim you can file depends on how your accident occurred and the severity of your injuries.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you gather evidence, submit insurance claims, and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. When your injuries affect your ability to work in the future, you have a right to collect future lost income as well. Learn how to collect lost wages after a motorcycle accident and what factors can affect your settlement or award.

File an Insurance Claim for Lost Wages After a Motorcycle Crash

Insurance policies often include provisions to cover medical expenses and lost income due to an accident. The amount you can recover will depend on the policy details and limits. Based on the type of accident, extent of your injuries, and who was at fault, you may be able to recover lost income from the following insurance policies.

Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance typically covers damage to the motorcycle but may also include coverage for injuries and lost income. Review your insurance policy documents to learn which coverage applies to your accident. Keep in mind that your insurance will typically only cover your losses if your accident was not someone else’s fault.

If the motorcycle accident happened because of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, your insurance company will expect you to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance instead.

Liability Insurance

Every state has different requirements for vehicle liability coverage. Most states require some coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Depending on the at-fault party’s insurance coverage, you may be able to claim lost income as part of your motorcycle accident damage claim.

To proceed with a claim against the responsible party’s liability insurance, you must be able to prove the accident was partly or wholly their fault. You will also need medical records and other evidence to show how your injuries limited your ability to work now and in the future.

No-Fault Personal Injury Protection

States like Michigan require personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for car, also known as no-fault insurance. No-fault laws differ by state, but they typically allow people who suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents to recover medical expenses and a percentage of their lost wages.

However, motorcycles are typically excluded from no-fault protections unless there was a car, truck, or other qualifying motor vehicle involved. For example, in Michigan, you can seek damages from the other driver’s policy or the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP) if the other driver does not have a PIP policy that you can seek damages from.

Consider consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney in your area to learn about your options for at-fault and no-fault insurance claims to recover wages. Even if you do qualify for insurance coverage, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover the full scope of your damages, including current and future income loss.

File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party

Insurance policies often have caps or limitations on the types and amounts of damages you can recover. If your motorcycle accident injuries resulted in significant income loss both now and in the future, you can still seek to recover the full amount through a personal injury lawsuit.

The legal process for an injury lawsuit differs by state, but most motorcycle claims involve the legal concept of negligence, and lawyers must show that the other party’s actions mean they are liable for your losses and injuries.

Establishing Who is Responsible

The first step in filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit is establishing who is at fault for the crash. Sometimes, fault determination is straightforward. For instance, a truck driver failed to yield right of way to a motorcycle when crossing traffic.

In other situations, establishing fault is more complex. If, for instance, the truck driver was driving fatigued because their schedule pushed them over federal driving hours limits, the trucking company could also be responsible.

Motorcycle accidents can also occur when no other drivers are involved. For instance, if a city government fails to fix a large pothole and a motorcyclist crashes because of the pothole, the city could be liable. By establishing responsibility, you also create the basis for filing a claim against the at-fault party.

Proving Negligence

Negligence refers to preventable careless or reckless behavior that causes injury to someone else. It is the fundamental basis for most personal injury claims, including motorcycle accident cases. If you want to sue someone for causing your motorcycle accident, you must typically prove the following four elements of negligence:

  • Duty of care: The other party had a responsibility to avoid harming you or others on the road.
  • Violation of duty: The at-fault party failed to take reasonable care, either through action or inaction.
  • Causation: The at-fault party’s actions directly or indirectly caused your motorcycle crash.
  • Damages: You suffered injuries or losses in the motorcycle accident caused by the at-fault party’s negligent actions.

Since multiple parties can be at fault in a motorcycle accident, proving negligence can be challenging. In states like Michigan, the percentage of fault can affect the amount you receive in damages. Speak with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about proving negligence to recover lost wages.

Gathering Quality Evidence

Evidence is central to recovering damages in a motorcycle claim. You must be able to prove who was at fault, how they caused the accident, and the losses you suffered as a result. In a claim involving lost income, your evidence may include pay stubs, financial statements, tax returns, and business profit and loss statements.

Your personal injury lawyer may also hire an economic expert to support your claim for projected income loss. For example, if your motorcycle accident injuries caused long-term or permanent disability, an economic expert can help you calculate the income you would have earned had the accident not occurred.

Settlement Negotiations

To recover lost current and future wages, you may engage in settlement talks with the opposing party, insurance companies, and opposing counsel. During the negotiation process, your lawyer presents the evidence and fights for your right to fair compensation for the full scope of your losses. Although you can negotiate on your own, you benefit from working with a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer with the knowledge and resources to seek maximum compensation.

Going to Trial

Most injury claims, including motorcycle accident cases, settle out of court. However, when the case involves multiple parties, high damages, or questions of fault, the case may go to trial. During the trial, all parties will present their evidence and a judge or jury will determine whether damages are owed, and if so, how much.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file your claim within the statute of limitations. They can ensure you have the evidence you need to prove negligence and establish the value of your past and future income loss. They will negotiate on your behalf and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.

Hire a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to Represent You

If you or a loved one lost wages due to a motorcycle accident caused by someone’s negligence, you have a right to recovery. The skilled motorcycle accident lawyers at Christensen Law are here to help. Our legal team has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases throughout Michigan. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you recover your financial losses.