When a vehicle crashes into your motorcycle on a Las Vegas street, injuries are usually inevitable. Naturally, you want to know if and when the responsible driver’s insurance company will settle your claim. You want definitive answers, but unfortunately, it often takes a while before you find out what you need to know.
These and other critical issues usually affect your motorcycle accident settlement timeline.
- Settlement timing is personal to you.
- Injury severity and recovery make claim values unpredictable.
- You must resolve any unresolved liability issues.
- Your statute of limitations is an unavoidable settlement milestone.
- Insurance companies don’t always negotiate fairly.
- Conflicting ideas about liability and injury value can derail a settlement.
Settlement Timing is Personal to You
No two claim settlement timelines are alike. The timeline for settling your claim is largely contingent upon you, your injuries, and your recovery. As a motorcyclist, you’ve likely endured multiple trauma, requiring extensive treatment, long-term recovery, and ongoing rehabilitation. Until you’re at least close to maximum recovery, it makes sense to delay any settlement talks.
It sometimes takes months or even years before victims of motorcycle accidents reach a point where they consider settling their claims.
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Injury Severity and Recovery Make Claim Values Unpredictable
When motorcycle injuries are severe or catastrophic, they usually take a long time to heal. Until you recover, insurers and attorneys can only speculate about your claim’s settlement value. You can attempt to settle your case early, but you can’t predict if an early settlement will give you enough money to pay for your future care.
Medical experts will speculate about your potential for future disabilities and medical costs. You can pay an economic expert to project your future income losses. You alone understand your non-economic losses, but you can’t predict how they will affect you in the future.
- Life changes due to permanent impairments
- Future pain and suffering
- Trauma caused by disfiguring scars
- Psychological issues such as PTSD
You Must Resolve Any Unresolved Liability Issues
Liability issues sometimes obstruct or delay motorcycle accident settlements. For several reasons, car and truck drivers often question their negligence when they crash into a biker. The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) addresses some of the issues that contribute to this problem:
- Motorist issues with motorcycle visibility
- The danger of intersection accidents
- Car and truck driver issues with sharing the road with a biker
- Differences in motorcycle braking strategies
- Motorcycles in vehicle blind spots
- Obstructions caused by construction, building, and surrounding landscapes
Until you resolve the liability issues, a liability insurance company won’t negotiate a settlement that considers all of your damages. When the liability issues are profound, it often takes litigation to motivate a fair settlement.
Your Statute of Limitations is an Unavoidable Settlement Milestone
When you come close to reaching your statute of limitations, you must decide how to proceed. If your accident occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §11.190 provides a two-year statute of limitations. Within two years of your accident, you must settle your claim or file a suit or you lose your right to make a claim.
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Insurance Companies Don’t Always Negotiate Fairly
Even if you resolve the liability issues and your recovery is complete, it doesn’t mean the liability insurer will negotiate fairly. As minimizing losses is an insurance company’s primary goal, they try to settle your claim for as little as possible. If your claim involves serious or catastrophic injuries, negotiations often reach a stalemate for several reasons:
- Insurers set claim reserves and try to settle claims within that predicted dollar amount.
- The person with the true authority might not know or understand your claim’s value.
- The person doing the negotiations can only negotiate with the authority granted by a manager or someone else with authority.
- No matter who is conducting negotiations, the insurance company will try to save as much money as possible.
- If the responsible party had only minimum liability limits, the insurer might not have enough money to offer an adequate settlement.
Conflicting Ideas About Liability and Injury Value Can Derail a Settlement
Sometimes the negotiating parties agree on some of the issues but not on others. They might agree that their insured is somewhat responsible for your accident but not 100% liable. They might not agree that your injuries are as severe or catastrophic as you claim.
When these conflicts remain unresolved, you often must file a lawsuit to protect your legal rights. Fortunately, the Clark County Judicial system offers three alternative dispute resolution options to move your case forward:
A court-appointed mediator hears the evidence and renders a decision. In most cases, arbitration is nonbinding.
You don’t have to accept the decision unless both parties agree. Arbitration can also be binding where parties agree ahead of time to accept the results.
This is a system of facilitated negotiation. The parties, their legal representatives, and any insurers negotiate with the help of a trained mediator. This process doesn’t always lead to settlement, but it often paves the way for future cooperation.
Clark County allows disputing parties to resolve their civil cases in an expedited trial. The system incorporates methods that control the trial length.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with an Attorney Today
Motorcycle accidents often involve complex liability and damage issues. You need a personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights from day one. At Pacific West Injury Law we deal with insurers, their investigators, and their attorneys. We work hard to produce quality, timely results.
Reach out to us on our contact page. We will schedule a free legal consultation so you can learn more about your legal options.