When Should You Settle in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Case?

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A fundamental yet controversial negotiating rule regarding personal injury settlement negotiations is always reject the first offer. This is especially true if, as is often the case, an insurance company almost immediately offers to settle the claim. Sometimes, insurance adjusters even visit victims in the hospital. It can be tempting to take this offer and try to move on. However, there is no way to tell if the initial offer is fair.

So, a St. Louis personal injury attorney must be a good negotiator as well as a strong legal advocate. Your lawyer must know when to stand firm and when to compromise. Otherwise, victims might have to accept less than their case is worth, or the matter might drag on for an unnecessarily long time.

Early Settlements

Once medical treatment is at least substantially complete, an attorney can determine a claim’s settlement value. This figure usually starts with all medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages. Then, a lawyer must determine a noneconomic value based on the injured party’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible factors.

At this point, attorneys usually send demand letters to insurance companies. The settlement value serves as a starting point for settlement negotiations.

An early settlement wraps up the case sooner and speeds needed compensation to motorcycle accident victims. However, if liability is unclear, as it often is, early settlement offers often favor insurance companies.

Late-Stage Settlements

Settlement negotiations usually continue once the victim/plaintiff officially files a legal action. As the case progresses and the insurance company’s legal bill climbs, a favorable settlement is more likely. Many insurance defense lawyers charge over $1,000 an hour. Insurance companies would like to avoid these costs if possible.

If the case remains unresolved as the trial date approaches, most judges refer these matters to mediation. The advantage of a mediated settlement is that the court supervises the negotiations. The judge ensures that the insurance company negotiates in good faith. It must genuinely want to settle the case and make some sacrifices to bring about this resolution.

Most motorcycle accident claims settle out of court, but it can often be a lengthy process. For a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. Virtual, home and hospital visits are available.


What are some common motorcycle wreck injuries?

Even if the victim was wearing a helmet, head injuries are common in motorcycle wrecks. So are broken bones and lacerations.

How much is my case worth?

The settlement value is based on economic losses and a reasonable sum for noneconomic losses.

Why does it take so long to settle an accident claim?

If the case settles too early, the resolution might not fully account for all future medical costs.

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