If a motorcycle accident results in injuries or property damage caused by the actions of another driver, the motorcyclist should be able to recover various types of compensation for their losses. Sometimes, this compensation will come as a result of an insurance settlement. In other cases, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Here, we want to examine the main types of damages available after a motorcycle crash.
Economic Damages for a Motorcycle Crash
One of the first aspects of examining damages falls under what we consider “special damages,” sometimes referred to as economic damages. These are the types of losses that we can calculate by using previous concrete evidence after a motorcycle crash occurs. This includes medical bills that come in, property damage estimates, proof of out-of-pocket losses or travel expenses, lost wages, and more.
These calculable expenses may not be fully known for quite some time after an incident occurs. For example, no motorcycle accident claim should settle until a person knows the full extent of their medical bills, which could take some time, depending on the severity of the injuries.
Non-Economic Damages for a Motorcycle Crash
Non-economic damages must also be examined because these are often more valuable than the economic losses mentioned above. You will often hear these referred to as “general damages,” and there are various types of general damages that can be examined after a motorcycle accident occurs.
These types of losses are not as easily measured as the economic damages mentioned above. We cannot simply add up bills and receipts to show the full extent of a motorcycle accident victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement losses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, even if there are no concrete receipts that we can add up for these types of losses, there are various methods that could be used to calculate non-economic damages after a motorcycle crash. This includes the multiplier method that will involve gathering all of the economic damages and then multiplying the total by a set number. Alternatively, a per diem method could be used, which assigns a daily value of pain and suffering to every day that a person is expected to experience the loss.
Are Punitive Damages Available?
Punitive damages are not commonly awarded for motorcycle crashes in New Mexico. In fact, these types of damages are reserved for situations where the conduct of the defendant (the person alleged to have caused the injury) is seen to be especially egregious or intentional. These damages are designed to punish the defendant and to send a signal to any other party that the kind of actions displayed in this case are unacceptable. Punitive damages can act as a deterrent.
Working With an Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver in New Mexico, turn to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can examine the facts of your case and help secure a fair insurance settlement or take the case to a jury trial if necessary.