This is the next post in our discussion on Rochester, Minnesota motorcycle accident cases. Our last article discussed how liability is determined in a motorcycle wreck. A victim may be able to recover damages even when partially responsible for the accident.* It is important to retain a personal injury lawyer with the resources necessary to handle the matter properly. In this article we will discuss how a victim’s damages are calculated. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact our office today to speak with an attorney.
A motorbike accident victim may be entitled to damages for past and future medical care. Calculation of expenses for past care is straightforward: It is simply a matter of adding up the bills. Determining the cost of future care, however, is a separate issue. A medical expert must offer a prognosis of the victim’s best level of recovery, the amount of time it will take to reach the best recovery level possible, the cost of future treatments, and the amount of ongoing pain that a victim will likely suffer. The defense has the opportunity to present testimony from their own medical experts and it is up to a jury to decide which experts’ opinions they believe.
A victim also may be entitled to compensation for past and future lost earnings. Determining the amount of future losses can be complicated. A vocational and/or economic expert reviews the doctor’s reports and determines whether the victim is able to perform her former job or whether she is able to return to work at all. The expert figures the amount of money the victim could have expected to earn during the remainder of her working life if the accident hadn’t happened. Next, the expert calculates the amount the victim can expect to earn given her injuries, and the costs associated with earning that amount (such as the cost to attend re-training courses). In a trial, the victim’s attorney asks the jury to compensate the victim for the difference between these two amounts. Again, the defense has the opportunity to present their own evidence and expert witnesses in regard to these issues.
Finally, a victim may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. We know from working with our clients over many years that it is difficult to go through medical treatments and to deal with ongoing pain. We’ve seen how injuries can reduce one’s quality of life in a dramatic way. While financial compensation can’t remove the trauma, limitations and pain, it is a way of making sure that a defendant is held responsible for what he or she has done to a victim and of protecting an injured person from hardships related to money.
Victims should retain an attorney experienced in making arguments to a jury. When a plaintiff is requesting damages, the case must be presented in a way that is concise and easy to understand. This helps the jurors understand the basis for the victim’s request.
Our Rochester motorcycle accident attorneys have extensive experience presenting cases to juries and we are ready to assist you. We have recovered more than $125 million on behalf of victims. Contact us today for assistance.
We also serve the following southeast Minnesota cities: Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna, as well as the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington. We also serve the Iowa cities of Mason City, Charles City, Osage, Spencer, Garner, Forest City, and Northwood and the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Onalaska, Sparta, Viroqua, River Falls, Ellsworth, Whitehall, and Black River Falls.
*A note about language:
Federal agencies involved in traffic safety have banned use of the word “accident” for more than 20 years, and with good reason. However, we use the word “accident” on our website, even though we know it has implications that run contrary to our professional thinking and training, because we recognize that “accident” is the word most commonly used in online searches when people are looking for help after being injured in a crash. If you’d like more information about this topic, please see our blog, “Car Accident or Car Crash?”