11th February 2021
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, these are the damages you may be able to collect compensation for.
In 2018, there were 4,985 motorcycle accident fatalities in the United States. Motorcycle accidents can be more fatal or more likely to cause severe injuries over a car accident, as motorcyclists don’t have the same protection that passenger vehicle operators do. Motorcycle accident victims are more likely to experience road rash injuries, soft tissue injuries, amputations, or severely broken bones due to their lack of protection.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer for your motorcycle accident claim is the best way to ensure that you receive full compensation for the damages associated with your motorcycle accident case. But what can you claim for damages, and what affects them?
Economic damages cover any monetary losses associated with your motorcycle accident claim. This includes compensation for:
- medical bills
- ambulance rides
- surgery costs
- doctor’s visits
- physical therapy
- lost wages
Any wages you lost while out of work because of your accident can be claimed as damages.
Motorcycle accidents can also cause a shift in one’s quality of life, resulting in non-economic damages such as:
- pain and suffering
- loss of consortium
- lost earning capacity
- permanent injuries
Non-economic damages don’t have a monetary value associated with them and can be harder to calculate.
Punitive damages are rare but may be awarded to punish the defendant further. If gross negligence was involved, the defendant might be required to pay out further as a way of deterring them from commiting the same act again in the future.
Factors that Affect Compensation
Many factors will affect the compensation you receive as a motorcycle accident victim. Your personal injury lawyer can help walk you through how much compensation they believe you’ll receive for your case. Here are some factors that can affect the amount of compensation that you’ll receive.
Depending on the type of injuries you develop due to the accident, your compensation will vary greatly. The more severe an injury is, the more likely you will have to receive in-depth treatment. Because more severe injuries will result in higher medical bills, you will be eligible for more compensation. Injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and soft tissue injuries can lead to high medical costs because of expensive treatment and potential complications.
Change to Quality of Life
Motorcycle accident cases often showcase a great change to one’s quality of life, especially with more severe injuries. For example, a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury could result in permanent damage or disability. With severe injuries, one may be required to receive consistent treatment for the rest of their life.
Therefore, the change to your quality of life plays a large part in how much compensation you’ll be able to receive. If you’ve experienced a great change to your quality of life, you’ll receive more compensation than someone who’s only experienced a minor or no change.
After you hire your motorcycle accident attorney, they will spend a chunk of time investigating your case to determine who was at fault. Ultimately, this will determine who the lawsuit will be filed against and for what reasons. Based on who’s at fault for the accident, and whether or not gross negligence was involved can impact your claim’s worth as well. If you’re partially at fault for the accident, you may receive less compensation than if you aren’t at fault.
Motorcycle bias, unfortunately, often plays a part in how much compensation you’ll receive. There are two instances in which motorcycle bias occurs.
- When working with the insurance adjuster to settle, the insurance adjuster may claim that you must be partially responsible for the accident because motorcyclists are inherently reckless people.
- If your case goes to trial, the jury may not be well informed about motorcycles and how they work enough to determine fault accurately. In general, people are informed about how cars operate and how a driver can cause a car accident, but most don’t understand motorcycle mechanics. For example, when riding a motorcycle, you must speed up to make a turn. This could be misconstrued as speeding or reckless driving if the jury doesn’t know better.
However, an experienced motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer will be able to argue against both of these claims, explaining why they are incorrect and, in turn, getting you the most compensation for your damages.
Unfortunately, the at-fault party’s available insurance also plays a part in the compensation you’re able to receive. If they have poor insurance coverage, they might not have the money to cover your injuries fully. In this case, you may have to resort to using your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to receive further compensation for your damages.
Settlement Value vs. Trial Value
Motorcycle accident cases have two different values, its trial value and its settlement value. Your trial value is equal to all the damages that you incurred because of the accident, both economic and non-economic, as well as punitive when applicable. How likely you are to win your case if it were to go to trial will determine your case’s settlement value.
For example, if your trial value is $300,000 and you have a 50% chance of winning your case if it goes to trial, your settlement value would be around $150,000. That doesn’t mean that that’s the amount you’re definitely going to get. Insurance adjusters will always try to lowball you. But a talented personal injury lawyer will be able to argue higher than your protected settlement value.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact our talented motorcycle accident attorneys here at Sand Law in North Dakota. We’re determined to help you get the most compensation possible for your damages. Not only that, but we’ll also speak with insurance companies on your behalf. By taking the weight off of your shoulders, you can focus on recovering. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online, chat with us, or call us at 701-609-1510.