Motorcycle accidents cause serious physical, financial, and emotional damage. While nobody wants to be involved in accidents, road accidents are unavoidable in some situations. There are many causes of motorcycle accidents, ranging from bike malfunction and bad driving to speeding and others. Regardless of the cause, motorcycle crashes pose a serious risk to those involved.
Apart from recovering emotionally and physically, motorcycle accident victims should also recover financially. If you were recently involved in a motorcycle accident, you should prioritize getting the highest compensation for the damages suffered. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get better compensation.
Common Injuries People Suffer from Motorcycle Accidents
Unlike cars, motorcycle accidents are severe because the body of the rider and pillion passengers are exposed. However, this doesn’t make car accidents less severe than motorcycle accidents. According to recent figures, 75% of injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are due to collisions with cars, while external factors, like bad weather, cause 25%. Regardless of the cause, below are the common injuries suffered by motorcycle accident victims:
1. Head Injuries
Head injuries are common because riders and passengers rarely wear helmets, which is important for safety. Head injuries, such as concussions, brain injuries, or cracked skulls, ranging from mild, severe, to fatal, depending on the nature of the accident. Brain injuries are the most severe and can occur even if the rider has a helmet during the crash.
2. Leg Injuries
Legs are commonly injured body parts after motorcycle accidents. According to the CDC, 30% of motorcycle accidents cause injuries to the lower extremities. Motorcycles can fall on the victims’ legs, causing lacerations and fractures.
3. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries after a motorcycle accident cause permanent damage if the victim survives. Helmets don’t protect against spinal cord injuries, exposing them to possible injuries and paralysis. While some spinal cord injuries can cause temporary paralysis that can heal after physical therapy, some cause permanent paralysis.
4. Road Rash
Road rash occurs when the rider slides or skids across the pavement when they are thrown off their motorcycles after a crash. Injuries from road rash range from mild bruises and cuts to deep muscle and nerve damage, depending on the severity of the crash and the type of clothing the person had on. Road rash is a common cause of prolonged infections because debris can lodge itself in the injured skin.
What Damages Are Sought in Motorcycle Accidents?
The aftermath of motorcycle accidents is traumatizing. Accident victims should seek compensation for the following damages:
Motorcycle accident claims majorly revolve around compensation for physical injuries sustained. An experienced lawyer can help victims hold insurance companies liable for these injuries. Physical injuries, such as broken bones, can easily be seen. However, these aren’t the only injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents.
Property damage to the motorcycle should also be included in the compensation claim. Settlement amounts for motorcycle damage are often low compared to other damages sought after a motorcycle accident.
Physical injuries after the accident mean accident victims can’t attend to their duties at the workplace. This is a serious setback for victims who rely on income from daily work. The settlement claim should include lost income from motorcycle accidents.
Mental Pain and Suffering
Most victims of road accidents deal with mental health issues long after the incident. This often manifests as PTSD, nightmares, and panic attacks. Compensation for mental anguish should be included in the accident compensation claim.
Factors That Affect Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Several factors affect settlement amounts for motorcycle accident claims. While the extent of damages suffered is a significant determining factor, several other details come into play. Personal injury attorneys calculate the loss according to the nature of pain and damage suffered, medical bills, and lost wages.
Calculating medical bills and lost wages are easy because they are quoted from hospital bills and wage reports. However, determining the exact compensation for pain and suffering is challenging. In most cases, your personal injury lawyer will resort to making an educated guess.
However, to enhance the accuracy of the guess, the lawyer often refers to compensation awarded to similar motorcycle accidents in your area. Even then, the lawyer should calculate this amount based on the extent of the damage. For instance, settlement for paralyzed victims should be higher.
How Much is Fair Settlement for Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accident compensation varies from one case to another. As mentioned, several factors determine the final payout from the insurance company. While there’s no fixed settlement amount for motorcycle accidents, the average payout for these accidents from 1999 to 2006 is $73,700.
More than 90% of motorcycle accident claims are settled before advancing to court. Insurance companies often try to settle compensation before the case proceeds to court, as the court can award higher amounts. However, the amount awarded depends on the evidence available. As such, you should hire a personal injury attorney for expert negotiations.
If the accident resulted from the victims’ fault, settlement is termed fair if it covers most medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Average Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries
The settlement amount can be estimated based on the nature of the injuries sustained. While determining the compensation for soft tissue injuries is complicated, below are the average payouts:
- Whiplash injuries – $2500 to $10,000
- Shoulder injuries –$20,000
- Ankle sprains – $15,000
- Herniated discs – $100k to $350k
The best way to calculate compensation for such injuries is by enlisting the services of an experienced attorney.
Average Compensation for Severe Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are common after motorcycle accidents. However, victims can suffer severe injuries, especially concussions and brain injuries. The average payout for concussions ranges from $70,000 to $100,000, depending on severity. Similarly, compensation for traumatic brain injuries ranges from $185,000 to a million dollars.
Settlement for motorcycle accident claims occurs after a few months. Most of this time is spent determining a fair settlement amount. Hiring an experienced attorney can help accident victims achieve a better settlement and faster compensation.