This page is about motorcycle accident injury claims. Our motorcycle accident lawyers handle serious injury and wrongful death motorcycle crash claims everywhere. Our attorneys tell you what you need to know, and we take a long look at settlement amounts and jury payouts.
Challenges of Motorcycle Accident Claims
Motorcycle accidents often lead to high settlement amounts and jury compensation payouts. But it is always a battle to get truly full compensation in any personal injury case, and motorcycle claims have added elements of difficult.
Riders often face prejudice and are wrongfully labeled as reckless. Defense lawyers and insurance adjusters want to position all motorcyclists as s “risk-takers” more likely to engage in dangerous or reckless behaviors on the road. Such stereotypes can, consciously or subconsciously, influence individuals’ perceptions, including those in the legal system.
You need a motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure your voice is heard and that any misconceptions are dispelled. A well-prepared case that anticipates and addresses potential biases can help ensure that the motorcyclist is treated fairly at the settlement table and in court.
Our Comprehensive Approach to Building Your Case
From the moment we’re retained, our primary objective is to gather all necessary evidence to build a formidable case on your behalf:
- Liability Evidence: Beyond acquiring the police report, we visit accident scenes, photograph the aftermath, and, when available, obtain witness statements. In complex cases, we even engage motorcycle and auto accident investigators to reconstruct the accident, ensuring we comprehensively understand the event.
- Medical Evidence: Recognizing the severity of motorcycle injuries, we meticulously compile all medical records, bills, and even secure statements from treating physicians, addressing the extent of injuries and their long-term implications.
- Wage-Loss and Property Damage: Accidents can lead to missed work or even long-term disability. We present a comprehensive wage-loss claim, and when your motorcycle sustains damage, we strive to recover its full value.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Understanding the Lawsuit Process
Embarking on a lawsuit can seem daunting. When you partner with us, you can expect a structured approach:
- Free Consultation: We’ll discuss your accident, understand its nuances, and evaluate any existing settlement offers.
- Evidence Compilation: We’ll gather all necessary documentation and craft a settlement demand package for the at-fault party’s insurance.
- Negotiation and Lawsuit: Your motorcycle accident attorney will assess the insurance company’s response, advise you on the best course of action, and, if needed, take the fight to court.
How Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts Are Calculated
Settlement amounts in motorcycle accident lawsuits are determined based on a combination of economic and non-economic factors. These factors are designed to compensate the injured party for both tangible and intangible losses. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how these amounts are generally calculated:
This is often the most substantial portion of a claim. It includes:
- Past Medical Bills: All the bills from doctors, specialists, surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors, etc., related to the accident.
- Future Medical Costs: If the injury requires ongoing medical care, the costs will be estimated. This might include surgeries, therapies, medications, and other medical aids.
If the victim missed work due to the accident, they should be compensated for lost income. This includes:
- Past Lost Wages: Income lost from work missed immediately after the accident.
- Future Earning Capacity: If the injury impacts the victim’s ability to work in the future, they can be compensated for potential future earnings they won’t be able to make.
This includes costs to repair or replace the motorcycle and any other damaged personal property. This matters less in motorcycle accident cases, but insurance adjusters often use how severe the crash was as a marker for how serious the injuries could be.
Pain and Suffering
These are non-economic damages meant to compensate for the physical pain and emotional suffering endured. They are almost invariably the most significant part of the damages pie in a motorcycle crash case. Determining a monetary value for pain and suffering can involve – from the insurance company’s perspective – a multiplier method where the tangible damages (like medical bills and lost wages) are multiplied by a certain number. The multiplier usually varies based on the severity of the injuries, with more severe injuries receiving a higher multiplier. Does this work in the victim’s favor? Almost never. The best motorcycle accident lawyers reframe this issue to drill down on the real human suffering endured from the crash.
Emotional distress can be both economic damage and an element of pain and suffering. Victims may suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a motorcycle accident. Depending on the jurisdiction, compensation for these intangible damages might be separate from or included within pain and suffering.
Other Considerations to Calculate Settlement Amounts
- Shared Fault: In jurisdictions with comparative or contributory negligence laws, the settlement amount might be reduced if the victim is found to be partially at fault for the accident.
- Strength of Evidence: The more substantial the evidence supporting the victim’s claim, the more leverage they have during negotiations, potentially leading to a higher settlement.
- Policy Limits: Insurance companies will not pay more than the policy limits, regardless of the damages calculated. Sometimes, the best thing a motorcycle accident lawyer does is find more insurance policies in improbable places.
- Likable Victim: If the case doesn’t settle and goes to trial, how a jury might perceive the parties can influence settlement decisions. Insurance companies might be willing to offer more in a settlement if they believe a jury would be especially sympathetic to the victim.
Motorcycle Accident Verdicts & Settlements
Below are summaries of recent motorcycle accident cases resulting in verdicts or publicly reported settlements. These cases offer a sample of what types of compensation is awarded in motorcycle accident cases involving various circumstances.
$182,000 Verdict (Arizona 2023): The plaintiff, a podiatrist, said his motorcycle was rear-ended by a motorcycle operated by defendant. The defendant was allegedly cited for following too closely. The plaintiff reportedly hit the roadway and suffered significant injuries, including a fractured clavicle. The plaintiff alleged negligence and inattentive driving. He asserted the defendant was tailgating and following too closely. The $182,000 verdict was reduced by 40% down to $109,200 based on the 40% fault apportionment given to the plaintiff.
$75,000 Settlement (Nevada 2023): Plaintiff, an 11-year-old girl, was reportedly a passenger on a motorcycle that was involved in a side collision with another vehicle. The plaintiff reportedly suffered significant injuries including a broken collar bone and head trauma. The plaintiff claimed the other driver caused the collision. The parties agreed to a settlement and sought court approval of the settlement agreement.
$1,885,602 Verdict (North Carolina 2023): The plaintiff was on his motorcycle when he was struck by a US postal truck. The plaintiff said that as he drove through the intersection, the USPS truck attempted to make a left turn at the intersection, turned into his lane of traffic, and struck his motorcycle. The plaintiff reportedly was ejected from the motorcycle and was thrown into a wooded area adjacent to the intersection. He suffered left leg and thigh fractures, a left wrist fracture, left toe fractures, cardiac arrest, breathing abnormalities, respiratory failure, hemorrhoidal issues secondary to surgery and pain treatment, and skin contamination. He said he underwent four surgeries and was unable to work since the accident.
$259,262 Verdict (South Carolina 2023): The plaintiff was operating her motorcycle when she was reportedly rear-ended by a Jeep driven by the defendant. At the time, the plaintiff said she was stopped at an intersection with her left turn signal engaged when the collision occurred, causing her to fall from her motorcycle. The plaintiff said she suffered sprains and strains to her back, spine, pelvis, and hips.
$650,000 Settlement (Washington 2023): A 72-year-old man was driving his motorcycle when the defendant made a negligent left hand turn directly in front of him, causing the motorcycle to strike the defendant’s vehicle head on. The motorcycle rider was thrown from the bike and died from his injuries. His family brought a wrongful death case that settled out of court for $650,000.
$288,274 Verdict (Alabama 2022): The plaintiff claimed to suffer a right hip dislocation, a right wrist fracture, knee pain requiring immobilization, and multiple abrasions after the motorcycle he was operating collided with a United States Postal Service vehicle that exited a private driveway and entered his lane of travel. The verdict included $73,000 in past medical expenses.
$10,083,960 Verdict (California 2022): The plaintiff was a passenger on a motorcycle whose driver was headed north on a road in the City of Claremont. At the same time, defendant motorist reportedly was preparing to enter the roadway by turning left out of a driveway to head south. As the defendant began to enter the roadway, she noted her visibility was restricted due to a large bush on her left, and after moving either partly or completely into the northbound lane, she saw the motorcycle and stopped. The plaintiff allegedly suffered fractures to her right patella, tibia, ankle, and fibula, left distal femur, and left shoulder, together with multiple rib fractures and fractures to every bone in her right foot. The verdict included $2.4 million in past and future medical expenses, $800,000 in future lost wages, and $6.7 million for pain and suffering.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Now
Motorcycle accidents can be life-changing. With us by your side, you’re not alone in the quest for justice. Reach out today at 800-553-9082 to schedule your free consultation or get a no-obligation case review online. Your journey to justice starts with a single call.