Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation for damages you incurred.
Motorcycle accidents can cause severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and road rash. Motorcyclists don’t have as much protection as motor vehicle drivers do, so some types of injuries can be much more severe. Motorcycles are also less visible to motor vehicle drivers, making them easier to hit if a driver is driving negligently.
In 2017, there were 5,172 fatalities and 89,000 injuries because of motorcycle accidents. To put things into perspective, there were about 37,000 deaths because of car accidents in 2018. Car accidents are much more common, as there are many more cars on the roads than there are motorcycles. However, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to die in an accident than those in a closed vehicle, a 2016 study showed.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are most often caused by the negligence of another driver, such as the driver of a passenger car or even commercial truck. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding can cause accidents easily, as motorcycles are able to make more abrupt stops. A speeding car may not be able to stop fast enough to prevent an accident from occurring.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is incredibly dangerous, and can be even more dangerous for motorcyclists on the road, as the driver may not see them at all. Driving under the influence can cause blurred vision, lowered reaction times, and poor coordination.
- Careless driving, such as not paying attention while at the wheel, or generally not caring about driving properly can also cause accidents.
- Reckless driving, such as speeding or even aggressive driving, like cutting someone off.
- Inexperienced driving. If a driver isn’t well equipped with the proper knowledge of driving, it may make getting into an accident easier. They may not know exactly how to react in certain situations, more easily causing an accident.
- Left turns are a common cause of accidents, as a car may drift out of the proper lane in cases of multi-lane turns. They may also believe they have the right of way when they actually don’t.
- Unsafe lane changes are a huge culprit when it comes to causing motorcycle accidents. A motorcycle may be in your blind spot, but if you’re changing lanes unsafely, you might not see them at all
- Even a car door opening can cause a car accident if you aren’t careful. If someone opens their car door not knowing that a motorcycle is approaching, the motorcyclist may not have time to move out of the way of the door.
- Motorcycle defects can also cause accidents. If a defective part causes your accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the part.
What Can I Claim for Damages?
After being involved in an accident, you may have lots of medical bills and no way of paying them back. You may be stressed about how you’re going to return to work and resume your normal life. An experienced attorney can help you get the compensation that you deserve and the peace of mind that you need to get back on your feet.
Economic damages cover your medical bills, such as:
- doctor’s visits
- ER visits
- ambulance rides
- specialist visits
- physical therapy
- therapy for your mental health
- any other medical costs that may be related to your accident
You can also claim damages for any wages you may have lost while you were out of work and any wages you’ll continue to lose because of your injury.
Non-economic damages are more flexible and provide compensation for:
- pain and suffering
- loss of consortium
- loss of earning capacity
- permanent disability or disfigurement
These damages are calculated by looking at how much your life has changed because of your injuries. The greater the change in your quality of life, the greater compensation you’ll receive.
What Affects my Case’s Value?
You may be curious about what your case’s value will be and whether or not you should settle your case or take it to trial. The value of your case is dependent on a lot of different circumstances, and each case is different. An experienced attorney will walk you through the process and help you estimate what you could receive from your case.
Severity of Your Injuries and Total Damages
The most important factor in the value of your case is your total amount of damages. This is your combined economic and non-economic damages. The higher these values are, the higher your case is worth. The severity of your injuries goes hand in hand with your total damages. The more severe your injuries are, the more damages you’re likely to have.
Insurance adjusters may try to lowball your settlement just because they believe that motorcycle accidents are often at least partially the fault of the motorcyclist. This is because many see motorcycle drivers as “reckless” or “dangerous” simply because they choose to ride motorcycles. Your attorney can shut down these claims and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Defendant’s Insurance
Unfortunately, if the defendant doesn’t have enough insurance, you may have to rely on your own uninsured/underinsured coverage to pay your bills. If the defendant has poor or no insurance, it may not be worth it to file a lawsuit, as you can only receive what they have available to give.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact Jones Law Group for help with your case. Our experienced team of lawyers are here to help you through this tough time in your life. Our years of experience will be crucial to your case. And we’ll make sure to help you get the most compensation possible for your injuries. For more information, please contact us online using our chat box option, or call us at 727-571-1333.