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What Is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?

Experts In This Article

Victims of motorcycle accidents understandably want to know how much money they can get to help them pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They did not cause the accident, and they should not have to bear the extreme financial, physical, and emotional burdens of it all on their own.

What is the average payout for a motorcycle accident? What is the average motorcycle accident settlement? These are questions we hear frequently when injured motorcyclists come into our offices. We know that getting compensation is key to getting back on the bike and rebuilding your life after a devastating crash.

Experienced lawyers for motorcycle accident victims will tell you, however, that that question does not lend itself to a simple answer. You might calculate an average motorcycle accident settlement by simply dividing a group of payouts by the number of victims who get paid, but that number would not tell you much—if anything—about how much you can hope to get in your particular motorcycle accident case. Here is why.

Multiple Factors Affect Motorcycle Accident Case Payouts

Average Payout For A Motorcycle Accident

Every accident is unique, resulting in significantly different motorcycle accident settlements and payouts. It happens in specific circumstances. It causes specific injuries. It affects specific people.

That differentiation from one motorcycle wreck to the next makes comparing motorcycle accident cases or lumping them together to take an average, problematic. Instead, as any skilled motorcycle accident lawyer knows, the potential payout in each case will depend on a range of factors. Each of these factors must be carefully weighed to determine how much YOUR specific motorcycle accident claim is worth.

The Nature and Severity of the Accident and the Motorcyclist’s Injuries

The first significant factor affecting the payout in a motorcycle accident concerns the particular harm the victim suffered. Why? Because the nature and severity of an accident and the victim’s injury influence the size of the damages a victim can claim as compensation for what happened.

As a general matter, a motorcycle accident victim has the right to seek financial compensation from anyone whose unreasonably dangerous actions caused the crash that injured them. That compensation takes three forms.

Economic Damages

The law entitles motorcycle accident victims to payment for any direct financial harm they suffered in their accident, known as economic damages.

In most motorcycle crash cases, the bulk of a victim’s economic damages consists of:

  • Medical expenses related to treating accident-related injuries and any future health complications that result from them;
  • Lost wages and income resulting from missing work while healing, or becoming disabled and unable to work long-term;
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses you would not have incurred if a motorcycle accident had not hurt you.

These expenses relate directly to the types and impacts of the injuries the victim suffered. The more profound and life-altering the injuries; the more treating them will cost; the more wages and income the victim will likely miss out on earning; and the higher the other costs the victim will face. Pain and suffering can be difficult to quantify and prove to a jury or insurance company. For this reason, you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side.

Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will often work closely with their injured clients and clients’ loved ones to compile a detailed, evidence-based calculation of the direct financial impacts of the injuries they suffered. Often, lawyers will also team up with financial and medical experts to build a case to prove the future financial impact of a victim’s injuries. It is only by carefully calculating current and future costs that the victim’s legal team can hope to secure the money the victim needs to fill the full financial hole left by an injury.

Non-Economic Damages

The law also entitles motorcycle crash victims to seek compensation for all other life difficulties, inconveniences, and challenges that accompany injuries in an accident, known as non-economic (or non-financial) damages.

They often include:

  • Physical pain and suffering caused by injuries;
  • Emotional suffering and mental health challenges that accompany recovering from and/or living with the injuries;
  • Harm to a victim’s personal or intimate relationships, such as loss of companionship or consortium;
  • Overall loss of quality of life, such as the burdens of not being able to live independently because of the injuries, or having to give up favorite activities or pastimes because of them.

As above, these non-economic damages often depend primarily on the nature and extent of the injuries sustained in the motorcycle wreck. The more severe the crash and life-altering the injuries suffered by the victim, the broader and deeper their impact on the victim’s life, and the more money it would be appropriate to pay as compensation.

The best lawyers for motorcycle accident victims understand the critical importance of getting to know their clients and of coming to a deep understanding of the toll injuries have taken on their clients’ lives. Through compassion and personalized service, skilled attorneys gain the knowledge and evidence necessary to prove the full scope of harm a motorcycle accident has caused.

Punitive Damages

Sometimes, in the most extreme motorcycle accident cases, the law also permits victims to seek extra compensation from the at-fault party, known as punitive (or exemplary) damages. This compensation aims to punish the at-fault party engaged in extreme or intentional misconduct. In some states, like Florida, the law caps the amount of these damages—but they can serve as a significant source of additional compensation when a motorcycle accident and the injuries it caused were especially severe.

The Strength of the Motorcyclist’s Case for Damages

A second important factor affecting average motorcycle accident settlements has to do with your motorcycle accident lawyer’s ability to present a clear, compelling case for damages. Generally speaking, the stronger the case, the higher its potential value.

In an ideal world, the party who caused a motorcycle accident would simply pay 100 percent of the victim’s damages, no-questions-asked. But we do not live in an ideal world. Instead, in reality, to obtain a payout in a motorcycle accident case the victim’s lawyer must collect and be prepared to present evidence that proves the legal liability of the at-fault party for the damages the victim suffered.

That is not always an easy task.

The strength of a motorcycle accident case can depend on, for example:

  • The availability of evidence to support the victim’s case. Evidence comes in all types. It can consist of documentation (like medical records), physical items (like damaged bike parts), or testimony from the victim or eyewitnesses to the crash. The more and higher quality of this evidence, the higher the potential payout in a case.
  • The degree of disagreement and dispute involved. Some at-fault parties (and their insurance companies) rush to settle cases. Others take a more combative approach. The potential payout in a case can sometimes depend, in part, on the likelihood that it will take a knock-down, drag-out fight to win it, or whether the at-fault parties are willing to negotiate in good faith to achieve a fair motorcycle accident settlement.
  • The skill and experience of the victim’s lawyer. Hiring the right lawyer can make a big difference in the value of a motorcycle accident case. Ideally, victims should try to hire an attorney who regularly represents motorcycle crash victims, has a proven track record of case results, and understands the challenges bikers face on the road. A well-respected, experienced motorcycle accident lawyer tends to achieve higher outcomes for clients, compared to their less-experienced peers.

The At-Fault Party’s Financial Resources

A third critical factor affecting the payout you might hope to get in a motorcycle accident case involves the other party’s ability to pay. You cannot get blood from a stone, as the old saying goes. Even if you have the strongest motorcycle accident case in history, someone has to pay you the damages they owe you. If that someone does not have enough insurance or assets to cover your losses, then that can serve as a ceiling on what you can expect to receive.

In most motorcycle accident cases, the at-fault party’s liability insurance serves as the first source of payment of damages for the victims. If damages in a case exceed the limits of that insurance, lawyers can sometimes also pursue the at-fault party’s assets—cash in bank accounts, personal or business property, etc.—to satisfy a motorcycle injury claim.

Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers assess the potential payout in a case by investigating and evaluating all potential sources of payment to their clients. They know not to stop looking for money when they find a single at-fault party who has insurance. Instead, they dig deeper into the evidence to uncover everyone who may owe damages under applicable law. Why? Because the more parties who owe damages to a crash victim, the higher the likelihood of the victim getting 100 percent of the payout they deserve.

So, for example, sources of payment in a typical motorcycle accident case could include:

  • A careless motorist who causes a crash by not safely sharing the road with a motorcyclist;
  • That motorist’s employer, if the crash happens while the motorist is on-the-job or driving a work vehicle;
  • An automotive or motorcycle parts manufacturer, if a dangerous defect in a car or bike contributed to the cause of a wreck;
  • A local government agency, if it failed in its duty to build and maintain safe roads for motorcyclists.

These are just some examples. The point is, seasoned motorcycle accident lawyers understand that the size of their client’s payout may depend on them uncovering every possible source of payment, and they work tirelessly to track those sources down.

What About Jury Bias?

If your motorcycle accident case goes to trial, the amount of your motorcycle accident settlement or payout could hinge on jury bias. Jury bias can potentially exist in any type of legal case, including motorcycle accident cases. Bias refers to the tendency of individuals to favor or disfavor certain parties or outcomes based on preconceived notions, personal experiences, beliefs, or stereotypes.

Motorcyclists are sometimes associated with negative stereotypes, such as being reckless, irresponsible, or risk-takers. These stereotypes can influence jurors’ perceptions and lead to bias against motorcyclists. Jurors may have also had personal experiences or encounters with motorcyclists that shape their opinions. If a juror has had a negative experience with a motorcyclist, it could potentially bias their judgment in a motorcycle accident case.

Jurors may have a tendency to attribute more fault or responsibility to motorcyclists in accidents compared to other drivers. This bias can arise due to the perception that motorcyclists are more vulnerable or that they engage in riskier behavior.

To mitigate potential jury bias in motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle accident lawyers can use various strategies. These may include selecting jurors who demonstrate impartiality during the jury selection process, presenting strong evidence and expert testimony to counter biased assumptions, educating the jury about the specific circumstances of the accident and relevant laws, and emphasizing the importance of fairness and objectivity in reaching a just verdict.

Never Trust an Insurance Company’s Claims About the Payout You Deserve

Insurance plays a role in virtually every motorcycle accident case. To begin, many victims carry their own insurance and turn to it immediately after the crash to pay for medical care and to replace damaged property.

Then, there is the at-fault party’s insurance. As we mentioned above, in most motorcycle accident cases, the at-fault party’s liability insurance serves as the principal source of payment of damages to an injured victim (and of reimbursement to the victim’s insurers).

Sometimes, the at-fault party’s liability insurance company will try to contact a motorcycle accident victim directly to discuss the victim’s injuries and losses. On the surface, the adjuster or representative from the liability insurance company might seem friendly and helpful. But make no mistake: the liability insurer’s purpose in contacting the victim is to limit the size of its financial exposure for the victim’s injuries and losses.

That insurance company might even offer to settle a motorcycle accident claim quickly for what seems like a lot of money. But you should regard any motorcycle accident settlement offer like that as a clear sign that the insurance company knows its policyholder (the at-fault party) owes you money and that they want to pay you as little as possible.

In other words, you can never trust what an insurance company representing the at-fault party in your accident tells you about the value of your motorcycle accident claim. It will always be less than you deserve.

The only person you should trust to give you a clear, honest assessment of the potential payout in your motorcycle accident case is a skilled motorcycle accident injury lawyer who represents your interests, and your interests alone. Take anyone else who calls or texts offering you free advice about how much you should get with a grain of salt. They have their own interests at heart, not yours.

How to Get The Most Money From Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement

After a motorcycle crash, you’re not just seeking an average motorcycle accident settlement. You want compensation for your injuries and the damages you suffered. You want to know that your medical expenses and the money you lost missing time from work will get covered. You want your bike to be repaired and you want your life back.

When seeking compensation for a motorcycle accident, here are some steps you can take to maximize the potential value of your settlement:

  • Seek immediate medical attention: It’s crucial to prioritize your health and well-being after a motorcycle accident. Promptly seek medical treatment for your injuries and follow your doctor’s instructions. Document all medical expenses, including hospital bills, medication costs, therapy sessions, and any future medical needs resulting from the accident.
  • Preserve evidence: Preserve any evidence related to the accident. This can include photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and damage to your motorcycle. Obtain a copy of the police report and gather contact information from any witnesses. Keep all medical records, receipts, and documentation of expenses related to your injuries and recovery.
  • Consult with an attorney: It’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents. They can provide guidance on your legal rights, evaluate your case, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. An attorney can help determine the fair value of your claim and work to maximize your motorcycle accident settlement.
  • Document all losses: In addition to medical expenses, keep track of other losses resulting from the accident. This may include lost wages if you were unable to work due to your injuries, future earning capacity if your injuries have long-term effects, property damage to your motorcycle or personal belongings, and any pain and suffering you experienced.
  • Build a strong case: Work closely with your attorney to build a strong case. This may involve gathering additional evidence, such as expert opinions or accident reconstruction reports, to establish liability and demonstrate the extent of your injuries and damages. A well-documented and persuasive case can increase the likelihood of a higher settlement offer.
  • Negotiate effectively: Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to secure a fair motorcycle accident settlement. It’s important to be patient and not accept the first offer if it does not adequately compensate you for your losses. Your attorney will leverage their experience and knowledge of the law to negotiate on your behalf and work toward maximizing your compensation.
  • Consider the long-term impact: When evaluating motorcycle accident settlements, consider the long-term impact of your injuries. Assess whether the proposed settlement adequately covers your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages. Consult with your attorney to ensure you are making an informed decision.

How Can a Lawyer Help You Get Maximum Payout After a Motorcycle Crash?

After a motorcycle accident, hiring a lawyer with experience in personal injury law and specifically motorcycle crashes can greatly increase your chances of receiving the maximum payout for your case. These lawyers have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal process and fight for your rights.

Firstly, a lawyer will carefully review your case and assess its strengths and weaknesses. They will consider factors such as the severity of your injuries, the extent of property damage, and the circumstances surrounding the accident. By thoroughly evaluating your case, the lawyer can determine the potential value of your claim and devise a strategy to maximize your compensation.

One of the key ways a lawyer helps is by gathering evidence to support your claim. They will collect relevant documents, such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements. They may also work with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, to strengthen your case. By presenting solid evidence, a lawyer can effectively demonstrate the extent of your injuries, the negligence of the other party involved, and the impact of the accident on your life.

Additionally, a motorcycle accident attorney will handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies often try to minimize their payouts, and they may employ tactics to undervalue your claim. However, a skilled lawyer knows how to navigate these negotiations and advocate for your best interests. They will use their legal expertise and knowledge of similar cases to fight for a fair motorcycle accident settlement that covers all your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, a lawyer can take your case to court. They will prepare a strong legal argument, present evidence, and represent your interests in front of a judge and jury. Going to court can be a complex process, but having a lawyer by your side ensures that your rights are protected, and you have the best chance of receiving the maximum payout.

Throughout the entire legal process, a lawyer will provide guidance, support, and reassurance. They will explain the legal proceedings in simple terms, answer your questions, and address any concerns you may have. This can greatly reduce the stress and uncertainty associated with your case and allow you to focus on your recovery.

Want the Best Payout Possible? Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney.

There is no such thing as an average payout in a motorcycle accident case. Every motorcycle accident case is different, and your value will depend on a wide range of factors, some of which you do not control (like the nature and extent of your injuries, and who owes you damages) and some that you do (like who you choose to represent you).

After a motorcycle crash that leaves you injured, you need a skilled advocate on your side who represents you and no one else. Do not trust an insurance company to just hand you the payout you deserve. Realistically, getting the maximum possible payout in your case is more likely to happen if you enlist the help of a skilled, experienced motorcycle crash attorney as soon as possible.

Do not wait. As a motorcycle crash victim, you may have valuable rights to financial compensation, but those rights can expire if you do not take quick action. Our attorneys can help you through a motorcycle accident claim and get you the compensation you deserve. We can help you get the most from your motorcycle accident settlement or personal injury lawsuit. For a free consultation to learn about the payout, you might get for your motorcycle crash, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer today.

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