What is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you or someone in your family has been injured in a motorcycle crash, you’re likely facing a mountain of expenses.
Hospital and ambulance bills, treatment costs, rehabilitation costs, and lost earnings are just some of the economic damages that can result from such accidents. This financial stress also adds to the tremendous emotional distress you may be experiencing during this time.
With these sudden and heavy losses, many motorcycle accident victims ask: How much can I expect to receive as compensation?
There is no “average” amount of payout for motorcycle crash injuries because cases vary widely. Each case is a unique combination of factors that could dictate whether the claim value is several thousand dollars or a couple million.
To give you an idea, here are a few things that affect the compensation amount in a motorcycle accident.
What are Damages in a Motorcycle Crash?
“Damages” refers to the losses that the individual suffered due to the accident. These include economic damages, which are clearly quantifiable in terms of dollar amount, and non-economic damages, which are less tangible but still compensable. In motor vehicle accident cases, damages commonly include:
- Incurred medical expenses
- Future medical expenses (e.g. continued treatment)
- Rehabilitation costs (e.g. physical therapy)
- Lost earnings
- Diminished capacity to earn
- Pain and suffering
- Mental/emotional distress
- Lost companionship — for surviving family in the event of the victim’s wrongful death.
There are methods to calculate damages after a motorcycle accident, and strategies to maximize the value of a claim. For instance, it is wise to wait until the full extent of your injury is known, so that you have a clear idea of how much it has — and will — cost you.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you thoroughly examine your losses.
Who Was at Fault in the Accident?
California is a “fault-based” state, meaning the at-fault party is responsible for paying the damages.
In relation to this, California also follows the “comparative negligence” standard. It distributes the liability to every party who contributed to the accident. For example, an injured motorcyclist may seek compensation from a car driver that hit their motorcycle. But if the motorcyclist was found to be partially at fault, their compensation may be reduced according to their percentage of fault.
Comparative negligence is significant in motorcycle crashes because of the common prejudice against motorcyclists. An injured motorcycle rider may get blamed for their own accident and may need to defend themselves against negative stereotypes.
It is important for any injured person, motorcyclist or not, to have a lawyer who can help establish the liability of the other party.
Accident Settlement Versus Trial
A large majority of personal injury claims are paid out with an insurance settlement. Negotiating with an insurance company is considered faster and less costly than bringing the case to court.
However, accident victims must be smart when pursuing an insurance claim, because insurers are known for undervaluing injuries and even denying them outright. Claimants are usually advised to have a lawyer to improve their negotiating power opposite experienced insurance adjusters.
On the other hand, personal injury cases that proceed to trial are determined by a judge or a jury. Insurers often try to settle a case before it goes to trial because a sympathetic jury could award higher damages to the victim. In particular, the valuation of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering can be subjective. Sometimes, the dollar amount assigned to non-economic losses can even exceed that of economic damages.
A report from Jury Verdict Research (published by Thomson Reuters) found that in the 1999-2006 period, the median motorcycle injury trial verdict was $73,700. Still, many injured victims opt to pursue an out-of-court settlement because trials can be much lengthier, more expensive, and more costly.
It is possible to obtain an insurance settlement that far exceeds that dated estimate. Here at Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers, many of our motorcycle accident cases have resulted in six-figure settlements, with some breaching the $1 million mark. Again, it must be emphasized that case outcomes are varied. Working with a competent injury attorney gives you a better chance of maximizing your compensation.
Consult With a Reliable Motorcycle Injury Attorney Today
Residents of San Diego County and Southern California trust us for our experienced handling of motor vehicle accident injury cases, resulting in favorable compensation for our clients. To get help with your motorcycle accident injury claim (or any other kind of injury claim), contact us at (619) 550-1355 for a free consultation.
Robert Hamparyan is one of California’s most accomplished personal injury lawyers. Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego was founded so that Robert could bring more of his skill and knowledge to personal injury victims in all types of cases. Robert and his team have dealt with semi truck accidents, wrongful death cases, brain & spine injuries, and many other types of personal injury cases with soaring success.
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