Accidents involving motorcycles can cause severe injuries. As a result, people who are injured in motorcycle accidents often receive larger settlements than those involved in car accident cases.
Several factors affect the potential recovery you can get from a motorcycle accident case. Since each accident has different circumstances leading to the event and different injuries, each motorcycle injury claim is unique.
Below, we will go over the factors determining a fair settlement value for motorcycle injury cases in New Jersey. We will also discuss some of the motorcycle accident settlements so that you can make an educated estimate if you are ever involved in a motorcycle crash.
Are you a motorcycle accident victim who sustained serious injuries or property damage? At Sadaka Law, we have extensive experience in personal injury cases, and we will provide you with the legal advice and representation you need to reach an insurance settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.
Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A typical motorcycle accident settlement will cover pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills. Settlements can also cover things like the repair or replacement of property as well as damages related to physical impairments or disabilities. Also, the final settlement may not exceed the liability limit of the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
To calculate the motorcycle settlement cost, a personal injury lawyer needs to calculate the costs associated with each of these categories. Since motorcycle accident settlements depend on so many factors, quantifying the costs relating to the plaintiff’s injuries can be a complicated process, and no two cases are the same. Partnering with a professional motorcycle accident lawyer will help you quantify and demonstrate your damages.
Injured motorcyclists always want to know “what is my personal injury case worth” and the answer to this question, like much of law, is not straightforward.
Average Settlement by Type of Injury
Since there is so much variety in terms of injury settlement amounts, it doesn’t make sense to name one average amount. The best way to estimate an average motorcycle accident settlement amount is to calculate the amount by type of injury. Outliers like severe traumatic accident injuries and small discomforts will skew the average and therefore won’t give any useful information.
If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, determine what injuries the motorcycle rider had, and then look through the categories below to find a ballpark settlement amount or payment range for that type of injury.
Head and Brain Injuries
Injuries involving the head or brain are the most common and can be the most severe. These injuries are especially common in situations where the injured motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. A head injury can be as mild as a concussion or as severe as permanent brain damage.
All head injuries have significant medical bills associated with them, even for a mild concussion. Since head injuries can be so severe and debilitating, doctors usually take extra precautions, which can lead to higher medical bills. If the patient requires rehabilitation or has lasting disabilities because of the motorcycle accident, the bills and the pain and suffering damages associated with the settlement will be extremely costly.
Since there are so many types of head injuries that range in severity, there is not just one average number or range for this category. Rather, we have broken down the average cost of the motorcycle accident settlement by the severity of the injury.
If the motorcycle rider received a concussion in the accident, they can receive hundreds of thousands to millions depending on the severity.
Patients with brain injuries can get millions of dollars in recovery based on lots of factors, including their ability to work and provide for their families.
Shoulder and Chest Injuries
Shoulder and chest injuries are common in road accidents involving motorcycles. Dislocated or shattered shoulders as a result of a motorcycle accident can cause significant pain and take time to heal. Chest injuries like broken ribs can lead to other injuries like punctured lungs, which can be fatal.
Chest and shoulder injuries range in severity and therefore also have different payout costs. In general, someone who sustained a severe shoulder or chest injury is more likely to receive a larger recovery. There are a number of factors that go into the value of a case:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and mental anguish
- No longer being able to work or lost earning capacity (can still work but not as much)
Those are just some of the factors that go into the valuation of any case, including motorcycle injuries.
Leg and Ankle Injuries
Almost every motorcycle accident results in a leg or ankle injury because the rider’s legs are the closest body part to the pavement. The legs can break from being dragged on the pavement and can become stuck beneath the motorcycle. Other common leg injuries in these types of accidents are ankle-related injuries and soft tissue injuries.
Though leg and ankle injuries are common in these accidents, they range in severity. Someone that tore a ligament in their ankle can recover larger payouts.
Like the other injury categories that we have mentioned, spinal injuries can vary in severity, though all are expensive to treat. Herniated discs are common and can cause pain and discomfort. Payouts for herniated discs can be anywhere from $100,000 to $350,000 since they could require surgery and a long recovery period.
More severe spinal injuries include paralysis and can affect the patient’s cognitive functioning as well. Injuries of this severity will likely be closer to those of severe brain injuries. Again, a “value” for this type of injury really comes down to a number of factors as explained above:
- Out-of-pocket medical treatment costs
- Physical injuries and mental suffering
- No longer being able to work or lost earning capacity (can still work but not as much)
Whiplash and Road Rash
Whiplash is a common injury among motorcycle riders, and these injuries are typically more severe than the whiplash occupants sustain in car accidents. Headrests in cars are designed to prevent severe whiplash, but most motorcycles do not have them, putting the motorcycle driver at risk.
Road rash is another injury that ranges in severity and is mostly unique to motorcycle accident victims. Road rash happens when a person slides or drags their skin against the pavement, which is common in motorcycle accidents if the driver falls off their bike.
Road rash can be as mild as a few scrapes and cuts but can be severe enough to cause nerve damage. The payout cost for road rash injuries depends heavily on the lasting effects of the injury. More severe motorcycle accident cases can lead to a potential recovery in the millions depending on the severity.
What Can Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Now that you have an idea of what the payout from a motorcycle crash might be, it is important to know the factors that can affect the settlement. Every single motorcycle accident is unique and has different circumstances. These all come together to create a unique payout.
The Severity of Pain and Suffering
As we said before, the settlement usually comes down to physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages, and medical bills. Loss of income and medical bills are very easy to calculate. However, quantifying subjective damages, such as physical discomfort and pain can be a bit tricky, since you have to objectively assign a dollar amount to someone’s experience.
In general, the amount received for pain or suffering is affected by the process and length of time for recovering from the injuries received in the motorcycle accident. It can also be affected by other factors of the incident. For example, if the accident resulted in wrongful death, family members might claim compensation for mental suffering.
All of these extenuating factors can impact the person’s pain and suffering and can therefore lead to a higher payout from the liable party’s insurance company.
Determining Who Was at Fault
Another important factor to consider when settling is determining who was at fault in the motorcycle accident. Some accidents have a clear at-fault driver, but others have more complicated circumstances.
Accidents caused by obstacles in the road or inclement weather usually don’t have a party that is more at fault than the other, so figuring out who has to pay can be tricky. Accidents caused by a reckless or distracted motorcycle rider or other road user are a bit easier to figure out.
In any case, evidence about who caused the accident might strengthen your case and make it easier to reach a settlement agreement with the relevant insurance company.
Evidence, or lack of evidence, is another factor that can impact the settlement. In a case with no proof of who might have caused the accident, law enforcement and attorneys only have eyewitness accounts and the accident scene to help them figure out what happened.
A police report or evidence in the form of dashboard cameras can be extremely helpful in helping to determine who is at fault and can help all parties come to a settlement agreement.
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement After a Motorcycle Accident?
Depending on the available evidence and the complexity of the accident, reaching a settlement with an insurance company can take months or years. The process requires all parties to determine the severity and cost of their injuries and recovery. If the case goes to trial, the patient might not receive any money from the settlement until their treatment and recovery are over.
If you are involved in an accident like this, you can consult with an attorney, who can help you estimate how long it will take to reach a settlement.
Get In Touch With Leading Motorcycle Accident Lawyers – Contact Our Law Firm Today
Do you need to get an accurate estimate for your payout in a motorcycle accident? Consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer who has an excellent track record in motorcycle accident claims.
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Sadaka Law are ready to answer any questions you may have about a motorcycle accident settlement. Call 1-800-810-3457 to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney today.