Compensation For A Motorcycle AccidentLast updated on: September 12, 2022
After a motorcycle accident, you might face not only physical injuries but also emotional and financial suffering. Legal compensation can help reimburse you for those damages. The amount you might receive will vary based on the kind and seriousness of your injuries.
What Are Common Injuries People Face in a Motorcycle Accident?
Injuries from motorcycle accidents are often even more serious than ordinary car accidents. Even if you wear a helmet, you still have less protection as a motorcyclist.
Other vehicles have doors, floors, seatbelts, and windshields that protect their occupants in the event of a crash. There are none of these barriers to prevent the motorcyclist from coming into contact with the road or other vehicles.
Some states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while some only require helmets for motorcyclists below a certain age. Though injuries could be lessened with the use of a helmet, many riders choose to bypass the equipment. However, even if you use a helmet, it is still possible to sustain a head injury if the crash is especially serious.
Head injuries are, therefore, common in motorcycle accidents, ranging from mild to severe to deadly. You might suffer a concussion in which you lose consciousness. When you regain consciousness, you might suffer from persistent post-concussive symptoms in the future, sometimes including changes to your personality or an inability to focus.
You could also suffer a skull fracture or brain injury. A brain injury can include hemorrhages, leading to other complications in your ability to move and communicate. The more serious your head injury, the more time and money it can take to recover.
Spinal injuries are more difficult to prevent than head injuries since there is not currently an effective way to protect the spine while riding a motorcycle. These injuries are also common and sometimes permanent.
Spinal cord injuries typically involve paralyses, such as tetraplegia or paraplegia. Symptoms can include spasms, loss of sensation, difficulty breathing, nerve pain, loss of bowel or bladder control, and changes in sexual function.
Some motorcyclists wear leather to protect their skin during a crash. Leather provides a thick layer to prevent road rash. Road rash occurs when the motorcyclist’s skin scrapes off because of the friction of moving quickly against the road.
In milder cases, road rash might result in cuts and bruises. However, there might also be muscle damage or nerve damage. Sometimes, debris can lodge itself into the motorcyclist’s injury, leading to infection.
While road rash is less likely to be a life-altering injury, it can still be excruciating and expensive to treat.
Legs are also commonly injured in motorcycle accidents. Your legs are closer to the road than other body parts when you ride your motorcycle, and they can be pinned by the bike when you are in an accident.
Your legs can be affected by some of the other injuries already mentioned: They can receive road rash or become paralyzed by a spinal injury. However, they are more likely to be cut, bruised, fractured, or broken.
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
There are countless ways someone can cause a motorcycle accident, but some are more common than others. How the accident happens affects who is liable for the accident and whether you could be compensated.
Reckless driving contributes to many traffic accidents. It can include speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and other irresponsible tactics that lead to wrecks. The person who engages in reckless driving is typically responsible for the accident, but if all parties involved in the crash were driving recklessly, it could complicate the finding of fault.
For example, suppose someone driving a car is speeding and texting, and a motorcyclist passes the vehicle and brakes in front of it. The car driver does not see the motorcyclist braking in time and crashes into it.
The motorcyclist may have been contributorily negligent for the accident because she was speeding to pass the already speeding car. Still, the car driver might be more negligent because he was also texting.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you learn your chances of recovery based on the possible finding of fault in your accident.
Sometimes motorcyclists use their vehicles’ small size to navigate through traffic by lane splitting. This is almost always illegal and can be extremely dangerous. Motorcyclists who lane split could be liable for resulting accidents.
Changing Traffic Conditions
Changing traffic conditions can contribute to accidents, but motorists are expected to be vigilant to these changing conditions. States have laws that drivers must slow down in inclement weather and construction zones. If there is a stationary object on the road, the driver should look ahead to maneuver around it.
However, sometimes conditions are impossible to avoid or mitigate, leading to accidents. Speak more with a motorcycle accident attorney if you are unsure whether your accident could have been avoided.
What Factors Affect a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
Settlement Value vs. Trial Value
One of the most important factors affecting your motorcycle accident settlement is determining the value of your case if you settle with the other party rather than go to trial. Most plaintiffs and defendants prefer settling over going to trial.
This is because there are not usually surprises in a settlement. The parties typically know each other’s arguments and can negotiate for an acceptable amount. The plaintiff does not have to risk losing at trial, and the defendant does not risk the plaintiff winning a much larger amount at trial.
However, a trial might be in your best interest if you cannot agree with the defendant on an acceptable settlement amount. Before you decide whether to accept a settlement amount or go to trial, speak with your personal injury attorney about the amount a jury might award you and your chances of winning at trial.
How Long Does Reaching a Settlement Take?
Settling might take longer than you expect. It may take as little as a couple of months or as long as several years.
Each side spends that time investigating the strength of the other side’s claims and chances of success at trial. A road accident attorney near you can help that process move more quickly since they are already familiar with the local law and has experience with claims like yours.
A consultation with a lawyer can help you learn more about your case, including how long it might take to settle. The more parties involved in the case (such as insurance companies and multiple defendants), the longer it could take for you to receive compensation.
Often, the victim has already healed from the injury by the time he or she is finally compensated. This is because your compensation is determined by the damages you suffered from the accident, including your medical bills, missed wages from time off work, and pain and suffering.
Need Help? Contact Zinda Law Group Today
Whether you received a mild or serious injury from the motorcycle crash, you deserve to have it compensated by the person who caused the accident. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to help you recover from an accident that was not your fault.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.