Being injured in a motorcycle accident can be a tragic experience.
In fact, just falling off of one’s bike–regardless of speed or the impact from other objects–can result in bone fracture injuries, external injuries, and other harm.
When speed and the force of a 4,000+ pound vehicle are involved, the damages from a motorcycle accident can be especially catastrophic.
At the Beliz Law Firm, our motorcycle accident clients are often very concerned with knowing, “What is the average payout for a motorcycle accident?”
While we know you want to know the average settlement amount, motorcycle accidents are all very different, and damages vary greatly on a case-by-case basis.
The average settlement depends on the facts of the case, and the injuries that occurred as a result.
Each case is different – an individual matter.
Consider some of the different factors, listed below, that affect the average motorcycle accident settlement.
California motorcycle accident lawyer Michael A. Beliz, Esq. can help you get the amount you deserve.
At the core of any motorcycle accident case is the liability.
The at-fault driver is liable for damages to other drivers or riders. Determining liability requires looking at the whole picture. One must examine traffic collision reports, photos, independent witness statements, and expert testimony.
Liability determines fault for each of the parties involved in the crash. It can be assigned on a partial fault basis. The more facts you can prove against the other driver, the higher percentage of negligence is on that driver. The goal is to get the other driver to be 100 percent negligence for the crash. The higher the percentage, the greater the likelihood the other driver’s insurance company will want to resolve the case.
In addition to liability, damages determine the value of your case. Damages are basically how badly is someone injured. Several factors go into determining damages:
Immediate/Past Medical Expenses
These include a wide variety of charges. Bills directly related to the accident are eligible. This includes on-scene treatment, an ambulance trip, emergency medical treatment, primary care physician bills, or any other related treatment.
Future Medical Expenses
Motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries. Many of these serious injuries may need treatment in the future. Five, 10, or 20 plus years after the motorcycle crash you might still need treatment. However, there is a time limit for filing cases. Experts like doctors and life care planners help determine the necessary future treatment. Included could be surgeries, physical therapy, and medication, and treatment costs.
Injuries from a motorcycle accident may put you out of work. Whether it’s a few days, few months, or a permanent cut back in hours, lost wages are recoverable damages.
Future Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
An injury may cause permanent wage loss. In this case, you can request compensation for lost future earnings.
Loss of earning capacity is another thing you must consider.
Perhaps you cannot perform duties that you were in training to perform. In this case, you are eligible for compensation.
Pain and Suffering
These are damages where you cannot attach a bill to it.
This is compensation for aches and pains; the difficulties of living life after an accident.
A person should be compensated for the disruption of his or her quality of life.
Though intangible, pain and suffering is cause for additional compensation.
The Court reserves punitive damages for special cases where the defendant or the person that cause the collision needs to be punished for his or her actions.
The classic example is for a driver, who is under the influence of alcohol, causes a crash.
All these elements come into play to determine what is the potential settlement for a case. Each case is different, and each of these factors comes into play before we determine the settlement value.
Calculating Motorcycle Accident Damages
While there are both economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages that may be a part of your case, each of these damages types is calculated differently.
These damages refer to the actual economic losses a person suffers as a result of a motorcycle accident–like medical expenses, future medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages–described above. As such, these damages are calculated on an actual loss basis – if a person suffered $100,000 in economic losses, they are entitled to $100,000 in economic damages.
Noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, are much harder to calculate after an accident because they have no tangible or actual monetary value. There are two methods that often used for calculated noneconomic damages: the multiplier method and the per diem (or per day) method.
The per diem method assigns a daily rate to a person, which may be based on the actual amount of money a person earns per day.
For example, if a person earns $100 per day, their daily rate would be $100. Then, this number is multiplied by the number of days for which the victim experiences pain and suffering. So, if a person lived with pain and suffering for 100 days and their rate was $100, then their damages award would be $10,000.
The multiplier rate
On the other hand, assigns a number between one and five to a person based on the severity of their injuries. A person with extremely severe and permanent injuries would receive a five; a person with fewer serious or long-term injuries may receive a one, 1.5, or two.
Then, this number, called a multiplier, is multiplied by the value of a person’s economic losses. A person who suffered $200,000 in economic losses and has a multiplier of five would, therefore, be entitled to $1 million in noneconomic damages.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
In addition to the various factors listed above, the amount of insurance available can also affect your settlement, as can who you have working on your case – a more experienced lawyer may be able to obtain a higher settlement offer.