Motorcycle accidents are among the most serious types of crashes. These accidents have a much higher rate of fatalities and severe injuries than other incidents. As a result, you may deserve significant financial compensation under the law. You should understand the full scope and extent of your injuries before you begin the legal process.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can explain the things you may receive compensation for and the legal process you will need to follow to get financial compensation.
Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries Will Affect Many Parts of Your Life
A motorcycle accident injury can be more than just physical. Of course, some of the physical injuries we describe below are the primary harms that you can suffer as a result of the accident. However, many other injuries go beyond your physical condition.
An injury can describe anything you lost because of the accident. It can certainly include physical injuries, but you may also lose your well-being and peace of mind. Quite literally, you can lose your mental health due to the accident. Injuries can also refer to your loss of money in an accident.
Physical Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accident injuries tend to be far more serious than those in passenger vehicle accidents. Nothing can protect you from contact with the passenger vehicle or the ground.
If the accident throws you from your bike and you hit the pavement, you may suffer from:
- Fractures or broken bones
- Organ damage
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash (which is a friction burn injury from skidding across the pavement, leading to permanent scarring and possible infection)
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
Physical Injuries Will Affect You Financially
Your physical injuries will cause you to incur a number of economic costs. First, you will need to pay medical expenses. Even when your health insurance provider covers your bills, you may still have a large cost share of your own. The same thing goes for prescription medications and medical equipment. Your out-of-pocket medical expenses can reach tens of thousands of dollars.
In addition, your injuries might prevent you from returning to work. In some cases, you might do some work with your condition, but you cannot do the same physical labor or cognitive work you did before the accident.
In other cases, your injuries may leave you without the capacity you had before the accident. You may have had a career trajectory before the accident that may be out of reach now, including anticipated promotions or advancement. Any money you might have earned, whether it is what you were making or what you expected to earn in the future, is part of your accident-related injuries.
You Will Also Suffer Subjective Non-Economic Injuries
Your physical injuries can cause you a considerable amount of pain and suffering. First, you can feel physical pain that might be constant. The discomfort can significantly take away from the quality of your life. Pain can be present in your life at all waking hours and can last far into the future.
In addition, you will feel depression and anxiety that result from your physical injuries. The fact that you are not physically the same will harm your mental health. You may not sleep well at night, and you can spend large parts of your day in distress.
Physical Injuries Lead to Extensive Non-Economic Damages
Pain and suffering is a large part of your motorcycle accident injuries. It may be worth even more than your economic damages described above. The insurance company will do everything in its power to underestimate the extent of your pain and suffering.
They will say that they are using an “objective” formula that takes your own individual experience out of the picture. Here is a tip: when the insurance company tries to distinguish between objective and subjective, it is always doing it to offer you less money.
Even losing your quality of life before the accident is an injury. It is something you had before that you no longer have because of the accident. Not engaging in hobbies you enjoyed before the accident counts as an injury.
Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries Can Also Be Emotional
Some of your motorcycle accident injuries can be psychiatric or psychological. They will derive from your physical injuries or the accident itself. One common effect of the accident is that you may have suffered emotional distress from the incident itself. It is difficult to forget what went through your mind in the moments during the crash and in the immediate aftermath.
It is easier said than done to recover from the mental effects of the accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be crippling and can keep you from living a normal life, even after your physical injuries have healed. You may not work well or even focus on a task. Sometimes, PTSD can prevent victims from leaving the house, as being near a road or traffic can cause violent and debilitating flashbacks and panic attacks.
Obtaining Compensation for All of Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries
You can seek compensation for your emotional distress and mental anguish from the accident. You will need treatment records from mental health professionals to show the extent of your condition and what you are doing to treat the problem.
The problem is that emotional distress is a subjective injury. The insurance company does not believe anything unless they see it in front of them on paper. Even then, they may still not accept your diagnosis. Anything that relies on you reporting your own condition and experience will cause the insurance company to question you. They will insist on seeing “objective” evidence of something that is inherently subjective in nature.
Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries Will Last Into the Future
Your injuries are not just what you are going through right now and have already endured. Anything you lose, whether in the past or the future, can be an accident-related injury. Although it may be difficult to estimate now how you may suffer in the future, it is exactly what you must do when filing a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit. The insurance company will not pay you for anything that does not have supporting evidence because they will consider it speculative.
The Insurance Company Will Deny Your Injuries or Try to Undercompensate You
You are legally entitled to compensation for all the damages you suffer in a motorcycle accident, whether physical or emotional. However, the insurance company will do everything in its power to keep you from getting the money you deserve. You will need to fight for every dollar you get in a motorcycle accident settlement. The insurance company will throw up roadblocks and force you to fight, which may be the last thing you are in the condition for when you have suffered serious injuries.
An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help Fight for Your Legal Rights
To maximize financial compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries, you should hire an experienced attorney. The first way your lawyer will help you is by reviewing your situation and coming up with a number for each type of injury described above.
You and the insurance company may disagree about even more tangible physical injuries. For example, the insurance company may disagree with you about what you might have earned in the future from your job had you not suffered injuries. They may also question whether certain medical care is necessary for your recovery, such as ongoing therapy or chiropractic care.
Valuing Your Damages Is a Large Part of Your Claim
Your attorney will also come up with a number for your non-economic damages that considers your own personal situation. They will work to understand your daily experience and everything you live with in determining how much you may be due in pain and suffering damages. Your lawyer can consult with experts to value some of the individual elements of your claim.
Perhaps the most important thing is to know how much money you can get. The figure representing your total damages will give you a guidepost of what to work for in the claims process. If you do not know how much your claim is worth, you may be vulnerable to accepting less money than you deserve and forever signing away your right to financial compensation.
Then, your lawyer will assemble your claim, including both the evidence that proves fault in the accident and the documentation that shows your damages. Alternatively, they may file a lawsuit against the responsible driver on your behalf.
You Can and Should Negotiate for More Money
Your motorcycle accident lawyer can help maximize your financial compensation by actively negotiating and dealing with the insurance company. You may receive an initial settlement offer and think it is a misprint in light of what your lawyer told you your case is worth.
It is all part of the time-honored way that insurance companies handle the claims process. Most claimants review and reject the initial settlement offer and come back with a counteroffer. When that happens, the negotiation process is well underway.
You can expect to go through this drill several times. Your attorney will file a demand letter that states what you deserve, and they need to send multiple letters during the claims process. You may even need to threaten or file a lawsuit to back up your claim. When the insurance company knows you are serious, they may begin to sing a different tune.
Litigation May Maximize Your Motorcycle Accident Compensation
The threat of litigation is often enough to make the insurance company raise its offer and become more serious about a settlement. Litigation means expenses for them because they need to hire their own lawyer to defend the case in court. When you sue the responsible driver, the insurance company has a duty to defend them in court. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows when to turn up the pressure on the insurance company when they are being difficult.
Actual litigation may be your last and most effective resort. The insurance company may feel more pressure to settle the case because they know that the jury might award you more money than they ever offered in a settlement.
A jury may consider you as a complete person with wide-ranging injuries and put a higher value on your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. They may be less likely to use formulas and more likely to consider your actual daily experience.
Do Not Try to Handle Your Case on Your Own
Without an attorney, you may not even know the full extent of your injuries. You may accept a quick settlement check that pays you a fraction of what you deserve, thinking that it is the best that you can do. The insurance company will try to catch you unaware of the full value of your case. If they see that you do not have a lawyer, they may try to take full advantage of you before you learn how much you should possibly get.
Therefore, you must hire an attorney at the earliest possible opportunity. Your family should contact one on your behalf if you cannot speak with a lawyer yourself. Having the right lawyer on your case can make a large difference in your amount of total compensation.
You will not need to pay for an attorney out of your own pocket. Instead, your agreement with your attorney states that you only pay them from the proceeds of your case if you win. Even after legal fees, you will likely take home much more with the help of an experienced attorney. If you are not successful in obtaining compensation, you will not need to pay your attorney any legal fees for their services.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeking legal help with a motorcycle accident claim. Get your free case evaluation today.