This content has been reviewed by Jason D. Stone.
Over the last decade, there have been approximately 82,000 and 104,000 motorcycle accidents a year in the United States. Because motorcyclists are so exposed to dangers in a crash, the injuries after an accident are often severe, leading to high medical bills and prolonged periods where the injured party is unable to work.
Understandably, many motorcycle accident victims wish to seek compensation for their injuries to cover their costs and lost earnings, but how much can you expect to receive from a motorbike accident payout?
Common Motorcycle Injuries
The extent of your injuries, the cost of their treatment, and the expected recovery time all affect the amount of compensation you could receive. Common motorcycle accident injuries, both serious and moderate, include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Muscle damage
- Broken bones and nerve damage
- Road rash
- Internal damage and bleeding
- Lower extremities injuries
To determine the severity of your injuries and the extent of medical treatment you need (and how much compensation you should receive), you must provide comprehensive medical notes from all your appointments and treatments, including drug prescriptions. Consulting with Boston motorcycle accident lawyers can help you understand what documents you need to gather.
Factors That Impact Your Compensation
In addition to the severity of your injuries, various other factors need to be considered when determining the appropriate level of compensation for a motorcycle accident.
Each case is unique, making it impossible to say precisely how much you are likely to receive. However, understanding what factors affect the amount of compensation you’re entitled to can help you set realistic expectations.
● Who is responsible for the accident?
Massachusetts accident law uses the concept of comparative negligence, which means that even if you partially caused the accident, you could still receive some compensation. However, your compensation is affected by how much fault you hold, which could significantly lower your settlement amount.
● Time off work
If your injury means you can never return to work, you can seek compensation for your future lost earnings. However, some motorcyclists can return to work entirely or partially after an accident, which could reduce your settlement amount. Additionally, if you’ve missed a month of work, your compensation will be less than if you’re absent for a longer period.
● Current and future medical bills
How much you should ask for in your settlement heavily depends on how high your medical bills are. If you suffer from a lifelong injury, you can also include your future medical bills for therapy, physiotherapy, or future surgical procedures.
Other contributing factors include:
- The number of defendants
- The level of liability insurance you carry
- The extent of any other insurance you carry, such as health insurance
- The degree to which your accident has negatively impacted you, your partner, and your dependents
- In the case of fatal accidents, whether the accident occurred due to gross negligence or willful/negligent acts
Types of Compensation Awarded in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, most damages awarded are compensatory, meaning they refer to specific losses or expenses suffered by the plaintiff due to the accident. No set maximum or minimum of compensatory damages can be awarded. Typical damages are:
- Medical expenses: including ambulance or airlift fees, hospital bills, drug prescriptions, and other medical treatments.
- Property damage: if the damage to the plaintiff’s property exceeds the defendant’s liability coverage, the plaintiff can claim further compensation.
- Loss of income: if the plaintiff missed work or lost the ability to work due to the accident, they can claim damages for loss of current and future earnings. To support this claim, your attorney may call on a financial expert.
In certain circumstances, typically wrongful death cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. To receive punitive damages, the plaintiff must prove the defendant displayed egregious conduct. The value of punitive damages awarded often depends on the wealth of the defendant.
Hiring an Attorney Can Increase Your Payout
One of the most effective ways of increasing your compensation for a motorcycle accident injury is hiring an experienced accident lawyer at our law firm. Your attorney knows the law and will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
A significant reason for hiring a skilled attorney is that their experience in voir dire could help your case considerably. Voir dire is the process of fairly selecting suitable jurors and expert witnesses, such as medical or finance professionals. This crucial step requires a law professional and could mean the difference between winning or losing your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our talented attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers for more information or to arrange a free initial consultation.