As a motorcycle rider, you understand the dangers and risks you face on the road each day. Although motorcycle accidents occur less frequently than motor vehicle accidents, the outcomes of motorcycle accidents are often much more serious and are more likely to be fatal. A motorcycle crash is a devastating event that can result in extensive property damage and severe to fatal injuries of the riders and passengers.
A Government Accounting Office study found that motorcycle crashes resulted in $16 billion in losses in just one year alone. As severe as the emotional and physical aftermath of a motorcycle crash are, these accidents exact ever-increasing financial tolls as well. The cost of a motorcycle accident will clearly vary on the circumstances of a given crash. But this article goes over some of the most significant costs, monetary and otherwise, that may result from a motorcycle accident, and which motorcycle accident victims should take into account in bringing legal claims for compensation.
Damage to Your Motorcycle and Other Personal Property
Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to the risks of a collision or accident. Even a minor collision can result in considerable damage to a motorcycle and other property caught in the collision. The cost of a motorcycle accident includes the damage or loss of your motorcycle and any other personal property with you at the time of the crash. Victims of motorcycle accidents may seek compensation for all personal property damaged or lost in a crash.
Medical Expenses Resulting from Your Injury
In the days, weeks, and months following a motorcycle accident, medical expenses and bills mount, and the lifelong financial impacts of the crash are often indeterminate. Recovery from motorcycle accident injuries is often long, and many victims may never fully recover to their pre-accident state and will have to continue to pay for treatment and rehabilitation.
When calculating the cost of a motorcycle crash, victims should take into account all medical expenses arising from the accident—past, present, and future—including:
- Emergency services and transportation, such as ambulance or air transport
- Emergency room care and treatment
- Surgeries and procedures
- Hospital admission and stay for extended care
- Follow-up care with providers
- Medical equipment or devices
- Rehabilitation, such as physical therapy and pain management
- Nursing assistance or in-home care
The Extent of Injuries You Have Suffered
Given how exposed motorcyclists are, injuries from motorcycle crashes are often life-altering, and in some cases life-ending. Motorcycle accident injuries often require extensive treatment and rehabilitation to help victims regain even the most basic functions necessary to restore their quality of life.
It makes sense, then, that the extent and severity of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash play into determining the cost of the accident, even if that cost is not tangible in the same way that, say, medical bills are. The more severe and serious the injuries from a motorcycle accident, the greater and longer the impacts will be on a victim’s life.
Some of the most common motorcycle injuries include:
- Brain, neck, and spinal injuries
- Injuries to internal organs and tissue
- Broken bones or amputation
- Damage to muscles or ligaments
- Road rash
Lost Wages and Earning Potential
Victims of motorcycle accidents must immediately focus on the treatment of and recovery from their injuries, for as long as it takes to get them back safely on their feet. This typically requires a victim to be away from their job, resulting in loss of income.
At a time when a flood of unexpected medical bills are coming in—on top of the usual rent and other bills—lost wages can have a debilitating impact on a victim’s ability to rebound financially and sustain themselves following an accident. Motorcycle accidents can also leave victims unable to earn as much as before the accident, due to permanent injuries. Lost income and earning potential are important expenses to account for in tallying up the cost of a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle accident victims may seek compensation for the loss of income and earning potential resulting from their accident, including:
- Lost wages due to treatment and rehabilitation
- Loss of any potential future income due to on-going treatment and rehabilitation
- Loss of the ability to earn as much income as before the accident
- Loss of employment benefits
Other Impacts on Your Life
Property damage and physical injuries are not the only impacts on a victim’s life that you should take into account in determining the cost of a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle accidents are often especially traumatic events that can have a serious effect on one’s emotional and psychological well-being and ability to enjoy life the way one did before the accident. While such impacts and losses are not monetarily tangible like other expenses, they still can and should be taken into account in determining the amount a victim may recover in a motorcycle accident case.
Examples of other damages or losses that can be sought in a case for a motorcycle crash include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional or psychological distress
- Impacts on quality of life now and in the future
- Loss of consortium
Legal Representation in Your Motorcycle Accident
If you suffer injury or have lost a loved one due to a motorcycle crash, consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. You might not know from the outset just how much a motorcycle crash will cost. But, with the help of an attorney, you have someone familiar with such cases to figure out all costs for which you may seek compensation.
The damages of a motorcycle accident are far-reaching, affecting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being; your personal relationships; and your ability to work and earn a living. Trying to navigate bringing a lawsuit against insurance companies and opposing lawyers can make recovery even more overwhelming. Contact an attorney about your motorcycle accident case—many offer free consultations, so you can make sure you find a representative you can trust.