Riding a motorcycle can be a great way to explore America’s vast highway system. However, because they are smaller and more difficult to see, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of being in an accident. Motorcyclists are also more likely to sustain severe injuries in an accident. While motorcycles only represent 3 percent of registered vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcyclists account for up to 14 percent of traffic-related fatalities.
Motorcyclists on the road face extra risks compared to other drivers due to the reduced amount of protection that a motorcycle can offer. This means that even careful riders can face severe injuries as they do not have the added protection that a car provides, which makes accidents involving motorcycles particularly dangerous. Motorcycle riders who are injured in an accident can then suffer from severe and even permanent injuries including broken bones, road rash, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
The increased likelihood of severe injuries means that the costs associated with a motorcycle accident can be extremely high. An accident could leave victims with mounting medical bills, an inability to work, and concerns about how their family will get by financially during their recovery. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident and you believe that the other driver was at fault, you may find yourself wondering what the average cost of a motorcycle accident is and how you will know what you deserve for your claim. Keep reading to learn more about the average cost of motorcycle accidents and what your next steps should be moving forward after being injured in a motorcycle accident.
What Is the Cost of a Motorcycle Accident?
The first question that you may find yourself asking is how much motorcycle accidents are worth on average. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this as the costs associated with an accident can vary greatly depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Generally, motorcycle accident settlements could cost anywhere from several thousand dollars up to the million-dollar range.
The primary factor that could affect the cost of a motorcycle accident is the extent of the injuries that a rider sustained. The cost of motorcycle injuries can vary significantly. Various factors can be involved in affecting the extent of the injuries, including whether or not a rider was wearing a helmet. In fact, according to the NHTSA, the average hospitalization costs for a non-helmeted rider were at least one-third greater than for helmeted riders, with a study in California finding the average hospital costs for a non-helmeted rider to be $17,404.
What Determines the Cost of a Motorcycle Accident?
Ultimately, the costs associated with a motorcycle accident will depend on a variety of factors. Looking at some of the factors that influence the value of claims resulting from motorcycle accidents can help you to better understand what your injuries may be worth. The total cost of a motorcycle accident is determined by a variety of factors, including:
As we previously mentioned, medical costs are typically the largest expense associated with motorcycle accidents, and costs are much greater if a head injury is involved. Medical costs associated with a motorcycle accident can include hospital bills, doctor visits, surgery costs, the cost of prescription medications, and ongoing treatment for severe/permanent injuries.
When trying to determine the true cost of your motorcycle accident, it is important to take into account all of the medical costs your accident has incurred and will continue to incur in the future. Long-term injuries can lead to costly medical bills, which is why you need to ensure that all of your medical costs are taken into account when attempting to value your accident.
Property damage will likely influence the total cost of your accident, and you should factor in any damage to your vehicle into your claim. Depending on how serious the accident was, your bike may need extensive repairs, or it may even need to be replaced. Make sure that you keep all receipts and estimates associated with repairing your motorcycle, as this evidence will be crucial when filing a claim.
Unfortunately, serious motorcycle accidents can leave you unable to return to work for weeks, or even months, as you recover from your accident. You may never work in the same capacity at all if the accident left you permanently disabled. Determining lost wages can be a critical factor when evaluating the cost of your accident. Depending on your line of work, and how you are paid, this may be as simple as adding up the hours you missed and multiplying it by your hourly rate.
However, determining your lost wages may be more complicated if your job is primarily commission-based. You need to estimate how much income you would have received during your time off from work, as lost wages can have a severe effect on your family’s finances, and you do not want to undervalue the cost of your accident.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to damages that can simply be calculated, such as those resulting from medical bills and property damage, the cost of your accident may also be influenced by pain and suffering damages.
Pain and suffering damages account for physical, mental, and emotional suffering that can result from a serious motorcycle accident, such as:
- Sleep Disturbances
- Sexual Dysfunction
Since it is much more difficult to calculate this kind of damage, it would be helpful to consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help you to determine what your total losses may be worth.
Consider Consulting a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Following a Motorcycle Accident
Ultimately, a variety of factors go into determining the costs associated with a motorcycle accident. This can make it critical that you work with a motorcycle accident attorney, as they could help you determine the value of your claim. Do not handle a motorcycle accident claim on your own, as you may undervalue the costs associated with your accident.
Contact an attorney today to find out how you should proceed following a motorcycle accident.