Motorcycle accidents are usually far more serious and costly than automobile accidents. The fatality rate is higher and, due to the type and extent of injuries for those who survive a motorcycle crash, so are the medical bills. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle crash, it’s important not only to understand the injury claim and settlement processes but to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.
Other Vehicle Usually at Fault
Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than those in other motor vehicles, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The administration also found that in 2017 over 5,000 motorcyclists died in accidents and 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2015.
Other vehicles are often the cause of an accident including a motorcycle. In fact, the NHTSA found that in two-thirds of multiple-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle, the other vehicle’s driver caused the crash. In most cases, the other driver violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, thus resulting in the accident.
Because motorcycles lack protective equipment, drivers and their passengers are subject to more severe injury when involved in a multiple-vehicle crash. Head injuries, ranging from concussion to a cracked skull to long-term traumatic brain injury, are common, particularly if the rider or passenger was not wearing a helmet. (In Georgia, both drivers and passengers are required to wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle.) Although helmets help prevent death, head injuries still occur because motorcyclists and their passengers tend to separate from the bike when involved in a crash. Other common physical injuries include road rash, broken bones, severe limb injuries that can lead to amputation, spinal cord and nerve damage that can result in paralysis, and joint injuries.
More severe injuries lead to longer recovery periods which in turn lead to higher medical bills, more pain and suffering, lost income from both time out of work and any decrease in future earning potential, and even loss of enjoyment of life. All of these factors are considered in determining a settlement for an injured motorcyclist, as well as the actual property damage to the bike. An experienced motorcycle attorney can help ascertain and calculate losses.
Protecting Your Rights
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the first step is to take care of your immediate medical needs. The next step is to consult an attorney to help protect your legal rights. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will begin investigating the accident right away. As the injured party, you need someone on your side to ensure collected information is correct and to ascertain other details. As the injured party, you also want to be careful about statements you make to anyone and you should not talk to the adverse insurer’s claims adjuster. Your attorney can help with this.
It’s important for an injured motorcyclist to have representation when the insurance company begins assigning value to damages and losses. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help ensure all losses are accounted for and ascertain the appropriate value of pain and suffering, long-term effects of the injury, and future lost income.
Verdicts and Settlements
Results vary by the case. The median jury verdict between 1999 and 2006 was $73,700, but most cases settle prior to trial. In the news, there are reports of motorcycle accident cases settling for sums ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to well over $1 million. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help with settlement strategies and help ensure an injured driver or passenger gets the highest amount possible.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney at The King Firm
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, you might be eligible for compensation. At The King Firm, our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue the best possible results for your case. Contact us today at 229-515-8585 for a free case consultation.