Motorbike Accident Compensation – How Much Can you Receive in Damages
If you ride a motorbike then you are well aware of the risks involved when you are out on the road. The injuries that you sustain can often be much more serious when compared to a typical motor accident and it is important that your compensation claim is handled properly.
Motorcycle Accident Vs Car Accident
Car accidents are quite different from motorbike accidents. When you get into a car you are in effect getting into a protective environment. You have protection not only by way of the seatbelt and airbag but also from the car body itself. On top of these factors the car is also much more stable as you are riding on four wheels instead of having to adjust your body to ride on two.
Riding a motorcycle requires you to wear all of your protection on your person. Being more exposed in turn means that you will be more involved in the accident. In fact figures show that approximately 19% of accidents that are reported by motorbike riders result in serious injury or death. These figures are quite high considering that motorbike riders typically make up only 1% of the traffic on the roads.
More injuries arise from motorcycle accidents as the bike doesn’t protect you against head injuries and the rider is usually thrown off the bike. When this happens usually as a result of the motorbike stopping suddenly the rider is effectively turned into a projectile. In this case your body will be the one to absorb the impact of any collision.
Motorcycle Accident Claim Amounts
The amount that you will receive for a successful motorcycle accident claim depends on a number of factors. Firstly the extent and seriousness of your injuries, damage to vehicles and properties, the length of time it will take to recover and finally the amount of liability that you have in the accident. Once all these things have been considered your insurance assessor and legal representative will have a good starting point to begin the negotiations.
According to industry research 23% of motorcycle claimants have multiple injures on different parts of their bodies while 18% of those making claims will suffer from head injuries and permanent disabilities while 10% will suffer from spinal injuries which in serious cases lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Below is a list of general compensation amounts for motorcycle injuries. There are similarities to these and a more specific work accident compensation claim and they can be a good starting place as there are many similarities in terms of the injuries that can occur in factories and other industrial workplaces.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Head Injuries
Head injuries are common compared to a car accident injury claim, even with the helmet protecting your head it is still quite sensitive to injury. The final accident insurance payout will depend on the length and severity of the injury. You can expect somewhere from $2,500 to $1,500 for a minor injury where you will fully recover in anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. For longer injuries that may alter your character and personality the average payout will increase up to $45,000 and rise to $365,000 for severe brain injuries resulting in mental disability.
Motorcycle Back Injuries
Back injuries are quite common for motorcyclists and the claim amounts here address not only the severity and duration of the injury but also the level of damage to your spine. For minor injuries that heal within 2 years $7,000 is the average payout. Anything up to 5 years will go up to $13,000 and those that result in fractures in your vertebrae can reach as high as $180,000 and through to $415,000 if it leads to paralysis.
Injuries To You Forearm
Often people who are ejected from their motorbike will reach their arms out to protect their bodies when they land. The injuries here are usually sustained by the forearm and also the collarbone. For simple fractures where the bone can be set to heal on its own the claim amount can be from $6,500 through to $20,000. For more complicated fractures that involve multiple fractures and damage to the surrounding tissue and blood vessels the amount can rise to $40,000 should it result in a disability that is ongoing. In extreme cases where the arm needs to be amputated then the claims amount can rise to $135,000.
Leg Injury Compensation amounts
Leg Injuries involving fractures that will recover completely can receive anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 in damages. For fractures that do not recover completely the claims for these can go up to $30,000 in damages. Injuries that are more severe and may lead to having to amputate are worth from $145,000 to $300,000. These amounts are generally higher than injuries to your arm because they will affect your mobility and in many cases like injuries to your arm many your ability to work will be compromised.
What Other Type of Damages You Can Claim.
In addition to almost all of your medical expenses you can Claim for a wide variety of losses from your motorcycle accident or car accident injury compensation claim. Your accident solicitor will best advise you as to which will likely be successful depending on the nature of your accident.
Losses to Income and Earning Capacity
Your accident will have likely taken you away from your work and depending on its severity may have negatively altered your ability to perform your work tasks as you did previously. Your solicitor will be able to advise you as to what types of proof you will need to obtain to pursue these damages as part of your claim.
Mental and Psychiatric Disorders
Many people have problems recovering from their accident long after they are physically fit again. The most common form of mental disorder that is to be treated is usually Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This can interfere with your daily life and keep you from getting back to normal after an accident affecting things like your general health and relationships with other people. The claims amount for a mental disorder resulting from your accident can be anything from $1000 to $100,000 and is inherently difficult to place a dollar value on. For such claims a full psychiatric report will be required.
Damage to Property
Repairs to your property can be claimed and depending on the extent of the damage you may need to file an additional claim with your commercial insurance companies or specialist property solicitor if an accident results damage to your heritage property.
Recovering Damages for Your Motorcycle
Unlike a car accident compensation claim which the insurance companies have plenty of experience with, you may find that processing a claim for your motorcycle accident will take a while longer. The insurance company and assessor will take more time for two main reasons. Firstly the value of a motorbike varies and so too does the cost of repairs. Secondly the injuries that are sustained are commonly more serious so there are more detailed medical records and accident reports for them to pore through.
Because the number of custom motorcycles is increasing the insurance company has even more of a task to try to value these bikes so you can speed up this process by providing them with supporting documents to help detail the value of your bike. These documents can come in the shape of letters from the dealer and your receipts through to letters from knowledgeable people in the motorcycle community including appraisers and even quotes from mechanics who have worked on your bike previously.
How Are Multiple Claims Calculated
You will be eligible to receive a different amount depending on the law where the accident occurred. Unfortunately it isn’t simply a case of adding the value of each claim individually. The injury claim amounts will typically be categorized and your solicitor will go after the claims in the highest category and use the other injuries to supplement this claim. A specialist personal injury lawyer will be familiar with this and there are even specialist motorcycle accident claim lawyers that can help you with specific custom bikes and repair claims also.
Making Sure Your Claim Is Successful
Ensuring that you can submit a successful motorbike accident compensation claim depends not only on your legal representation but also on the amount of evidence that you have to back your claim up. For the insurance company your personal testimony can only go so far and because motorbike accidents tend to involve head injuries your recollection of the accident could also be less than clear.
It will be your and your solicitors job to compile as much objective evidence that you can to support your motor accident compensation claim. These can take the form of the following;
- The Police Report from the scene of the accident including photos and names of any witnesses
- Any subsequent criminal convictions if the other party was proven to be driving negligently and if it was a stolen car then a report from the alarm monitoring service
- CCTV camera evidence
- A Crash Expert’s Report
Each of these will prove who is at fault in the accident and the more you can compile the better your chances will be of making a successful claim. If you are pursuing a claim then try and compare as many solicitors as you can against each other until you find somebody that you are comfortable working with and will be able to succeed in representing you well. Do be wary of hidden fees and the fine print that often accompanies the no win no fee accident claims often promoted by personal injury solicitors. Regardless of the outcome always remember to be safe on the road, your helmet and your leathers will protect you from small injuries but for anything larger you may want to consider a car.