Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Case
You were recently riding your motorcycle when a driver hit you and injured you. Now, you’re wondering what kind of legal action you can take, as well as what settlement you could expect. By learning about damages in a motorcycle accident case, you can figure out which ones would be applicable and if you should hire a personal injury lawyer to help you.
Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with personal injury and motorcycle accidents. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement you deserve.
Eligible Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Case
If a driver hits you while you’re on your motorcycle, that could be devastating to you. Because you don’t have the protection of a car like they do, it could result in terrible injuries, along with other damages you could potentially claim.
Some of those damages include: Your past and future medical expenses, Damage to your motorcycle and other personal belongings, like your helmet, A loss of wages if you had to take time off work, A loss of future wages, and earning abilities/opportunities, including bonuses and raises, even if you are able to work, Emotional distress, Pain and suffering or Loss of enjoyment of life.
Some of these are economic damages, like medical expenses and a loss of wages, which may be calculable. Others are more vague, non-economic damages that your personal injury lawyer will claim for you. These include emotional distress and pain and suffering, which come about as a result of the injuries you’re going through from the accident. For instance, if you got so badly injured that you cannot ride your motorcycle for the next few months – which is one of your greatest pleasures in life – this could count as part of the damages.
When estimating non-economic damages from your motorcycle accident, your lawyer will look at the nature and extent of your injuries, the likely long-term effects from the accident, the amount and type of medical treatment you received, and the overall impact the accident will have on your life.
For instance, while whiplash isn’t a big deal – and you may recover from it with a few visits to the doctor – if you suffer from paralysis, or other very serious injury, this is going to uproot your entire life. Your settlement would be much higher in the latter scenario.
Possible Injuries in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Since you don’t have the protection of a car, it is more likely that you’ll experience a catastrophic injury from a motorcycle accident. Catastrophic injuries include: Quadriplegia, Amputations, Severe burns, Hemiplegia, Paralysis-paraplegia, Broken bones, Brain damage or Death.
Other injuries you may experience are: Sprains, strains, ligament damage, Back pain, Road rash, Fractures and/or Damages to muscles and soft tissue.
Some of these injuries may clear up in just a few weeks or months with treatment. Others require lifelong treatment, which means your damages would include future care as well; and healthcare is incredibly expensive. Some catastrophic injuries could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions of dollars, to treat over the course of your life when you factor in ongoing surgeries and appointments, as well as the cost of medical equipment and caregivers.
Factors Working Against You
The truth of the matter is that insurance companies (and many others) are biased against motorcyclists. They may believe that all motorcyclists speed, are part of motorcycle gangs, weave in and out of traffic, don’t follow the rules, and do tricks while on the road, even though most motorcyclists adhere to the law.
Keep in mind that if you’re a motorcyclist in California, it’s perfectly legal to engage in lane splitting. This involves moving between two lanes of slow moving or stopped cars. Since there is so much traffic in all parts of the state, lane splitting can be a timesaver as long as it’s done in a safe manner.
As a motorcyclist, you’re going to need ample evidence to prove that an accident was not your fault so that you have a better chance of getting a settlement.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
After you get into the accident, first inspect yourself for any injuries. If you can, get to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic.
The police should be called to report the accident (ask for a copy of the report number). Get and provide insurance and contact information and take a picture of vehicles involved and license plates. Also, take photos of the scene, the motorcycle, any visible injuries you have, and any damage to your other personal belongings like your helmet or jacket. If there are witnesses who saw what happened, ask for their contact information in case we need to get in touch with them later on. If there are any surveillance or traffic cameras in the area, note their locations.
Go to the hospital for evaluation and/or treatment. Ask for X-rays and a full checkup, and let the doctor know about any pain you’re experiencing, no matter how minor it seems. You never know if it could turn into something worse later on. For instance, a little bit of back pain may not seem like a big deal, but it could become much worse; complications could develop; and it could turn out to be very serious.
The driver’s insurance company is likely going to call you. Do not talk to them about your accident or injuries. Instead, call an experienced and highly-rated personal injury lawyer.
Your personal injury lawyer will only take a commission if they can get you a settlement. You won’t have to pay anything upfront. They will also gather evidence, your medical records, and other important information and negotiate with the insurance company to recover your damages. You can focus on what matters most during this time: getting better.
Contacting Heiting & Irwin for Personal Injury Help
If you were hit and injured while on your motorcycle and you want to get compensation for your damages, then it’s time to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin are here for you. We have dealt with many personal injury cases and will work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. Contact us online at HILegalGroup.com or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now. We look forward to hearing from you.