What is the Average Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accident,Motorcycle Accidents | January 29, 2021

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating for victims. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to severe injuries in the event they are involved in a collision with a traditional passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another driver should be entitled to compensation for their injuries and other losses.

Often, victims in these cases ask how much money they may be entitled to. This can be a complicated question to answer because there is no set amount of compensation awarded to motorcycle accident victims. Rather, there are various factors that determine the total settlement award amount. Here, we want to discuss the main factors that will determine a motorcycle accident settlement in Sacramento

Motorcyclist driving on Sacramento freeway

The Severity of the Injuries

A significant amount of focus of any personal injury settlement, whether the matter is resolved through insurance carriers or through a personal injury lawsuit, is going to be the severity of the injuries. Insurance carriers and juries are much more likely to offer larger settlements or jury verdicts for more severe injuries.

For example, the compensation awarded for a traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle crash is likely going to be much larger than the compensation awarded for a case of severe road rash. In general, injuries that are deemed to be “catastrophic” will garner higher settlements in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash. 

The Level of Pain and Suffering

When we talk about pain and suffering in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash, we need to look at both the physical pain and suffering as well as the emotional and psychological pain and suffering. While pain and suffering may seem intangible or incalculable, there are ways to put a number on pain and suffering damages so they can be awarded in a personal injury settlement following a motorcycle crash. Pain and suffering damages will vary depending on the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery time, and the impact the injuries have on the motorcyclist’s everyday life. 

The Length of the Recovery Time 

No personal injury claim should ever be settled before the victim has reached maximum medical recovery. It would not make sense for a motorcycle accident victim to accept compensation before they know how much their total medical expenses will be. The reality is that some motorcycle accident injuries come with much longer recovery times than others.

For example, a broken arm may heal in six to eight weeks. However, a motorcyclist who sustains a moderate spinal cord injury may not be able to make a complete recovery for a year or more. Typically, the longer the recovery time, the more the incident will cost the victim. 

Whether There Was Any Shared Fault 

In some cases, the motorcyclist may share some of the fault for the accident. When this occurs, we will turn to California’s pure comparative negligence system. In this state, an injury victim could still be awarded compensation even if they are partially responsible for the incident (up to 99% responsible).

However, the total amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on the percentage of fault they shared for the incident. For example, if a motorcyclist is deemed to be 20% responsible for the crash, they would only receive 80% of the total settlement amount awarded to them.