What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Motorcycle Accident Case?

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Motorcycle Accident Case?

A torso shot of a man behind a desk, with his hands protecting a cardboard cutout of a motorcycle.

Motorcycle accidents are less frequent than car accidents, but the resulting injuries are usually much worse. Motorcyclists do not have the same protective barriers as cars or trucks, leaving riders more at risk of severe injuries or death from collisions.

Survivors of accidents often face grueling recovery times and expensive treatments for injuries that may never fully heal. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries that demand medical attention that the victims may be unable to afford on their own.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages. Consider working with personal injury lawyers to determine the available damages for your claims case.

Motorcycle Accident Compensation Examples

There are many ways for a motorcycle to get into an accident. Various situations constitute a claim for compensation.

According to The Free Dictionary, compensation is; “the amount received to “make one whole” (or at least better) after for an injury or loss, particularly that paid by an insurance company either of the party causing the damage or by one’s own insurer.”

The best way to determine if your accident qualifies for a claim for damages is to speak with a personal injury lawyer.

The experienced attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer know the law of the road. They can help determine who was at fault and how to get the best compensation possible for you.

Some examples of motorcycle accident compensation cases are as follows:

  • Motorcycles Swerving to Avoid Other Vehicles
  • Vehicles Overtaking Motorcycles On Curves
  • Cars Pulling Out From Side Streets
  • Crossing Intersections
  • Overtaking Traffic

Swerving to Avoid Other Vehicles

Motorcycles are agile vehicles and are very sensitive to their rider’s movements. This agility allows them to swerve around obstacles to avoid potential accidents.

When cars suddenly slow down or stop in front of a motorcycle, swerving around them is a quick reaction to prevent rear-ending them. Swerving also protects motorcyclists when other vehicles don’t see them and move into the same lane.

Unfortunately, riders are sometimes forced off the road or into other traffic or obstacles and end up in another accident anyway.

Vehicles Overtaking Motorcycles On Curves

Passing another vehicle by using the lane for oncoming traffic is always dangerous, and great care must be taken to ensure the road is clear.

There is not enough visibility on the majority of curves to ensure that there is no oncoming traffic. A car would have to quickly return to its original travel lane to avoid a head-on collision, causing them to collide with the motorcyclist.

The opposite is also true. Motorcycles can accelerate faster than cars, so they may feel safer making these maneuvers.

Passing on a curve is both dangerous and illegal. Trying to pass another vehicle on the outside of a curve is especially risky because the distance is greater than the inside of the curve, thus requiring even greater speeds and watching further down the road for other vehicles.

Whichever vehicle tried to make the pass on a curve is the vehicle at fault in any consequential collision. The other vehicles involved will be able to make claims for compensation from this reckless driver.

Cars Pulling Out From Side Streets

A common accident between motorcycles and cars occurs when a vehicle enters another roadway from a side street without seeing the bike.

Motorcycles can be difficult to see because of their narrow profile. They sometimes blend into their surroundings and even the road itself.

For example, a black bike with a rider dressed in black riding on black pavement with limited daylight can be nearly invisible. The motorcycle on the main road has the right of way.

If an accident occurs, both the rider and passenger will be able to seek compensation from the driver of the car that pulled out in front of them.

Crossing Intersections

Motorcycles are more difficult to see than other motor vehicles. Sometimes drivers forget to look for them, especially when they are watching other traffic.

Busy intersections with cars waiting for a break in traffic to make a turn are especially hazardous for motorcyclists. Drivers can become so focused on watching the cars and trucks that motorcycles are completely unseen until it is too late, and a collision has occurred.

Overtaking Traffic

Passing by slower or stopped traffic is perilous, particularly when there is a significant difference in speed between the two lanes. Vehicles in the congested lane may become frustrated and suddenly pull out into the flowing traffic lane without seeing a passing motorcyclist.

Sometimes, they might pull in front of the motorcycle, causing the rider to swerve into other traffic to avoid a collision, or the vehicle may pull right into the motorcyclist, causing an accident that the rider has no chance of avoiding.

The safest way for motorcyclists to avoid this type of collision is to pass slower traffic at a speed that is not too much faster than the congested lane to be able to anticipate and react to any sudden moves.

The vehicle pulling into the passing motorcycle’s lane of travel will be at fault because they did not correctly ensure that the road was clear before pulling into the lane.

An exception would be if the motorcyclist used excessive speed given the traffic conditions. High speeds make motorcyclists even more challenging to see, and drivers in stopped vehicles would have difficulty judging their distance.

What Are Economic Damages?

When the crash resulted from someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek financial compensation.

Economic damages are any monetary damages that are a direct result of your accident. These can include the following:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Earning Capacity
  • Property Damage

Medical Expenses

When you are injured in an accident, you must get medical attention.

Medical bills in the United States are very expensive and add up quickly. They are often the most costly part of the accident.

Your medical bills include hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy, medication, specialized equipment and care, and more.

Lost Wages

Most people are unable to work while they recover from their injuries.

Losing your income is stressful, especially when bills are accumulating. These lost earnings will be included in your claim.

Lost Earning Capacity

Suppose the accident has left you unable to continue your work, or you need to take on a role with a lower salary. In that case, you can also claim this loss as economic damage.

For example, if you were a surgeon and the accident left you with limited fine motor skills in your hands, you would no longer be able to continue in your profession. Your future earning potential will be used to calculate your lost earning capacity.

Property Damage

Your motorcycle, safety gear, accessories, and anything else you had with you is your property. Any damage to these items will have to be recovered through payment for repair, replacement, or the reduction of their value.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

According to Forbes Advisor, non-economic damages compensate you for intangible losses due to your injuries from your accident.

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Diminished Quality of Life or Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Loss of Companionship or Consortium
  • Permanent Disabilities, Impairments, or Disfigurements

Pain and Suffering

Serious injuries cause excruciating pain. You deserve to be compensated for your discomfort that was caused by the accident. Pain is usually short-term and fades as your injuries heal. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes chronic and can last for years or even be permanent.

Emotional Distress

Motorcycle accidents are traumatic. Many victims find themselves feeling fearful after an accident. Serious injury, entrapment, and fatalities escalate emotional trauma.

Some people develop anxiety, depression, phobias, decreased mental capacity, difficulty concentrating, or post-traumatic stress disorder, among other mental anguish-related issues, because of the accident itself or from their subsequent injuries and disabilities.

Diminished Quality of Life or Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Long-term and permanent injuries are a harsh reality for many surviving motorcyclists.

Suddenly becoming unable to do something you love can lead to severe depression. Loss of autonomy is humiliating and makes people feel like a burden to their families.

Even losing the ability to work or earn the same income level as before the accident and then watching your family struggle can be heartbreaking. These losses can change your personality and outlook on life, and you should be compensated for that.

Loss of Companionship or Consortium

The accident may leave you with injuries or disabilities that change your relationships with your loved ones. For example, how can you hug your family members if you have become paralyzed or when your arms have been amputated?

Perhaps your spouse and children once saw you as strong and dependable, but now you can barely move and are constantly irritable because of your chronic pain. You can seek compensation for losing the dynamic of these relationships.

Permanent Disabilities, Impairments, or Disfigurements

Permanent injuries quite literally change your life forever. They change the way you live, your relationships, and how others see you.

People may stare at your scars or look at you with pity when they see your disability leading to frustration, humiliation, and depression. Compensation for any permanent damage is usually substantial.

Contact Goldblatt + Singer’s Personal Injury Lawyers to Recover Your Damages

Whenever you have to deal with large insurance companies or the legal system in general, it is best to have an experienced lawyer on your side.

The attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer are very familiar with recovering damages from motorcycle accidents. Call our team at (314) 231-4100 for a free consultation.

If you have a case, we will make sure you get your full compensation.


Free Consulation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles