Understanding Motorcycle Accident Costs

    Many people enjoy riding and owning motorcycles. You might have one that you like riding occasionally as a hobby, or perhaps that’s your primary transportation means. Either way, you must understand the inherent motorcycle dangers.

    Because motorcycles don’t have the same protective shells that cars do, if another vehicle hits you, you can easily injure yourself. You can slide along the pavement, creating road rash, or you might sustain a concussion or another traumatic brain injury. Broken bones are possible, and you might even walk away from the incident with PTSD.

    There are also all types of financial costs you might accrue from a motorcycle accident. We’ll talk some more about the economic and non-economic expenses in the following article.

    What Financial Toll Can You Expect?

    Motorcycle crashes cost Americans lots of money every year. A Government Accounting Office study discovered that in a single year, motorcycle wrecks cost $16 billion in losses.

    The financial costs varied in each case since no two wrecks are the same. For instance, how much you’ll have to pay will change depending on whether it was a single-vehicle crash or whether another vehicle hit you. You must also factor in whether your motorcycle damaged any property during the event.

    Vehicle Damage

    If you’re in a motorcycle wreck, you’ll probably think about the vehicle damage first. Maybe you slid on some ice and lost control. You flew off, and the motorcycle skidded across the ground.

    In that instance, you’ll have to see whether your insurance will cover the repairs or whether you have to handle the costs out of pocket. That will depend on the insurance variety you have.

    Whether someone else caused the crash or whether you bear sole responsibility also matters. If a car swerved at you, and that’s what caused you to fall off the motorcycle, then you would expect their insurance to cover it, assuming that you can prove they did it.

    If they disagree with what you say happened, then you might need to try to locate traffic camera or store camera footage that proves the events played out in the way that you claim. You might need to find an experienced motorcycle crash attorney who can help you.

    Medical Expenses

    It’s also not unusual for you to have medical expenses that pile up in the days and weeks after a motorcycle crash. You might be able to recover relatively quickly, or it can take months or even years. That all depends on how severe the impact was and whether you protected yourself with a helmet and pads.

    You might have to pay for surgery costs. You may have to pay for X-rays or an MRI. You might be on the hook for physical therapy bills or prescription medication.

    You might have to pay for rides to and from the doctor’s office. You can take a taxi to and from each appointment, or maybe you’ll take a ride share vehicle like an Uber or a Lyft. You may have to care for your emergency room care and treatment.

    You might have to retrofit your home with a wheelchair ramp or a shower seat if the crash hurt you badly. You may need to pay for a cane, a wheelchair, or similar medical devices. You may even have to pay for therapy sessions if the accident traumatized you, and you’re in a poor mental state for a while afterward.

    Again, whether you or someone else caused the accident will matter a great deal. If someone else caused it, then you should be able to get their insurance to pay for some or all of your expenses. If they don’t have insurance to cover your medical costs, you may need to bring a lawsuit against them.

    Lost Wages

    You might also have to go after the party who caused your injuries for lost wages. Let’s say that you can’t work for several months after the crash. If you can’t bring money in like you usually can, then you’ll need to find some other way to pay for your rent or mortgage, food, utility bills, and more.

    You might try to seek compensation for employment benefits. You also might attempt to get back future income if the crash injured you permanently.

    Non-Economic Losses

    After a motorcycle accident, while you’ll probably think about the economic losses first, you might next consider non-economic losses. Those may include your life quality.

    If you can’t walk, exercise, play sports, play with your kids, or do many of the things you once enjoyed, and you’re sure that another individual caused your injuries, it’s only fitting that they should compensate you for all that. A jury will have to estimate what they think these intangibles are worth.

    Hopefully, they will find in your favor, and they will also give you enough compensation that you feel makes up for the life changes you have endured. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay the attorney their fee, so it’s not as though every dollar that you win will go straight to you.

    Of course, you might also be in a situation where another driver feels like you caused the accident. If that happens, then you don’t just have to worry about your own medical costs, the cost of motorcycle repairs, and so forth. The other driver might come after you to try and recover damages.

    In that instance, you’ll need a lawyer as well. Remember that if you’re in this situation, don’t admit your guilt when the other driver talks to you or if their insurance provider or lawyer calls you. 

    Even if you agree that what happened was your fault, let your lawyer speak for you. They might be able to reduce the amount of money that you have to pay.

    A motorcycle accident can have a lasting impact, and it may be years before you get over it entirely. The physical, financial, and emotional effects can last for the rest of your life in some cases.  

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