average motorcycle accident settlement

What’s The Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement?

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 6 minutes

What’s The Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement?

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, then chances are that you are curious as to what the average motorcycle accident settlement is, and what you can expect as you explore the possibility of compensation.

So let’s take a few minutes to learn more about settlements, motorcycle accidents, and damages in general. Understanding these issues could be helpful in potentially pursuing a favorable settlement.

How much are most motorcycle accident settlements?

There is no real answer to this question, as the details behind many settlements are not publicly available. It’s worth noting that every accident is different — the nature of the accident, the liability, the financial prospects of the defendants, the severity of injuries sustained by the plaintiff, the extent of evidence supporting the injury claims, and more.

As such, there is no average motorcycle accident settlement to use as a reference point as you move forward. Instead, it’s important to understand that your case is going to have a unique settlement dynamic and you should work with your attorney to identify what a “fair settlement” offer would be given your circumstances.

What is the biggest personal injury settlement?

The largest personal injury settlement of all-time in the United States was in 1998, for $206 billion — the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) originally involving the four largest tobacco companies: Philip Morris Inc., R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard. Through this massive settlement, the tobacco companies agreed to cover the medical costs of those who were affected by smoking-related illnesses.

Keep in mind: results can vary widely. Settlement outcomes depend on numerous factors, including but not limited to the nature and extent of injuries sustained, the economic losses. Each case is unique, and outcomes can differ significantly based on these and other circumstances.

As you can see, the potential recovery in a settlement can be substantial, so you’re not necessarily “losing out” by securing a settlement instead of going to trial! Even an average motorcycle accident settlement may be enough to meet your financial needs after an accident, so bear that in mind.

Why are settlements so common?

Legal industry experts estimate that more than 95 percent of disputes are resolved through a negotiated settlement. They’re so common because going to trial is uncertain, public, and resource-intensive.

It’s not necessarily a guarantee that you’ll “win” at trial, even with a strong legal case. But even if you do have a case of guaranteed liability, there is also going to be some uncertainty regarding the damages claim, as the court could potentially undervalue your claims.

This — in addition to the fact that trials are public, and can therefore garner negative and unwanted publicity — means that many parties would rather resolve the dispute through a settlement early on. Further, they get to avoid the frustration, energy demands, and financial cost of extended litigation.

Are motorcycle accidents rare?

Motorcycle accidents are not only somewhat common, but they are also disproportionately severe when they do occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle fatalities constituted 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2021, highlighting the disproportionate risk motorcyclists face on the roads. The NHTSA noted this as the highest number of motorcyclist deaths since 1975. Such a percentage is particularly significant given the relatively small proportion of motorcycles compared to other vehicles on the road.

It’s clear that motorcycles are uniquely dangerous for those involved — of course, that doesn’t mean that you’re “at fault” simply because you chose to ride a motorcycle. It simply means that you’re exposed to more injury risk, and potentially more damages.

How do you calculate damages?

Damages are calculated by tallying up all the losses that result from the accident. These losses may include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property loss
  • Wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • And more

So, for example, if you are unemployed at the time of the accident, your wage loss damages are likely to be zero (or near-zero). On the other hand, you may have significant medical expenses and loss of earning capacity (i.e., in the future, your injuries would prevent you from securing a job that you’d normally be qualified for).

Damages can be a challenge to measure at times. Pain and suffering damages tend to be somewhat subjective, for example, and therefore require that your attorney secure persuasive expert testimony that can support your claims.

What not to do after a motorcycle accident?

After a motorcycle accident, there are a number of things you should avoid to ensure that you preserve your injury claims and do not undermine your case. Consider doing the following after your accident:

  • Seek emergency medical assistance if necessary. Delaying this can worsen your injuries and may lead to the defendants arguing that you only suffered serious injury due to your own faulty delays.
  • Even if you think you do not need medical assistance, see a doctor within a reasonable timeframe so that you can have diagnostic tests run to determine whether you suffered an injury. Many injuries are not obvious at first glance, and only reveal themselves when examined through proper imaging technology and other diagnostic techniques.
  • Do not speak to insurers and other third-parties without an attorney. If you disclose sensitive information about your accident, it could undermine the strength of your case and affect your ability to secure compensation. Attorneys know how best to navigate these conversations so as to avoid unfavorable disclosures, so make sure to speak with one first beforehand.

If you intend to secure even an average motorcycle accident settlement (or better), you’ll want to make sure you don’t do anything to jeopardize your case. So be careful how you approach the legal process after the accident, and — most of all — seek the professional assistance of an attorney.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, then you could be entitled to sue and be compensated for your losses. That being said, injuries in motorcycle accidents can be extremely severe and life-altering, and so the stakes can be quite high. It can be overwhelming and confusing for the first-time plaintiff.

Contact us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to speak to a member of our team who can connect you to an experienced local attorney in just 10 minutes or less. During the free initial consultation with the attorney, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your case and receive guidance on how to proceed.

We look forward to assisting you!

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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