What Should You Expect from a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
What's In This Article
This page covers motorcycle settlement amounts, injuries, and calculations. First, most people ask what the average motorcycle accident settlement amount is.
Some attorneys say the number is $80,000. Your settlement could be much more or less. The $80,000 is for the personal injury settlement and does not include motorcycle damages. So, a motorcycle property damage settlement is extra.
Here are some other intriguing numbers: A Jury Verdict Research report found the median motorcycle injury verdict from 1999 to 206 was $73,500. Also, some statistical models find the average motorcycle accident settlement is approximately $200,000.
Averages aside, a large factor in these settlements is whether there is enough insurance coverage to pay for the full case value.
Not usually. Some lawyers report that about 75% of their motorcycle crash settlements did not have enough insurance to cover all damages. That’s a significant percentage.
Why not enough insurance? Some drivers carry no bodily injury liability coverage. Or, the driver had only $10,000 or $20,000 of coverage.
How much is your car accident injury claim worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
What Are The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycle accidents can cause horrific injuries. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in crashes than car drivers. Even if they live, the injuries can cripple them for years or life.
Common motorcycle accident injuries are:
Road rash is severe skin damage that occurs during a motorcycle accident. The crash angle may cause the bikers to slide at high speed across the road. If the skin contacts the pavement, the road rash can be terrible.
In the worst cases, the motorcyclist needs painful, expensive skin grafts to repair his body. Infection can set in as well that can be life-threatening.
Most motorcyclists wear helmets. Wearing a helmet can make a brain injury non-fatal. However, many with helmets still suffer debilitating head injuries.
Brain injuries can cost millions of dollars in treatment and long-term care. You may have trouble talking, understanding speech, or moving as you once did. Most brain injuries raise the full value of a motorcycle crash settlement.
A motorcyclist’s legs and feet are near the ground and are the first thing to hit the pavement in many crashes. That is why motorcyclists often mangle their legs and feet in accidents. The CDC determined that almost 30% of motorcycle accidents involve leg injuries.
If the bike rolls over, it can crush the lower legs and break the fibula or tibia. Riders also may tear ligaments in the joints depending on how they fall during the crash.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is the worst injury in a motorcycle crash, other than death. If the head slams into the pavement, the rider can injure his brain and tear the spinal cord.
Helmets protect the head but do little to prevent a spinal cord injury. Sometimes the helmet can shift some of the injury risk from the head to the spine. Severe spinal cord injuries can leave the rider partially or permanently paralyzed.
Spinal cord injuries involve high long-term expenses. The first-year care costs for a paralyzed patient can exceed $1 million.
Almost one in seven motorcycle crash injuries are to the chest area or thorax. The sternum and ribs may crack or shatter. Rib fractures can be lethal because the bone can puncture the lungs, heart, or other organs.
Thorax injuries also can cause dangerous or lethal infections, such as pneumonia.
Which Motorcycle Accident Injuries Pay The Most?
Some accident injuries pay more than others. This is true in motorcycle crash cases, particularly for pain and suffering. Thus, settlements for the following injuries (with surgery) in a motorcycle crash are often higher:
Lower leg fracture (tibia)
Tibial plateau fracture
Labrum tear (shoulder joint tear)
Rotator cuff tear
Broken femur or broken hip
Common Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts
Some motorcycle accident attorneys say typical settlement amounts are $10,000 and $35,000. Why those numbers?
Those numbers are common because many drivers have low limits on their bodily injury liability riders.
In some motorcycle accidents, $10,000 or $35,000 is enough coverage – if the rider did not suffer fractures, eye injuries, or brain injuries. In minor accidents, $10,000 is often enough coverage.
Do Motorcycle Accident Victims Often Lose at Trial?
Yes. Many motorcycle crash victims lose at trial. Why does this happen?
First, auto insurance companies are eager to settle some motorcycle accident cases. These cases are the ones that will probably win in court. But auto insurance companies lick their chops to take bad motorcycle crash cases to court. ‘Bad’ means the rider will probably lose at trial.
Second, some jurors lack sympathy for injured motorcyclists. Some people will not award a thin dime to a motorcycle accident victim. They think riding a motorcycle is foolish and dangerous. There is an anti-motorcyclist bias in play with some juries.
Remember, if you go to court, there is a chance the jury won’t like injured motorcyclists.
Do Motorcycle Accident Victims Get Lower Settlements Than Car Drivers?
Yes. The evidence available suggests motorcycle accident victims may get less in their settlement.
One personal injury lawyer took a poll on his popular social media channel and asked if people would award a lower settlement to a motorcycle accident victim.
Approximately 10% said they would award less money than to a car driver because they rode a motorcycle. Some juries do not like motorcycle riders. This is not really fair.
Department of Transportation data shows that most motorcyclists are 40 or older. Older car drivers and motorcyclists are less likely to get in accidents, statistically. Also, University of South Florida research indicates that over a 10-year period, car drivers caused 60% of car-motorcycle wrecks.
Still, anti-motorcyclist bias exists. Insurance companies are aware of this fact. They will often offer you less money.
Of course, these cases can be worth a lot, too. Everything depends on the facts and whether you share liability for the accident.
For example, if the victim has serious injuries that are more common in these accidents, the case could settle for much more. We feature a case on this page that settled for $445,000. The biker had serious injuries with surgery performed on a shattered left tibia.
If an Uber or Lyft driver hits you on your motorcycle and the driver was working with a passenger in the vehicle at the time, a $1 million liability policy is probably in place. In this case, you could get a large settlement with serious motorcycle crash injuries.
How An Accident Reconstruction Expert Can Boost Case Value
The available evidence makes or breaks every personal injury case, including motorcycle accidents. Many attorneys prefer to hire an accident reconstruction expert to bolster a motorcycle accident claim.
Such experts can cost $2,000 or $3,000, but the expense is worth it. These experts can download any vehicle’s event data recorder.
The report shows factors critical to a personal jury case, such as the speed at the time of the accident.
By hiring a personal injury attorney, you can get an expert witness to download this data from your motorcycle. The expert’s cost comes out of your eventual settlement, so you do not have any upfront costs.
Many attorneys believe hiring an accident reconstruction expert increases the case value. Also, it shows the insurance company you are serious and ready to sue. This behavior might encourage an auto insurance company to settle quickly and pay more.
How Are Motorcycle Property Damage Claims Different?
Motorcycle property damage claims are usually separate from the personal injury claim. Most insurance companies want a property damage estimate before they inspect the bike.
If the market value is less than the repair cost, the adjuster may offer the bike’s value instead of paying for repairs.
What if you do not know what your motorcycle is worth? NADA and Kelley Blue Book are good resources to determine vehicle values. Vehicle sales staff usually rely on NADA.
A common argument in a property damage claim is that some damage is unrelated to your crash. There could be damage caused by wear and tear. The adjuster may refuse to cover it.
Now there’s a good reason to keep recent pictures of your motorcycle! They can bolster your argument that your motorcycle damages are from the accident. Recent, up-close photos can get you a higher property damage settlement.
If you seek a property damage payment from your insurance company, accident fault is irrelevant: The insurance company will cover your damages.
However, if you are demanding payment from the other driver’s insurance company, expect them to argue that you partially caused the accident.
For instance, wrecks between motorcycles and cars often happen when the biker turns left in front of a car. Adjusters like to assign some blame to the motorcyclist to lower the property claim. This can cause settlement negotiations to drag out. You might even need to accept less than the full cost of repairs.
That is, unless you are ready to have your personal injury attorney take them to court.
Motorcycle Accident Settlement Examples
Below are several motorcycle crash settlement examples from other attorneys. Your settlement could be a lot more or less. Use Lawsuit Info Center to find a personal injury attorney in your city to give you more specific information about your case’s possible settlement value.
$445,000 Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A motorcycle rider was cruising on a Florida street. A tractor-trailer was coming the opposite way. The trucker turned left into the motorcyclist’s path, who got a ticket for causing the crash.
The crash impact threw the rider off his bike. The police reported noted the rider drove 5 MPH over the speed limit. The speed matters because a jury could claim he shared liability for the accident. Sharing liability means a lower case value.
The doctor at the hospital diagnosed the crash victim with a broken leg and finger. The tibia fractured in his left leg. Importantly, doctors operated on the fractured leg.
Surgery almost always increases the case settlement amount. One attorney claims surgery was involved in 95% of his largest settlements.
His medical bills totaled $50,000. He hired a personal injury lawyer while still in the hospital.
The tractor-trailer company had AIG insurance, which has a $1 million limit on bodily injury. That’s good news for the settlement amount.
This accident case settled for $445,000, even though AIG argued the motorcyclist shared liability for speeding.
This case shows that motorcycle crash settlement may be higher than crash crashes. How come?
Motorcycle accident injuries are often devastating, and this case is a good example of that. Most car crashes do not require two operations.
$100,000 Motorcycle Accident Settlement
The client was riding his motorcycle in Miami. Suddenly, a car driver turned left in front of the motorcyclist. He slammed into the side of the car, and the crash impact caused $3,000 in damage to the bike.
The car driver received a ticket for reckless driving. A major insurance company representing the driver accepted liability for the $3,000 property damage claim.
A week after the crash, the accident victim received medical treatment in Miami. His medical bills totaled $20,000. He had knee, back, neck, and testicular pain.
He received an MRI that showed a disc herniation at L5-S1. The doctor diagnosed him with a lower back herniated disc, bruised testicle, and erectile dysfunction.
The motorcyclist also had a meniscus tear in his right knee.
Bad news – the liable driver had just $100,000 in bodily injury coverage. The insurance company offered pre-lawsuit mediation.
Mediation is a legal meeting where an objective third-party attempts to get both sides to agree to a settlement.
The claim settled for $100,000 before filing a lawsuit. The victim benefited from the settlement because attorney fees for a settlement are usually 33%, and 40% if the case goes to trial.
$87,000 Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A motorcyclist rode down a Florida street. Little did he know that dangerous debris littered the roadway. A construction company had worked on the road. But they failed to clean up after themselves.
The biker hit the road debris and wrecked, striking the pavement hard and breaking his clavicle. Doctors operated to fix the fracture. Surgery usually raises a case’s settlement value.
The personal injury attorney claimed that the construction debris caused the accident. Construction companies must remove debris from the road after they work.
In this type of accident with road defects, the police report often is critical. The police officer may observe in the report that he saw road debris. If the victim sues, his personal injury lawyer can use that officer’s statement as proof during a lawsuit.
Further, photos that show the road debris can make the case slam dunk. The city’s insurance provider agreed to an $87,000 settlement.
$51,000 Scooter Accident Settlement
A man in a major US city driving a pickup truck hit a man on a scooter. The scooter had a lot of horsepower, which technically made it a motorcycle in this state.
The scooter rider damaged his right eye. He received physical therapy for soft tissue injuries. He suffered a slight patella injury, but the bone did not fracture. The case settled for $51,000.
$50,000 Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A car almost hit a motorcyclist in a parking lot. The rider laid his bike on the side to prevent the crash.
Before the police arrived, both drivers moved their vehicles. If you can, take pictures of the vehicle location after the crash. Take photos of the other vehicle, too. Getting good pictures can beat the other driver’s version of how the crash happened.
The police officer declined to give either man a ticket for the accident.
The hospital X-ray showed the motorcyclists broke his collarbone. Importantly, the bone splintered into more than two pieces – a comminuted fracture.
The good news: He did not need surgery to repair the collar bone. He visited an orthopedist and had several physical therapy sessions to improve his range of motion.
The other driver had $50,000 of bodily injury coverage, so the settlement was $50,000. He received about $46,000 for pain and suffering.
This driver had Travelers insurance. That company is known to pay better than some companies, such as Progressive and State Farm. But it does not pay as much as USAA.
If you plan to settle your case without filing suit, the other driver’s insurance company is a significant factor in the settlement.
Motorcycle Accident Settlement Calculator
Have you been involved in a motorcycle accident causing injury? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Motorcycle Accident Settlement Calculator.
How much is your car accident injury claim worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
Get Legal Help For Your Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Did you break your arm, leg, herniate a disc or suffer another severe injury in a motorcycle accident? Motorcycle crash injuries are painful and often expensive to treat.
You could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. You can find an experienced personal injury attorney at Lawsuit Info Center and receive a complimentary consultation.
In order to figure out how much compensation you can get for your motorcycle accident you can use a tool called a motorcycle accident calculator. The calculator will gather a few numeric factors that include:
Medical expenses due to injuries caused from the accident
Estimated future medical expenses
Property damage to your motorcycle
Wages lost from missing work due to your injuries and time to recover
Once you have added the total sum of the factors above, a multiplier 1-5 representing pain and suffering is applied to come up with your approximated total. The greater number of the multiplier will represent extremely severe injuries with ongoing treatment and recovery that affect your day to day activities. If the injuries sustained and minor soft tissue injuries with a shorter recovery time, the multiplier applied will be lower.
Motorcycle accidents can be very scary from the lack of protection a motorcycle has to offer the rider. Rear end accidents are surprising enough and if a motorcyclist becomes rear ended, they can become ejected over the handlebars causing very serious injuries. It would be wise to pursue a lawsuit inorder to receive compensation for the damages lost during the accident. Majority of the time, a motorcycle accident victim will suffer extreme injuries costing a fortune in medical bills. If you are looking to file a claim, consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents. Immediately following the accident, seek medical attention and contact an attorney to help you get a better understanding as to what you need to do next. They will gather the necessary information such as police reports, expenses towards medical bills and how much was lost in property damage, in order to help you recover those costs.
If you have suffered any kind of loss from being involved in a motorcycle accident, you can file a claim to recover the damages lost. Filing a claim can be confusing if you have never negotiated with insurance companies as well as being unfamiliar with motorcycle state laws. You shouldn’t have to expense everything from your own pocket due to the neglegence of another driver. Each accident claim has unique factors so researching online is not always as helpful as you would hope for. You should consult with your local personal injury attorney with an emphasis on motorcycle accidents. They will be able to help you through the process and obtain compensation for the damages caused by the accident. Generally, motorcycle accidents leave victims with severe injuries and great damages to the victims motorcycle. If you were in the hospital due to injuries from the accident, unable to work and sustained property damage to your motorcycle you have the option to file a claim. By doing so, you can recover the expenses spent on medical bills, wages lost during recovery time and property damage.
There is no specific answer when it comes to how much money you will be able to collect for your damages. There are multiple unique factors in each case that make it impossible to answer this question. If you are looking for a generic answer, your best option would be to narrow down the search by specific injuries you sustained from your motorcycle accident. But the best way to find out how much compensation you may be able to receive would be to consult with a personal injury motorcycle accident attorney. By speaking with an attorney, they can take a closer look at all the variables that go into your case and come up with a more realistic figure. Here are some real examples of motorcycle accident settlements:
$300,000 awarded to motorcycle victim after a truck had turned in front of the motorcyclist tearing a knee ligament and a herniated disc.
$350,000 awarded to motorcycle victim after a sedan hit the motorcyclist causing injuries to his shoulder requiring physical therapy.
$450,000 awarded to motorcycle victim after a negligent driver was texting on their phone causing leg and wrist injuries requiring surgeries to repair.
$275,000 awarded to motorcycle victim after a driver failed to yield on a left hand turn causing minor soft tissue injuries that were treated in the hospital however, the motorcycle was a total loss.
If you are looking to file a motorcycle accident and recover the damages you should speak with a personal injury motorcycle accident attorney. The laws for motorcycles and motorcycle insurance differs from state to state therefore it’s important to find an attorney with specializes in this specific practice area. You can settle your accident claim through insurance, but it’s important to be knowledgeable about your situation and keep in mind that insurance companies will always try and offer the littlest amount of compensation to you. If you are inexperienced in filing a lawsuit regarding a motorcycle accident that you were involved in, it would be in your best interest to seek professional advice. You should contact your local motorcycle accident attorney for a consultation and seek out their expertise on the subject. Once you sign with an attorney of your choosing, they will be able to handle the stress of dealing with insurance companies and negotiating while you take the proper time to recuperate and recover.
When you or a loved one has been injured in the event of a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation you’ve lost due to the accident. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are typically disastrous leaving victims with devastating injuries due to the lack of protection the riders have. You can receive compensation for multiple reasons. These include, the wages lost during your time of recovery due to your injuries, property damage to your motorcycle, medical expenses and estimated future medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can leave you financially unable to pay for treatment or any repairs to your motorcycle. This is why you should consider filing a lawsuit so that you can recover the money you had to spend on treatment and the money you lost while being unable to work. If you are looking for help with filing a lawsuit regarding a motorcycle you were injured in, speak with a personal injury attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents.
A motorcycle accident claim calculator is a tool you can find on our website to help you receive an estimated case value for your settlement claim. The calculator will ask you specific questions regarding your accident such as how much your medical expenses cost, how much Every case has unique factors therefore, the calculator can only intake so much information and give you an approximation. If you are looking for a clearer answer on how much you may receive, you will need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. They will be able to review the specific details about your case and give you more of a pinpoint answer when it comes to your settlement value.
The main purpose of a motorcycle accident calculator is to obtain and estimated value for your motorcycle accident claim. This includes personal injuries as well as property damage values. However, when using the calculator you must understand that the estimation it gives you is not the exact amount your settlement may be. It is simply an estimation. The data you input into the calculator is the same information/questions an attorney will ask you in order to come up with an approximation on your case value. How it works is by using a formula that takes the sum of all personal injury expenses plus property damages together. Once you have the sum of those expenses you can add a multiplier 1-5 to represent pain and suffering. The greater the number will represent a significant and more severe injury with prolonged disability from your normal everyday activities. And the smaller the number will represent less severe injuries with recovery time being within weeks. Motorcycle claim calculators are a great tool in order to obtain an approximation for your case value. However, it’s important to keep in mind it is just an estimation and not the final say in how much you will receive for your settlement.
In order to use a motorcycle claim calculator you will need to know a few numeric factors to enter into the calculator. First you will need to know how much was spent on medical expenses and what future medical expenses will cost you. You will also need to enter in the wages you were unable to make during your time of recovery due to your injuries. One last expense you need to add is how much money you spent repairing your motorcycle. All of these expenses will be added together to get a sum. At that point there’s ordinarily a multiplier applied to that number, ranging from 1-5, representing pain and suffering. In the event that the wounds endured are extreme to such an extent that they will cause progressing torment or potentially disable you from doing the day by day life exercises they’re acclimated with, as a rule that number will be higher than if the wounds are completely recuperated in half a month.
After a settlement verdict has been reached, your attorney will send all the necessary documents to insurance and insurance will send the check to your attorney. Once the attorney receives the check they will take their percentage that is owed to them in fees and send the rest of the portion for you to keep. Generally, your attorney will deduct from your check, the medical records fees, police report fees, court filing fees, and of course the attorney contingency fee. The average timeframe it takes to get your settlement check takes between 4-6 weeks but may vary depending on how long your attorney takes to get it in the mail and delivered to you.
There are a few ways you can find out how much your settlement value will be. One common way would be to set an appointment with a local motorcycle accident attorney and receive a free consultation regarding your case. However, even though you meet with an attorney and they review the basic information you have given, you will still only receive a ballpark number for your settlement value. Another way to find out what your settlement may be would be to use our motorcycle accident settlement calculator. The calculator uses a simple formula by adding the accompanying things together:
Doctors visit expenses
Lost salary for not having the option to work because of your wounds
Harm to your vehicle and property
Evaluated future medical costs
Total all those expenses together and at that point there’s normally a multiplier applied to that number, for the most part 1-5, for agony and suffering. If the wounds endured are serious to such an extent that they will cause ongoing pain and suffering as well as handicap you from doing everyday life activities that you are acquainted with, for the most part that number will be higher than for situations where the wounds are completely recovered in 2-3 weeks.
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, you will likely sustain some major damage to your bike as well as some serious physical injuries. The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be devastating and take a toll on you financially. There is no exact answer as to how much you might receive as a settlement for your motorcycle accident due to multiple unique variables each case has to offer. In order to come up with some ballpark estimation, you must evaluate the injuries sustained and total up the medical expenses. The more severe the injury, the higher your settlement may be. Some real life examples of motorcycle accident settlements include:
$300,000 settlement for a truck driver pulling out in front of the motorcyclist causing soft tissue injuries and a herniated disc.
$395,000 settlement for accident occurring during an emergency transportation vehicle making a u turn. Motorcyclist sustained permanent injuries.
$300,000 settlement for accident caused by a truck pulling out in front of the motorcyclist causing soft tissue injuries, herniated disc and knee injuries
$750,000 settlement for the death of a motorcyclist caused negligent driver that was driving too fast.
Motorcycles are appealing in the sense you can cruise the roads completely open with unobstructed views however, this means in the unfortunate event of an accident you may be left with some severe injuries and damages to your bike due to lack of protection. How do you stay safe in the event of an accident? Here are some tips on surviving a motorcycle crash:
Prepare for collision- Apply breaks with an even distribution rather than slamming on the bikes front breaks.
Crash lying down- If you see that you are about to crash, it’s best to avoid any oncoming traffic and slide with the bike.
Rolling- Once you’ve crashed, your body will likely roll. It’s important to roll in a tucked position protecting your head and neck.
To ensure you remain as safe and protected as possible it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind:
Wear protective safety gear- Always wear your helmet! It would be wise to invest in some body armor as well such as jackets, pants, gloves and boots. These are generally made out of thick padded materials such as leather or even Kevlar.
Be sure the obey speed laws- Watch your speed when on the road. Cars often make sudden stops so if you are speeding, it will reduce your reaction time and you might not be quick enough to avoid an accident. This also includes following at a safe distance. Tailgating is dangerous and often ends in collision.
Avoid distractions- Keep a sharp eye on all drivers around you, don’t text and ride and most importantly, don’t drink and ride. Riding a motorcycle takes a great amount of balance and strategy. If you are intoxicated, this decreases your ability to perform important maneuvers while riding putting yourself and others in danger.
Acknowledge other vehicles- Expect that other drivers might not see you. Motorcycles are small and fast and often weave in and out of traffic. Try and think of the next move that other drivers on the road may make.
Take all the necessary courses- Be sure you know what you are doing before you get on a bike.
It is common to see motorcycle insurance cost less than passenger vehicle insurance due to smaller amounts of property damages owed. Motorcycles generally do not cost as much therefore, motorcycle insurance typically costs around 30% less than passenger vehicles. There are other factors that go into how much you may be paying for motorcycle insurance such as driving records and age. Studies show that riders between the ages of 17-25 are viewed as the most hazardous age group on the road and will typically have a higher rate on insurance. Motorcycles are also smaller than passenger vehicles and can easily be stolen therefore will result in a higher insurance rate. One thing to remember is the more secure the bike is, and the more secure the driver is, the more affordable the insurance policy will be.
As a driver of any vehicle, you are required by law to have insurance coverage. The cost will fluctuate depending on many different variables such as your driving record, what type of coverage policy you choose and the State’s policy. Motorcycle insurance ensures protection from any damages including property damage or medical expenses you, or the other party may cause. However, there are some significant differences between auto insurance and motorcycle insurance coverage. One major difference in particular is the possibility of collision and the amount in which the vehicle is worth. Unfortunately, motorcycles tend to cost less than passenger vehicles however; a motorcycle collision tends to have a considerably higher amount in damages. This means that you will most likely receive less for property damages. This may also mean that the personal injury protection section of the policy may cost you more than regular auto insurance.
Although many of us think of motorcycles as fast, dangerous and extremely accident-prone, it is not necessarily true that motorcycles accidents are more common than regular car accidents. They are however, more inclined to result in fatality or serious injuries. If you are going to ride a motorcycle, be sure to take all the safety courses and never forget to ride without protection! There has been a steady increase bike-related accidents over the years with 35 times more deaths from motorcycles accidents than a passenger vehicle. About 75% of motorcycle accidents collide with passenger vehicles and 25% are single vehicle mishaps caused by weather or road inference. The best way to dodge a collision is to driver cautiously and be able to have the capacity to foresee the surrounding drivers’ next course of action.