How Much Does a Motorcycle Crash Cost?
Motorcycle wrecks often result in catastrophic injuries or death, which means both economic and human costs are high following many motorcycle crashes. In some cases, the responsible party may not have enough insurance to cover your damages. In such cases, you might sue the defendant personally in addition to pursuing his or her insurance company. Additionally, if more than one person is responsible for the accident—usually when a commercial vehicle causes the accident—you may have the option of pursuing other insurance companies. Read on to learn more about the common expenses after a motorcycle crash and how you could recover compensation through our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys.
8 Potential Liable Parties after your Motorcycle Accident:
Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties may owe compensation for fault in a motorcycle crash, including:
- Any at-fault driver. In some cases, two other drivers could share the fault. Two people racing each other lose control. One racer hits the other, sending both cars spinning into your motorcycle.
- A vehicle manufacturer if the accident investigation finds that vehicle malfunction caused the accident or played a part in the accident. The airbag suddenly deploys for no reason and causes the driver to crash into your motorcycle, or an axle breaks when a driver is driving excessively fast and causes him to crash into you.
- A parts manufacturer if a part on the vehicle played a role in causing the accident. The driver recently replaced a CV axle. The driver may or may not have been obeying the rules of the road. The CV axle snaps through no fault of the driver. The parts manufacturer is probably responsible for the accident. However, if the axle snaps because the driver was speeding and hit a pothole, the driver and the manufacturer could share in the responsibility.
- The owner of a trucking company (the trucking company itself).
- The lessor and/or lessee of a truck.
- A hired maintenance company that performs maintenance and repairs on commercial vehicles. A company hired by a trucking company replaces the brake pads on a truck, but makes a mistake when installing them. The improperly installed brake pads cause the truck to wreck.
- A third-party dispatcher for commercial vehicles. A trucker, especially an over-the-road trucker, must abide by certain state and federal laws. A dispatcher tells a driver to get a load to its destination by a certain time while knowing that it is impossible if the driver abides by the hours-of-service regulations.
- Commercial vehicle inspectors. A commercial vehicle inspector, whether employed by the company, hired as a third party, or a DOT inspector misses a critical problem on a commercial vehicle, and that problem causes an accident.
Investigations usually determine who might share in the responsibility for your injuries.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
Like most states, Texas allows three types of damages following a motorcycle accident claim: Economic damages, non-economic damages, and, in some instances, punitive damages. When you have injuries, especially if you have injuries that result in long-term or permanent disabilities, you should make sure you obtain enough to cover all of your damages, past, present, and future.
Often, when you try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself, the insurance company denies your claim or offers you a pittance that won’t even cover your long-term medical bills.
Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, are those that have a set dollar amount attached to them.
Economic damages include:
- Past medical expenses for those you incurred as a result of injuries from the accident. Even if the accident results in the loss of life, a family member can collect medical expenses that his or her loved one incurred.
- Future medical expenses for those you incur after you reach a settlement or win a trial award.
- Past lost income for the money you lose because of your injuries.
- Future lost wages for those you expect to incur because you have upcoming surgeries or you have long-term or permanent disabilities caused by the accident injuries. Even if you go back to work, but work for less than you are accustomed to, if you can no longer work in the same job, you could collect future lost wages for the difference in pay.
- Replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged personal property, including your motorcycle.
- Medical aids, including ambulatory aids, upgrades to your home to make it wheelchair accessible, and upgrade to your vehicle, so you have hand controls instead of foot controls.
- Cremation, burial, and funeral expenses.
You may need to save all of your medical bills and other invoices for proof of the cost of your motorcycle accident to recover economic damages.
General damages, usually referred to as non-economic damages, do not have a set value. But, as with economic damages, the court orders the defendant to pay non-economic damages to make a plaintiff whole again. While money does not erase pain and suffering or bring back a loved one, it can significantly reduce the financial stress from losing work—and thus income.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of use of a body part.
- Loss of use of a bodily function.
In most cases, the court orders non-economic damages only if you suffer from long-term or permanent disabilities incurred from injuries in the motorcycle accident. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, the court could order certain non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit with an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
The court orders punitive damages as a punishment for the defendant instead of damages to make the plaintiff whole. You can only receive punitive damages if you can show the court that the defendant’s actions or inactions were intentional or grossly negligent. For example, some courts will award punitive damages in a drunk driving accident or if a driver caused an accident because he or she was texting while driving or speeding excessively.
You won’t know how much an accident truly costs until you factor in future, anticipated expenses as well; doing so can be difficult, and often requires the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer to accurately determine. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, or if you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, Contact a experienced motorcycle accident attorney can be an invaluable resource in ensuring you understand the full extent of the costs suffered following a motorcycle crash.