How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth for A Motorcycle Accident?

April 9, 2024 | By Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers
How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth for A Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents frequently involve more serious injuries than those in passenger vehicles. As a motorcyclist, you are fully exposed to the elements, and if a driver makes a mistake and hits you, there can be severe or fatal injuries. However, even if it is clear you have life-altering injuries, obtaining fair compensation in a motorcycle accident claim can be complicated, especially for intangible losses like pain and suffering.

After a motorcycle crash, you should always recognize that you deserve compensation for pain and suffering from liable parties, just as much as you deserve compensation for economic losses. If you have suffered an injury in a crash due to a negligent driver, speak to a motorcycle accident attorney today to learn if you have a strong case.

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Why Is Riding A Motorcycle More Dangerous?

Many motorcyclists love the thrill of riding on the open road on a motorcycle. However, motorcycles are smaller and lighter than other vehicles, and riders are fully exposed to the dangers of the road. These facts are why motorcyclists are up to 29 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants.

Further, when motorcyclists survive a crash, they often have injuries with lasting effects, including intense physical and mental pain and suffering. Some reasons that motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries are:

  • Motorcycles are less visible to other drivers, especially at busy intersections.
  • Motorcyclists are more likely to lose control when hitting road hazards, such as potholes, debris, animals, or slick pavement.
  • There is no barrier between the road and the motorcyclist.
  • Motorcyclists don’t have seatbelts or airbags.
  • Riding a motorcycle safely requires more skill and education than driving a passenger vehicle.

When these factors are combined, accidents with motorcycles can be more serious and lead to more severe injuries and considerable pain and suffering. Motorcyclists injured on their bikes by another driver are best off by speaking to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to represent them. These experienced lawyers know how to obtain the most money for your pain and suffering and other losses.

Potential Compensation In A Motorcycle Accident

Injuries from motorcycle accidents are usually serious. Some common injuries include:

Why Is Riding A Motorcycle More Dangerous?
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amputation
  • Crush injury
  • Fractures
  • Broken pelvis
  • Face and dental damage
  • Internal organ damage

If another driver’s negligence led to the accident, you can be entitled to the following types of compensation:

Pain And Suffering

If you have serious motorcycle accident injuries, you will probably have significant physical pain and suffering, plus mental and emotional anguish. The many activities you used to take for granted, such as getting dressed, going to the bathroom, eating and bathing yourself, and just walking pain-free, can all be difficult or impossible after the accident. Your ability to enjoy life without pain can be compromised so that you may be entitled to pain and suffering compensation.

Find out more about motorcycle accident-specific pain and suffering damages further below.

Medical Bills

You will probably have considerable medical bills after a motorcycle accident. You can have bills for ER visits, hospital stays, ambulance rides, prescription drugs, surgeries, rehabilitation, and more. If your injuries are severe and require weeks or months of care, you can be entitled to payment for your future medical expenses until you reach maximum medical improvement.

You should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident with injuries. The sooner you have your injuries recorded in your medical record, the better for your future claim or lawsuit.

Lost Earnings

If you miss work time because of your motorcycle accident injuries, you can receive compensation for that, as well as lost ability to earn a living. If you made $1,000 per week before your motorcycle accident and missed a year of work, you might receive $52,000 in lost earnings compensation. If you cannot return to work or can only do lower-paying work because of the injury, you can also receive compensation for losing the ability to earn a living.

How Much Is Pain And Suffering Worth In A Motorcycle Accident? 

As stated earlier, you can have substantial pain and suffering from serious motorcycle accident injuries. For instance, if a car turns in front of you and the motorcycle slams into it, you can fly over the handlebars, slam into the side of the car, and roll dozens of feet on the ground. Such a severe collision can break bones, injure your head or spine, damage internal organs, and more. The pain and suffering during a long recovery can be tremendous.

Some of the pain and suffering damages you might get in a motorcycle accident claim are:

  • Physical pain from your injuries
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear and worry
  • Loss of enjoyment of living
  • Mental anguish from pain and medical treatments
  • Depression and anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Difficulty sleeping

Many motorbike accident victims have the possibility of obtaining considerable pain and suffering compensation. But there is no fixed dollar amount for physical pain or mental anguish, so you and your attorney will have to decide what their value is.

Your personal injury claim filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company aims to make you whole again. This is the only way under the law to make amends for your suffering and ordeal. Money will not make the accident or consequences go away, but receiving fair compensation for pain and suffering and other losses provides a measure of justice and helps you move on.

Pain and suffering is a key component of motorcycle accident compensation because of the severe injuries in many of these accidents. Pain and suffering compensation cannot be simply added to a calculator like other damages. It is subjective; a biker with several broken bones and severe road rash can suffer tremendous pain and suffering that they should be compensated for.

How Pain And Suffering Is Valued 

How Pain And Suffering Is Valued 

Pain and suffering compensation can be calculated in many ways. The at-fault driver’s insurance company can use a multiplier or per diem method to calculate pain and suffering. The multiplier method involves assigning a one to five number to your medical expenses and lost earnings, then multiplying by that number for your amount of pain and suffering. If you have $10,000 in medical expenses and lost earnings for a broken arm, your pain and suffering might be assigned a two, giving you $20,000 for pain and suffering.

The per diem method assigns a fixed dollar amount for every day you have not reached maximum medical recovery. The insurance company might assign a $200 per diem for a broken arm, for example,

Insurance companies will try to pay you less than they should for pain and suffering. This is where hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can be highly beneficial. They will argue for the most pain and suffering compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries.

How Do You Prove Motorcycle Accident Pain And Suffering? 

If you didn’t cause the accident, you have the right under your state’s laws to obtain compensation for pain and suffering and other losses. But to obtain fair compensation, you will need to prove your degree of pain and suffering.

Proving damages such as medical expenses and lost earnings is relatively easy; you just need to collect your medical bills and pay stubs. But pain and suffering is different. You and your attorney will need to gather convincing evidence of how the accident has made you suffer mentally and physically. Some ways to do this are:

  • A personal journal in writing or video that expresses the pain and suffering you feel from the accident and your medical treatments. You should detail how the injuries cause pain, making it more challenging to function and enjoy life.
  • Proof of your mental health care has been required from mental health professionals. You may need mental health counseling for anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
  • Statements from your friends, family, or co-workers about how your injuries have caused you pain and affected your life.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will know the best proof to demonstrate your pain and suffering levels. They also will calculate what they may be worth so you understand their approximate value as you enter insurance negotiations.

One of the reasons to hire a good attorney is they will not let the insurance company downplay your pain and suffering. Insurance companies like to minimize pain and suffering compensation because it’s subjective. But motorcycle accidents have serious and painful injuries, and you should receive fair compensation for your discomfort. Before you accept any pain and suffering offer from an insurance company, have the offer reviewed by your attorney.

What Affects Motorcycle Accident Pain And Suffering

There is no way to say how much you can get after a motorcycle accident. Every case is different, injuries are different, and pain can affect people in a variety of ways. However, several things will influence the amount of pain and suffering compensation in a motorcycle accident case:

Injury Severity

The most important factor in total compensation in a motorcycle accident claim is the severity of your injuries. The more severe the injuries, the higher the medical bills, the more medical treatments, and the more pain and suffering. Someone with a fractured spine and pelvis from a motorcycle accident will face many surgeries, hospital stays, weeks in bed, and a lot of pain - mental and physical. Pain and suffering compensation can be high.

On the other hand, if you had cuts and scrapes and sprained your wrists when you hit the ground, medical expenses will be less, and so will your pain and suffering.

Medical Treatment Costs

The medical bills you incur will also heavily influence the compensation you receive. People with more medical bills get more compensation. As noted earlier, when you have more medical bills and treatments, it’s generally assumed there is more pain and suffering. Your attorney will argue that someone who needed several surgeries to repair broken bones and internal bleeding will be entitled to ample compensation for pain and suffering.

Property Damages

If your motorcycle is severely damaged or totaled, that will add considerably to your settlement. Also, a totaled bike indicates a severe accident with injuries, which again points to more pain and suffering than in a minor accident.

The Bias Against Motorcyclists

Another reason to hire a motorcycle accident attorney is to deal with some people’s bias against motorcyclists. Many people have a negative view of motorcycle riders that can affect compensation for pain and suffering and other damages. Bias against motorcyclists can come from key stakeholders in a personal injury claim, such as:

The Bias Against Motorcyclists
  • Other drivers
  • Eyewitnesses
  • Law enforcement
  • Insurance companies
  • Judges
  • Members of the jury

The bias stems from believing that motorcycles are more dangerous than other vehicles. Some may believe that because you were in a motorcycle accident, you must have been doing something aggressive or foolish because motorcyclists are ‘naturally reckless,’ even though that is often untrue.

The truth is that motorcycles are only more hazardous when others cause a crash. You were likely minding your business and driving safely and lawfully when another driver did something that injured you. It’s unfair for motorcycle bias to affect what you receive in a claim or lawsuit.

An experienced attorney knows that motorcyclist bias can affect what you receive for pain and suffering in a personal injury claim. Your attorney will work to show that you were not to blame.

A motorcycle accident attorney is familiar with this bias and knows how to collect evidence to challenge it and demonstrate fault. They ensure you receive the most compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Speak To A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

William V. Steffens, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
William V. Steffens, Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Are you suffering from serious motorcycle accident injuries? If another driver struck and injured you, there is no reason to pay out of pocket. You are likely entitled to fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney today to determine if you qualify for compensation.