Firouzbakht Law Firm | Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm
Firouzbakth Law Firm Logo
Firouzbakth Law Firm Logo

What Is the Average Payout in a Motorcycle Accident?

03/17/2021

Motorcycle accidents in Colorado are frequent, despite the reduced traffic flow due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, there were 20% more motorcycle crash victims who lost their lives compared to the previous year. The truth is that motorcyclists face more dangers than car drivers on the road. Their vehicle cannot protect them in case of a collision. Also, there is a widespread bias against motorcycle riders: some people believe they are reckless and enjoy taking risks, others that they should not share the road with cars. What is the average payout in a motorcycle accident? This is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer at Firouzbakht Law Firm to help you negotiate your motorcycle accident settlement.

What Is the Settlement Amount for an Average Motorcycle Accident?

Any motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that there is nothing average about a motorcycle crash. Each case unique, starting from the circumstances of the crash and ending with the extent of the severe injuries the motorcycle accident victim suffered and the costs to repair property damages. However, most riders do not get fair compensation for teir motorcycle accident injuries. An insurance company representative will come up with a low-ball amount, which is nowhere sufficient to cover the hospital bills, other medical expenses, economic and non-economic losses.

You will be able to know how much your case is worth after experienced personal injury attorneys at Firouzbakht Law Firm evaluate your case and prepare your motorcycle accident claim. No reputable professional can tell you upfront how much financial compensation you will win. What we can explain in this article is the list of factors that influence the outcome of motorcycle injury settlement negotiations and what you can do to increase your chances of getting maximum compensation.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Common motorcycle accidents happen due to one of the following reasons:

What Is the Average Payout in a Motorcycle Accident?
  • drunk driver - DUI drivers are less capable of reacting quickly in order to avoid an accident. They are also not driving prudently, thus, their erratic changing of lanes can lead to a serious motorcycle crash
  • turning left in front of a motorcycle rider - taking a left turn without noticing a motorcyclist on the lane may cause severe head injuries and other catastrophic injuries
  • changing lanes - failure to observe a motorcyclist may cause a driver who is changing lanes to cause a collision
  • rear-end impacts - when a driver brakes too late, they may rear-end a motorcycle. Even at slow speed, this type of impact may cause fatal injuries
  • Speeding and reckless driving - drivers who exceed maximum speed and use aggressive driving tactics are very likely to cause traffic accidents
  • Door accidents - when the driver or passenger in a parked car opens a door right in front of a motorcyclist.

We will also address another important issue in this section: wearing a helmet. Colorado laws do not require persons over 18 years old to wear a motorcycle helmet. However, the best way of protecting yourself while riding a motorbike is by wearing it. Helmets save lives. Also, when it comes to settlement negotiations or a personal injury lawsuit, the other party will use this aspect to assign to you a higher proportion of responsibility for the crash. The following section explains what this means and how it may impact your compensation payout.

Colorado Is an At Fault State - What Does It Mean?

The state of Colorado uses a fault-based system for personal injury cases. This means that the victim of an accident can recover their expenses for medical treatment and other damages from the fault driver. This leaves personal injuries victims two options:

  • obtain personal injury settlements through negotiations with the fault party's insurance company
  • file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

The condition for having a valid claim against the other party, according to Colorado Statutes 13-21-111 is being less than 50% responsible for the collision. According to this comparative negligence principle, you are entitled to receive financial compensation in proportion to your degree of fault. Therefore a plaintiff who is 20% at fault for their accident may recover 80% of their actual damages.

In each of these scenarios, you should always hire an experienced attorney to negotiate your fair settlement or represent you in court before judge and jury.

Injury Liability Insurance Requirements

In Colorado, motorcyclists are required by law to have injury liability coverage. The minimum amounts are:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability (total amount all victims of a motorcycle crash may recover)
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage.

The median motorcycle injury medical cost usually exceeds these amounts. This is due to the fact that motorcyclists usually suffer the most severe kinds of injuries, such as:

  • spinal cord injuries
  • nerve damage
  • traumatic brain injuries
  • internal organ injuries
  • leg injury or even loss of limb.

Recovering from this type of injuries requires long hospitalization, surgeries and various other specialized treatments and procedures. The financial losses will also extend to lost revenue and loss of earning capacity if the victim is left with debilitating permanent injury that prevents them from going back to work.

What Happens If You Attempt to File a Motorcycle Injury Claim on Your Own?

Let us start from the premise that you know from the very beginning:

  • the extent and severity of injury you sustained
  • the total expenses to include in your claim for damages
  • the statute of limitations for filing a claim in Colorado
  • the fault driver's percentage of fault.

Even with these data available to you (which most people do not have), you are still no match for an insurance adjuster. You are in pain and worrying about your recovery. And you are faced with a person who may be prejudiced against you as a motorcyclist. The insurance company representative will try to downplay your injuries, state that you are mostly at fault for the accident and that you are lucky for getting the offer they are making.

Even if you do not get to an agreement and sign a waiver in exchange for the settlement check, you may say things that the insurance company will use against you once you decide to file a personal injury trial.

What Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Do for You

An injury law firm will handle the situation very differently. They will assign an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to investigate your case and collect relevant evidence. This may involve:

  • accident reports prepared by law enforcement officers at the crash site
  • statements from eyewitnesses
  • photos, videos, traffic camera footage
  • hiring an accident reconstruction expert
  • medical records from your healthcare provider.
What Is the Average Payout in a Motorcycle Accident?

With these pieces of evidence, the lawyer will be able to negotiate your motorcycle injury settlement with the insurance adjuster. If there is no chance of getting a fair amount for your personal injury and property damage claim, an experienced lawyer will recommend you to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Before the trial begins, the lawyer will be able to evaluate jury members, asking the judge to remove jurors who demonstrate a bias against motorcyclists. This initial step is very important in order to increase your chances of getting maximum monetary damages  at the end of the trial.

Types of Damages You Are Entitled to Recover

A quick settlement will get you the insurance policy limits the responsible driver holds. When a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer starts building your case, they will calculate both financial damage and non-economic damages, so that the settlement obtained by negotiation or jury awards helps you cover your expenses, damages and losses as a result of the motorcycle crash.

Financial damages include:

  • Ambulance ride costs
  • hospital bills and treatments to heal your motorcycle injuries
  • ongoing treatments for major injuries and other medical care expenses
  • long term  care - determined after discussing with life care planners
  • costs to repair motorcycle damage, including the cost to hire a towing company to remove the wrecked motorbike from the accident scene
  • lost wages
  • loss of earning capacity
  • rehabilitation costs, if you need to use assistive devices (walkers, wheelchairs) and/or need to learn a new trade.

Non-economic damages compensate you for:

  • physical pain and suffering
  • loss of quality of life
  • loss of consortium
  • mental anguish
  • potentially reduced life expectancy.

In situations when the driver was acting with gross negligence or willful intent in causing your accident, jury verdicts may also include punitive damages.

Hire an Aggressive Personal Injury Law Firm to Get the Justice You Deserve!

At Firouzbakht Law Firm, we know that no amount of money for pain, losses and damages can really heal your suffering. But you have the right to be financially secure as you recover and not go into debt in order to pay your hospital bills and other life-saving medical procedures.

We are not backing down from the amounts we believe our clients deserve in personal injury claims. Insurance companies may be able to trick or intimidate you into agreeing to a quick settlement, but these tactics do not work with a seasoned motorcycle injury attorney.

Since Colorado has a statute of limitations of only two years after the date of the accident, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation: 833-801-0171!

Free Case Review
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram