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What are recoverable damages in a motorcycle accident?

Motorcycle accidents can be costly situations once you consider all of the damages. Medical bills, lost wages, and long-term effects are just a few of the considerations a motorcyclist must make when filing a claim for damages. Before you accept a settlement, know the basics of recoverable damages in a motorcycle accident and talk to a Washington motorcycle accident attorney. 

Medical Costs for a Serious Motorcycle Accident 

According to a 2002 multi-source study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average cost of a motorcycle accident in medical bills alone is $10,564. That amount includes accidents where the rider was wearing a helmet; non-helmet expenses cost $12,291 on average. 

When factoring in a head injury, the medical costs jump to an average of $43,214 for patients admitted to trauma centers. These costs are for basic trauma care based in the 1990s and do not include full hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and any long-term medical needs. Today's motorcycle accident costs are likely to exceed these amounts.  

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity 

During recovery, motorcyclists can lose several months' worth of income. Even going on short-term disability will decrease their normal level of pay as those benefits do not compensate for their full wages. If the motorcyclist does not make a full recovery and suffers any disability, his earning potential may take a hit. 

Permanently disabling injuries, even minor ones such as chronic back pain can alter a person's ability to return to their previous job. For example, a motorcyclist who suffers permanent loss of use of their hand may not be able to return to work as a car mechanic. Therefore, he may have to take a different job with lower pay, and he must consider the difference as lost earning capacity.

Other Damages to Consider 

A serious injury may require therapy, long stays at rehabilitation facilities, or at-home nursing care. If the accident results in a permanent disability where a wheelchair or assistive device is necessary, home or vehicle remodels may also be necessary. These may include widening doorways or adding wheelchair ramps, which can cost thousands. 

Motorcycle accident victims do not just sustain financial losses. A motorcycle accident can lead to much physical and emotional pain and suffering in addition to a loss of enjoyment of life. If the accident caused a head injury, the victim may suffer from mental disorders, such as depression, anger, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Fortunately, these are all compensable; however, proving these damages is not easy, and the insurance company will not offer them without evidence of your loss. 

It is important to consider both the current and long-term damages resulting from a motorcycle accident. Contact Max Meyers Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and review of your motorcycle claim: 425-242-5595.

Max Meyers
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.