How to Seek Compensation for Non-Economic Damages From Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can result in devastating damages. Motorcycle injuries can have a profound impact on both the physical well-being and emotional state of an accident victim.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that motorcycles only make up 3% of all registered vehicles, with California having the highest number of registered motorcycles, with over 900,000 registered motorcycles.
According to the NSC, in 2021, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities and 3% of all occupant injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reports that motorcyclists are about 24 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to sustain fatal injuries. In 2021, the rate of injuries in motorcycle crashes increased by 5% from the year prior.
Motorcycle accident victims that sustain injuries and damages from an accident caused by the negligence of another part may be eligible to file a motorcycle accident claim and recover financial compensation.
When facing such circumstances, it is essential to understand your rights and options for seeking compensation, particularly the damages unseen. These encompass the pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life resulting from the incident.
In this blog, we will discuss:
- Types of recoverable non-economic damages from motorcycle injuries
- Factors that affect the calculation of non-economic damages
- How a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you
Types of Recoverable Non-Economic Damages From Motorcycle Injuries
In a personal injury claim, non-economic damages refer to the harm and losses that are not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. These damages aim to compensate the injured party for the physical, emotional, and psychological loss. While the specific types of non-economic damages can vary depending on jurisdiction and the nature of the case, here are some common examples:
Pain and Suffering
This type of non-economic damage encompasses the physical pain, discomfort, and suffering experienced as a result of a majority of injuries. It includes both the immediate and ongoing pain that may persist into the future.
Emotional distress refers to the psychological injuries or impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbances, and other mental health issues resulting from the incident.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If the motorcycle accident injuries have significantly limited the injured motorcyclist’s ability to engage in activities they once enjoyed, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life. This could include hobbies, sports, social activities, and other recreational pursuits that have been impacted by the injuries.
Disfigurement and Scarring
If the accident has resulted in visible or permanent scarring, disfigurement (from facial injuries or more), or other persistent physical alterations, the injured may be compensated for the impact on their appearance and any associated emotional distress.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium refers to the negative impact the injuries have on the injured person’s relationship with their spouse or partner. This may include the loss of companionship, affection, sexual intimacy, and support.
Loss of Reputation
In certain cases, particularly those involving defamation, the injured party may suffer damage to their reputation as a result of the accident. Compensation for non-economic damages may be sought to address the harm caused to their personal or professional standing.
Mental anguish refers to the psychological suffering and distress. This can include feelings of grief, humiliation, embarrassment, fear, or other emotional trauma resulting from the incident.
Factors That Affect The Calculation of Non-Economic Damages
Calculating non-economic damages in a personal injury claim involves various factors that are considered to determine the appropriate compensation. While the specifics may vary depending on jurisdiction and the nature of the case, here are some common factors that can influence the calculation of non-economic damages:
Severity of injuries
The extent and severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff (injured party) play a significant role in determining non-economic damages. More severe injuries that result in greater pain, suffering, and long-term impact are likely to result in higher compensation.
Pain and suffering
Non-economic damages often include compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering endured by the motorcycle crash victim as a result of the accident. The intensity and duration of the pain and suffering experienced will be taken into account.
Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic events, leading to emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or loss of enjoyment of life. The impact of these emotional damages will be considered in the calculation of non-economic damages.
Loss of consortium
If the accident results in the loss of companionship, support, or intimacy with a spouse or partner, non-economic damages may be awarded to compensate for this loss.
Impact on daily life
Non-economic damages may also account for the impact of the injuries on the motorcycle collision victim’s ability to carry out daily activities, hobbies, or enjoy a normal quality of life. This includes limitations in mobility (due to broken bones and such), impairment of cognitive functions (from head injuries), chronic pain, or the need for ongoing medical treatment or physical therapy.
Age and occupation
Younger individuals who suffer debilitating or permanent injuries may have a longer life expectancy, potentially resulting in higher non-economic damages. Similarly, if these types of injuries prevent the victim from returning to their previous occupation or limit their earning capacity due to recovery time or other factors, it may be considered in the calculation.
Jurisdiction and legal precedent
Some jurisdictions may have statutory caps or limitations on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded. Previous court decisions and legal precedents in the jurisdiction can provide guidance on the appropriate range of non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages are typically paid in addition to medical bills in a personal injury claim.
The specific calculation and determination of non-economic damages can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the strength of the evidence presented. Motorcycle accident victims must consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can provide specific guidance.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
A personal injury lawyer can play a crucial role in helping a motorcycle accident victim recover non-economic damages. Here are some ways in which a motorcycle injury attorney can help a motorcycle accident victim:
- Legal expertise – An experienced attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents has in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations governing personal injury claims. They can explain the legal options available to the collision victim and guide them through the complex legal process.
- Gathering evidence – A personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident, gather evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and photographs, and ensure that all necessary documentation is properly obtained and preserved.
- Establishing liability – A skilled attorney will analyze the circumstances surrounding the accident, consult with accident reconstruction experts if needed, and build a strong case to establish liability on the part of the responsible party.
- Calculating non-economic damages – A personal injury lawyer can assess the extent of the injuries, consult with medical experts to understand the long-term effects, and calculate a fair value for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic losses.
- Negotiating with insurance companies – Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts and may undervalue non-economic damages. An experienced lawyer can handle negotiations with the insurance company and advocate for a fair settlement for all losses, including non-economic damages.
- Trial representation – If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, a personal injury lawyer can take the case to trial.
Have You Suffered Motorcycle Injuries in an Accident? Contact a Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one were the victims of a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another party, you may be eligible to file a motorcycle accident claim and recover compensation.
At Motorcyclist Attorney, we understand the common injuries involved in these types of accidents and the difficulty that comes with handling a claim. We are dedicated to helping motorcycle riders get the medical attention they need and the compensation they deserve. You do not need to handle this alone!