Frequently Asked Questions - What is The Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
All accidents are different and injury claims are not always so cut and dry. There are many different factors that go into deciding how much someone should be compensated for their injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. No two cases are completely the same and even people involved in the exact same accident with the exact same injuries usually end up settling their cases for different varying amounts.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, the first thing you should do is call the police right away. Often without a crash report, insurance companies are left deciding who is at fault for the accident and they could deny the claim altogether and side with their insured if there is a disagreement between the parties involved as to who is legally at fault. Also without a crash report, if the other party refuses to provide their insurance information or provides you with false information, you are unable to then request that information directly from the Department of Financial Responsibility. They have to see a crash report in order to disclose any insurance information. Without this information, it will be extremely tough to present an injury claim to any insurance companies.
The second thing you should make sure to do after a motorcycle accident is be examined by a medical professional. You can be transported by ambulance if you feel you need immediate medical attention or you can choose to drive yourself or be seen the next day by your primary care doctor. Either way, medical attention is always best to rule out any significant or internal injuries. If the medical professional who is examining you decides further testing would be required, you will probably undergo CT scans, x-rays or MRIs. These tests are able to clearly show any internal damage not visible otherwise. If you are seen by a medical professional immediately after your crash, your medical records are the best way to prove your injuries to the insurance company.
If you are not at fault for your accident, your best decision would be to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your claim. Your attorney will gather all of your information including the crash report and any medical bills and records to date and work with you to get you the best medical treatment possible. Your attorney will be able to confirm the amount of bodily injury coverage that is available to you through the at fault party’s insurance carrier. In the State of Florida, bodily injury coverage is not required on your policy in order to have an active insurance policy, it is optional. In a motorcycle claim, you are not able to pursue any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you may have available to you unfortunately so your entire claim rests on how much coverage the at fault party has available which can range anywhere from $10,000.00 to millions of dollars. The more coverage available, the more medical treatment you can pursue. This is something your attorney will discuss with you at the beginning of your case so that you know how much is available and what type of medical treatment you can have depending on coverage amount.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you will most likely require physical therapy to see if that will help with any of your pain symptoms. Physical therapy generally involves electrical muscle stimulation, hot and cold packs and manual manipulation to name a few. After a few treatments, your doctor will typically refer you for any MRIs or additional special testing that they feel is necessary. Depending on the results of those tests, you may or may not be referred to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. If your doctor does not feel a specialist visit is warranted, you may be finalized and given a permanent impairment rating which your doctor will assign you according to the American Medical Association guidelines. It may be at this point where you and your attorney will discuss your claim and decide to submit all of your documents and bills and records to the at fault insurance company in order to settle your claim. This type of claim is known as a soft tissue claim. Soft tissue claims generally settle for an average of between $1,000.00 – $20,000.00, depending on the amount of medical bills you accrue and the injuries sustained.
If your MRI films show any abnormal damage to your spine such as a disc bulge or herniation or any tears to your ligaments, your doctor will more than likely refer you to a specialist as this type of damage can typically only be treated with injections or surgery. Disc bulges and herniations can be extremely painful. They both involve the center nucleus of your spinal disc protruding out of the disc and pressing upon the spinal cord or nerves. A herniation is worse than a bulge as it involves over 25% of the nucleus pushing out onto the spinal cord or nerve. No amount of physical therapy can correct a bulge or a herniation and most people end up requiring multiple epidural injections or surgery to fix the issue. The same goes for any internal tears. If you suffer from a muscle or ligament or any other type of tear, often the only way to fix the tear is to undergo surgery. If you require surgical intervention and you choose to only pursue a series of injections and forego the surgery, your case is not considered a surgical case as insurance companies do not compensate you for a surgery you need, only for a surgery that you have had. Injection claims typically settle anywhere from $25,000.00 - $50,000.00.
If you undergo any type of surgery throughout your case, this is now a surgical claim and these types of cases usually end up settling for a much higher value than soft tissue claims typically for $100,000.00 or more, depending on how many surgeries you require.