How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents cause some of the most devastating injuries of all traffic crashes. According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 84,000 motorcycle riders were injured and 5,000 were killed in crashes in 2019.
Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable on the road. As a result, these accidents often lead to serious injuries with a wide range of physical and psychological impacts.
If someone else is at fault for a motorcycle accident that causes you serious injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Accurately accounting for all damages is essential for maximizing your recovery.
Attorney Patrick Daniel provides knowledgeable representation and compassionate support for those who have been involved in motorcycle accidents. You can count on Patrick Daniel Law to identify the full extent of damages in your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What Compensation Can I Recover for a Motorcycle Accident?
Economic damages in motorcycle accidents include medical expenses and other costs that can be readily calculated. These include the cost of emergency treatment and transport via ambulance, surgery, appointments with specialists, and physical therapy, as well as the cost of traveling to and from these visits.
If home modifications or assistive devices are needed to accommodate a catastrophic injury, these are also calculated as part of your economic damages in a motorcycle accident claim. Lost wages from missed days of work and loss of income if you’re unable to work again are included in economic losses, as is property damage.
Damages for pain and suffering (sometimes known more broadly as non-economic damages) are more challenging to quantify. The dollar amount for your pain and suffering is subjective because there’s no easy way to zero in on an exact number.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
One of the critical components of a personal injury lawsuit is pain and suffering. These damages can be broken into two subtypes.
Physical pain and suffering entails the everyday pain and discomfort you experience as a result of your injuries. Calculating these damages requires an understanding of the seriousness of your injury and how it affects you now and will affect you in the future.
Mental pain and suffering encompasses the psychological dimension associated with a serious injury. Someone who is now bound to a wheelchair, for example, will likely experience shock, fear, anger, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress due to their new, permanent limitations.
The mental anguish motorcycle accident victims face is included in pain and suffering and encompasses all negative emotions that stem from the injuries caused by the motorcycle crash. Severe mental pain and suffering may involve:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- And more
Catastrophic injuries such as damage to the spinal cord or the loss of a limb are unfortunately common in motorcycle accidents. Although it is easy to understand the physical ramifications of these injuries (such as the inability to work, extensive rehabilitation, etc.), it is important not to overlook the emotional component of such trauma.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Different parties calculate pain and suffering damages differently. Insurance companies typically use either a multiplier method (where economic damages are multiplied by a value that represents the seriousness of the injury) or a per diem method (where a monetary value is assigned for each day that the claimant is expected to experience pain and suffering).
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not apply these formulas consistently. In some cases they may not use them at all, resulting in a low-ball settlement offer.
Motorcycle accident lawyers, meanwhile, take a much more comprehensive view of damages. Attorneys calculate pain and suffering and other losses based on the evidence. Some of the ways to achieve this include:
- Testimony from victims concerning their physical pain, emotional distress, and limitations from the accident
- Testimony from family, friends, and others close to the victim about changes in physical ability, mental state, etc.
- Medical records
- Bills and receipts showing the economic impact of the injuries
- Expert testimony
Ultimately, calculating pain and suffering is an inexact science. However, this does not mean that defendants and insurance companies can ignore the physical, mental, and emotional harm motorcyclists sustain as a result of others’ negligence.
A motorcycle accident lawyer knows what questions to ask and what evidence to collect in support of your claim for pain and suffering and other damages. Throughout the course of your case, it is crucial to be honest with your lawyer and your doctors about how you are feeling. Any insights you can provide would be helpful to this end, whether through spoken testimony, documentary evidence (some accident victims keep a “pain journal” documenting their day-to-day experience), and more.
How a Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
Motorcyclists are often dismissed in the event of an accident. Even when a crash clearly isn’t the rider’s fault, a cloud of suspicion tends to hang over their efforts to pursue justice.
To make matters more difficult, motorcycle accidents have a high rate of serious and catastrophic injuries. Damages associated with these injuries are complex, especially pain and suffering.
For these reasons, it is essential to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer promptly. Patrick Daniel Law can help.
Attorney Patrick Daniel is recognized as a fierce litigator. He leads a team that is Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless in fighting for the full compensation that victims of wrongdoing deserve.
Please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Our motorcycle accident lawyer serves clients in Houston and throughout Texas.
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