Motorcycle Accident Compensation: What To Expect

Securing compensation in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be complicated. If you or somebody you care about have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of somebody else, you should be able to recover various types of compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Here, we want to discuss what types of compensation you are likely to receive in these cases as well as how the total amount of compensation is calculated.

Economic compensation versus non-economic compensation

There are two main types of compensation that we want to talk about concerning motorcycle accidents – economic compensation and non-economic compensation.

  • Economic compensation. This is also referred to as “special damages” that a motorcycle accident victim may be entitled to. In general, these are relatively easy to calculate and involve things like medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, in property damage losses.
  • Non-economic compensation. This is also referred to as “general damages” that a motorcycle accident victim may be entitled to. In general, these are going to be more difficult to calculate and revolve around what are often called “pain and suffering” damages. This can include:
    • Emotional distress
    • Psychological trauma
    • Loss of quality of life

How are compensation amounts calculated?

Calculating the amount of economic and non-economic compensation in the aftermath of a Tennessee motorcycle accident can be complicated. In general, economic compensation is easier to calculate in these cases.

In order to calculate economic costs, the motorcycle crash victim or their Nashville motorcycle attorney will need to gather medical bills, proof of lost wages, and proof of out-of-pocket expenses and add all of these up. These are generally considered calculable expenses.

However, non-economic compensation is not as easy to calculate. It is very difficult to put an exact number on how much pain and suffering or loss of quality of life a person has endured. To handle calculating non-economic compensation, an attorney may use a “multiplier method.”

This means that an attorney will take the total they have obtained for economic expenses and multiply this by a set number, typically somewhere between 1.5 and 5. The total they receive after this multiplication will be the amount they ask for in non-economic compensation.

For example, if a motorcycle crash victim sustains significant head trauma and incurs $200,000 worth of medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs, this will be their economic compensation total. If an attorney then uses a multiplier of “3” in this case, they will take the $200,000 and multiply it by three to arrive at $600,000. In total, the attorney will ask for $800,000 in compensation for their client’s injuries and other losses.

How quickly can you expect to receive compensation?

There is no set amount of time that it takes for a Tennessee motorcycle accident case to resolve. Every case is different, and the facts and circumstances surrounding a motorcycle crash play a significant role in how long the case takes to settle. The vast majority of motorcycle accidents are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. This can take anywhere from a month or two, or even up to a year.

Negotiations with insurance carriers are often difficult and can take some time. If the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies a claim, it may be necessary for the motorcycle crash victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. When the case enters the civil court system, a final resolution may not happen for a year or more.