What Is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?

An unrecognizable biker man wearing a leather jacket and holding a helmet, signing an insurance policy to receive his repaired motorcycle.

Motorcycle crashes account for tens of thousands of serious injuries and deaths in the United States annually. If you or a loved one collides with a car while riding a motorcycle, you may have broken bones, head trauma, crush injuries, road rash, cuts and scrapes, and more. Such injuries can lead to immense physical pain, mental suffering, and financial losses.

It’s important to seek legal representation when another driver’s negligence injures you on your motorcycle. While you have legal rights as a crash victim, the injury claim process is not always easy. An experienced motorcycle crash attorney can assist in getting fair compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

How Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

Like any motor vehicle accident, many things cause motorcycle crashes. Almost all of them involve human error. Some cases also are caused by product defects.

Common factors in these severe accidents include:

A motorcycle crash attorney can review your case and understand the underlying cause. If another party’s negligence or wrongful action injures you, they will be held accountable in civil court.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

A motorcycle rider touching his lower back and feeling tired after a long motorcycle ride.

Motorcycle accidents are often severe, and the resulting injuries can be horrific. When you have severe injuries, the case usually is worth more. The most-injured parts of the body in motorcycle accidents are:

Lower Body

Many motorcycle accidents involve serious injuries to the legs. In a crash, the motorcycle, which weighs hundreds of pounds, can fall on the rider and break bones in the lower legs. The calves, knees, feet, and ankles are also exposed in an accident and can be severely injured.

Broken bones in motorcycle accidents can be shattered or broken in several places. You may need surgery on bones in the lower legs to place rods, screws, pins, and other hardware to help the bones heal.

Road rash is another injury that often involves the lower extremities. Even at a low speed, you can suffer a severe road rash that tears off patches of skin. You may need painful skin grafts to recover.

Upper Body

Many accidents throw the rider from the bike into the air. You may use your arms instinctively to brace your fall. This action can cause serious injuries to the arms, elbows, fingers, and other joints.

Some motorcyclists have permanent nerve damage to the arms and hands. This is why wearing motorcycle gloves and body armor is a smart choice.


Blunt force trauma to the chest and thorax can cause internal bleeding or injuries to the heart, lungs, ribs, and other internal parts and organs. Many accident victims have broken ribs that puncture the lungs, kidneys, or spleen.

The lungs are especially vulnerable to injury in motorcycle accidents. Also, if the aorta tears in the crash, the injury can be fatal.


Many states require motorcyclists to wear helmets, but not all. Wearing a helmet greatly reduces the chances of a severe head injury; even if you wear a helmet, a head injury is possible.

Any motorcyclist with a head injury from a motorcycle accident needs outstanding legal representation to maximize their compensation. You may need medical care and rehabilitation for years and be out of work.


The impact of a motorcyclist hitting the other vehicle or ground can lead to spinal injuries. Partial or full paralysis is possible, and the resulting treatment expenses can bankrupt even those with substantial assets. It’s essential to have a skilled motorcycle crash attorney fighting for the most money for you.

Neck And Face

Broken noses, teeth, and jawbones are common motorcycle accident injuries. Torn muscles, ligaments, tendons, broken bones, and more can severely injure the neck.

What Is The Typical Motorcycle Accident Payout?

There is no guaranteed settlement amount for any motorcycle accident claim. Every claim and injury is different. Some minor accidents may be worth a few thousand dollars, while a major crash with catastrophic injuries can be worth millions.

An experienced motorcycle accident claim attorney is the best resource to understand your case’s approximate value. Factors that can affect the average payout for a motorcycle accident claim are:

Severity of Injuries

As a motorcyclist, you probably know how thrilling riding your bike in the open air can be. Riding a motorcycle is fun and exhilarating but also exposes you to the elements, increasing the risk of severe injury in an accident. If you crash, you are ten times more likely to be seriously injured than a car occupant.

Some common motorcycle accident injuries are:

  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Road rash
  • Brain injuries

Someone with more severe injuries will have higher current and future medical bills, so the case value will be higher. The insurance company will look at your amount of medical bills and lost earnings for a serious injury, then add something for pain and suffering. People with severe injuries often receive more for their pain and suffering from physical pain related to the injuries and treatments. You also can receive money for future suffering and emotional distress.


Back view of a beautiful young couple in helmets riding a scooter.

For the sake of this article, we assume that the other driver is at fault for your motorcycle accident. The potential case value declines if the plaintiff is partially at fault for the crash.

That is why your attorney will attempt to prove that the other party was entirely at fault for what happened. If the other driver hits you, you will receive more money in a claim or lawsuit.

Insurance Coverage Available

Another major factor in your motorcycle crash payout is how much insurance coverage there is. Many insurance policies only cover the maximum liability amount you paid for.

So, if your motorcycle accident insurance has a maximum $250,000 payout, you probably won’t get more than that, even if the damages are higher. If the other party’s insurance pays for your losses, the maximum coverage is also critical to your claim.

When insurance coverage runs out, the only way to get more money is to sue the other driver for the rest. However, many drivers don’t have enough assets to make it worthwhile to file suit.

Jury Bias

The last factor influencing your motorcycle accident settlement or award is jury bias. Fair or not, some juries are biased against motorcyclists, even if someone else caused the crash.

The presumption is that motorcyclists are thrill seekers and take high risks, so they shouldn’t receive as much in a lawsuit. This isn’t right, but motorcyclist jury bias is something personal injury attorneys often see.

One way to deal with jury bias is to provide overwhelming evidence that the other driver caused the accident. If it’s clear that the other driver hit you and you didn’t do anything wrong, this can persuade even the most biased jury member.

Based on the abovementioned factors, motorcycle accident settlements, and awards can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars. An experienced personal injury attorney can’t guarantee a certain figure. You should find another attorney if they do!

However, an experienced motorcycle crash attorney can eyeball your case and provide an approximate settlement range.

What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Damages?

Proving the other party was at fault and caused the motorcycle accident is necessary to receive compensation. The damages you may receive in a motorcycle accident claim include compensation for your injuries and other losses.

The motorcycle lies on the road after a collision. It's a severe accident, shown in close-up. The bike is damaged, indicating a traffic accident.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can review your case and determine if you are qualified for some or all of these damages:

  • Current and future medical expenses.
  • Permanent injuries
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of ability to earn a living
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Punitive damages, if appropriate

A motorcycle accident lawyer can review your case to determine if the other party was at fault and the potential case value. Personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency basis, earning compensation only if they secure compensation for you in a claim or lawsuit.

A motorcycle accident claim can conclude in two ways: an out-of-court settlement or a trial. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but the biggest difference is in the compensation you potentially receive:


A settlement occurs when the plaintiff and defendant agree on an amount to settle the case without going to court. A private agreement usually takes less time and expense than a trial.

A settlement for a motorcycle accident claim may not represent the full case value, but it provides money faster than a lawsuit. Most personal injury claims are in a settlement.


If you and the other party cannot agree to a settlement, you may file a personal injury lawsuit, and the court will set a trial date. The at-fault party’s insurance company may not want to offer enough money for your losses, which can be considerable in a motorcycle crash.

The jury typically decides the trial’s outcome and determines whether you receive compensation for your losses. Trials pose risks, and a personal injury attorney will advise whether you should in your case.

A jury verdict can hand you more money than a settlement, but there also is a chance that they will rule against you. That’s why so many personal injury claims end in a settlement. It’s often less money than you will get at trial, but trials have no guarantees.

How Long Will My Motorcycle Accident Case Take?

How long a motorcycle crash case takes depends on many factors. If it is a relatively simple case with an obvious fault, you could resolve it in a relatively short time.

However, beware if the other driver’s insurance company calls you soon after the crash to offer a quick settlement. This can be a sign that they know their client is at fault, and they are trying to settle for as little as possible. You should not accept the first settlement offer without first speaking to your attorney.

Some motorcycle accident cases are more complicated, and the insurance company may dig in rather than offer a fair settlement quickly. This outcome is more common with serious injury cases with uncertain liability.

Someone with severe injuries that take months or years to heal may need to wait a long time to reach a settlement or verdict. If you are severely injured, reaching maximum medical improvement or MMI is usually preferable before settling a case.

The resolution and the amount often depend on how urgently you need money. If you lose your house and car because you can’t work and pay bills, your attorney may settle your case for less.

If you can afford to live for months or years while waiting for the case to resolve, your attorney can hold out for more money in the negotiations.

Why Do You Need A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

A lawyer sits in his office at a table with a small gavel, symbolic of court proceedings. Justice scales are nearby, and lawyers are drafting a contract for the client.

This article should show you just how serious motorcycle accidents can be. Injuries are often severe, and if there are extensive losses, you can count on the insurance company to fight tenaciously to reduce its liability. Level the playing field with aggressive insurance company attorneys by having your lawyer fight for you.

Some of the key roles of your motorcycle accident attorney are:

  • Collect and secure critical crash evidence, such as law enforcement reports, video and photos, eyewitness statements, vehicle parts, and more.
  • Ensure that the best doctors evaluate you to diagnose your injuries and state how much they affect your ability to work and enjoy life.
  • Handle the communications between you and others involved to get you the best settlement. Your attorney will handle other attorneys and insurance companies so you can recover.

You should retain an attorney as soon as you can after a serious motorcycle crash. Never accept a settlement from anyone until you have an attorney review your case. You will likely settle your case too soon and for too little.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now

Mickey Fine, Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Mickey Fine, Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When a car hits a motorcyclist, the injuries can be overwhelming and sometimes fatal. If another driver recently hit you on your motorcycle, take immediate legal action to protect your rights. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to determine if your case qualifies for compensation.

Motorcycle Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on