Most Common Types of Compensation to Seek after a Motorcycle Accident
These are the most common types of compensation that your motorcycle injury lawyer can help you get:
- Medical treatment costs: These include ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, radiology, diagnostic testing, surgery, follow-up care, doctor visits, medication, and travel expenses to and from the hospital.
- Estimated future medical expenses: You can claim this when a motorcycle crash causes severe or catastrophic injuries that require lengthy rehabilitation or ongoing long-term care.
- Rehabilitation expenses: These can include multiple types of therapy that help accident victims recover lost body function or learn how to cope with severe or permanent injuries, such as physical, occupational, speech, language, and behavioral therapy.
- Lost wages: For the time missed from work due to injuries, hospitalization, and healing time after a motorcycle crash.
- Estimated future lost wages: Severe motorcycle accident injuries interfere with a person’s ability to return to their job or take on other employment.
- Loss of household services: Motorcycle accident injuries may prevent a victim from performing tasks they used to do around the home, such as lawn care, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and childcare.
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of consortium with a partner, if applicable.
- Reduced quality or enjoyment of life.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
If fatal injuries from a motorcycle accident caused the death of a loved one, you also have the right to seek compensation for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit if you’re an eligible family member. Your McAllen motorcycle accident attorney can answer wrongful death questions and determine your eligibility for compensation when they review your claim. If you choose to bring a lawsuit, you may recover some of the damages listed above, along with funeral costs, burial expenses, and non-economic damages determined by your relationship with your loved one.
Most Common Injuries During a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident can lead to permanent, traumatic changes in an injured biker’s life. High-speed crashes often lead to death and those lucky enough to survive frequently suffer debilitating, catastrophic injuries that require long-term or even lifelong treatment. Patino Law Firm has experience representing motorcycle accident victims in recovering damages for a wide range of injuries.
Some examples of motorcycle accident injuries that could result in compensation include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Texas bikers who are over age 21 can choose not to wear a helmet. If they choose to go without a helmet, they must take an accredited motorcycle safety course and carry extra insurance coverage. Helmets help protect bikers from severe traumatic brain injuries if they get in an accident. Yet, even motorcyclists who wear helmets can suffer a brain injury during an accident. Traumatic brain injuries are serious and can lead to permanent brain damage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brain injury patients face potential long-term consequences in four areas:
- Thinking and remembering, including challenges with focus, thinking clearly, and storing information in short-term memory.
- Physical consequences, including residual headaches or migraines, blurry vision, vertigo, light sensitivity, and nausea.
- Emotional symptoms, including changes in mood such as anger, increased aggression, depression, and anxiety.
- Sleep-related symptoms, including trouble with sleeping, sleeping longer than normal, and difficulty waking.
During a motorcycle accident, the impact of the crash sometimes throws bikers from their motorcycles. Other times motorcyclists get pinned by another vehicle or under their bike. These types of accidents can cause severe back injuries including cracked vertebrae, bulged discs, and other damage to the spine.
Back injuries cause debilitating pain for some. Pain management can include medication or cortisone shots, but they only help to a certain degree. Many who suffer back injuries must undergo one or more corrective surgeries to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, many also still suffer from chronic mobility issues and pain after surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can be a neck injury or a back injury but deserves special treatment because of its seriousness. Not only are spinal cord injuries among the most costly of all motorcycle accident injuries, but they often lead to permanent damage.
Contrary to popular belief, a person’s spinal cord does not need to be completely severed to result in a severe injury. Cuts, wounds, and bruising from damage to the vertebrae or discs in the spine can cause an accident victim to lose mobility.
The spinal cord carries messages from the brain throughout the nervous system. Those who suffer cervical spinal cord injuries in the neck suffer the most loss of function because the injury cuts off communication to most of the body. These injuries often result in permanent tetraplegia, which is full paralysis from the neck down.
As the site of the injury moves down the spinal column, functional loss decreases. In some cases, spinal cord damage and related functional loss can be temporary. Once bruising and swelling subsides, some accident victims recover lost function. Others will experience permanent paralysis.
It’s not uncommon for a biker’s legs or arms to get crushed during a motorcycle accident, especially if their heavy bike lands on them. A crushed limb cuts off blood flow to the affected area, which can lead to infection. Infection can spread and lead to death. After an accident victim suffers a crushed limb, doctors attempt to restore blood flow to save the limb, but sometimes this simply is not possible. In these cases, doctors are forced to amputate the limb.
Amputees generally face massive physical and emotional pain due to their injury. Losing one or both legs means wheelchair use or coping with the frustrating challenge of how to use a prosthetic device. Phantom limb pain is common among amputees, who also must cope with stump pain. An amputation requires extensive physical and occupational therapy and also mental health services to cope with the emotional trauma of a permanent disability.
Sometimes bikers slide along the pavement if they are thrown from their bike during an accident. Proper protective gear can mitigate or eliminate road rash. But if skin makes contact with the ground, friction leads to severe scrapes and open wounds, which typically are full of sand, dirt, dust, and debris. Road rash can lead to severe infections and remove layers of skin, sometimes revealing muscle and bone and leading to severe scarring.
Moving Forward After a Motorcycle Injury in McAllen
We assume you have contacted the local police to report your accident, or they arrived at the scene to file a report. Additionally, you should also visit a doctor to get checked out and treated for your injuries. Your next steps can have a large impact on the outcome of your motorcycle accident lawsuit. The following tips can protect your rights and give you the best opportunity to receive the maximum amount of compensation commensurate with your motorcycle accident injuries:
Keep All Medical Bills and Receipts
Getting the best possible outcome for your motorcycle accident injury claim means you must provide proof of the financial losses you have suffered as a result of the accident and your injuries. You should keep anything that you think is relevant, including medical bills, tax returns, payroll information, and receipts for travel, prescriptions, and prosthetic devices. Do not worry about keeping too many items; your lawyer will advise you about which items you can include in your claim.
Let Your Injury Lawyer Do the Talking
Insurance companies stay in business by avoiding financial liability whenever they can. When you speak with an insurance adjuster, they can take anything you say, twist it, and use your words to deny or devalue your claim. Your attorney will protect you from this tricky tactic if you let them handle communications.
Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer
In some motorcycle accident cases, determining liability can be challenging for lawyers and insurance companies. Other times, insurance companies know their policyholder is clearly liable for damages related to an accident. Insurance companies, which are only concerned about their bottom line, make predatory lowball offers soon after the accident. These offers are often far less than the value of a claim, but typically enough to tempt victims who might be struggling financially.
When the first offer comes in, you may not know your long-term prognosis or whether you can return to work. If you accept an offer, you must waive your right to seek compensation in the future. It’s always in your best interest to let an attorney review any settlement offer. In many cases, a lawyer will negotiate a settlement that is much larger than the initial offer you received.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Once you file an insurance claim, the carrier will have at least one representative investigate the details of your claim. This also includes digging into every corner of your life to find a way to devalue or deny the claim. They sometimes use personal posts on social media accounts to downplay your injuries or argue that your recovery is going better than reported. You do not have to close down social media accounts, but you should avoid posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. until your motorcycle accident claim is resolved.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in McAllen, TX? Contact Patino Law Firm Today
If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact Patino Law Firm today online or at (956) 255-0023 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident, your injuries, and related losses. If you chose us to represent you in your motorcycle accident claim, you do not have to pay an upfront retainer for attorney’s fees. We take cases on contingency, deducting our fees from any settlement or jury award you receive for your motorcycle accident injuries.