What Happens if I Am Disabled After a Motorcycle Accident?
Nobody ever anticipates a moment of tragedy that could change their life forever, and that includes motorcyclists. Yes, if you ride you probably understand some of the risks. Motorcycle accidents account for many of the traffic accidents that cause debilitating or fatal injuries, because riders lack protection from the impact of a collision.
But that doesn’t mean you ever asked to get hurt in a motorcycle wreck. And if someone else’s careless or reckless actions caused the crash that left you disabled, you deserve to receive the same fair treatment and compensation as any other accident victim.
Let’s look at what happens if a motorcycle accident disables you, and how an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer can secure compensation for you.
Common Motorcycle Injuries That Can Lead to Disabilities
Numerous motorcycle crash injuries can leave you disabled.
They include, for example:
- Loss of limbs or appendages: A biker thrown from the saddle or pinned under another vehicle can lose a leg, arm, or finger.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): The impact of a motorcycle accident can cause significant damage to the brain and nervous system, especially if a rider isn’t wearing a helmet, resulting in significant cognitive, motor, or emotional impairments.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI): Bikers thrown to the ground or against another vehicle may suffer spinal cord damage leading to partial paralysis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia.
- Broken bones and blunt force trauma: Nerve damage, torn muscles, lacerated organs, and shattered bones can lead to chronic, debilitating pain and permanent changes in a biker’s health, diet, and mobility.
- Facial injuries: If a collision causes a rider’s face to absorb an impact or to slide along a road surface, disfigurement and loss of eyesight can result.
- Road rash and friction burns: A long slide along the pavement can burn or wear away layers of skin and muscle, causing massive wounds leading to infections, impaired movement, and permanent scars.
These are merely some examples of potentially debilitating injuries a biker can suffer. Any injury can result in a disability that impacts basic life functions like mobility, earning capacity, or your ability to live independently.
No matter what kind of trauma you endured in a motorcycle wreck, you may have a right to compensation if it left you disabled.
Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Adaptation After a Disabling Injury
A motorcycle crash happens in seconds. But difficulties from the accident can last months, years, or even the rest of your life. Here are just some of the challenges and impacts you may face after suffering a disabling injury in a motorcycle accident.
Hospitalization and Medical Procedures
Injured bikers commonly spend weeks or more in the hospital recuperating from crash injuries. During that time, they frequently endure surgeries, tests, and other medical interventions necessary to save their lives and improve their odds of healing.
Doctors do their best, but procedures can hurt and psychologically tax you, not to mention cost enormous sums of money. Even a hospital stay that achieves every outcome doctors hoped for can leave a biker facing huge physical, emotional, and financial challenges, and the need for permanent, ongoing medical care.
Rehabilitation and Therapy
Bikers who suffer debilitating injuries will commonly need months or years of rehabilitation and therapy to achieve their maximum healing and level of independence. That might include long stays in rehab hospitals, and frequent visits to physical, occupational, and mental health therapists who can help in overcoming challenges and learning new skills.
There’s rarely anything easy or pain-free about rehabilitation and therapy from a motorcycle accident injury. Nor is there anything inexpensive.
Life Adjustments and Assistance
Aspects of your life that you once took for granted can suddenly present seemingly insurmountable challenges when you suffer from a disability. Injured motorcyclists often need to make significant changes to their living spaces, daily routines, and life expectations, for instance, to accommodate the limitations and needs that come with a disability. They may also need to rely on wheelchairs, prosthetics, assistive services, or caregivers in order to regain some of their independence.
New Expenses and Diminished Earnings
The needs and changes accompanying a motorcycle accident-related disability carry price tags that many injured riders and their families struggle to cover. The ordinary costs of living—food, rent, gas, and so on—don’t change after a disabling injury, but new ones constantly arise, putting strain on bikers’ wallets when they can least afford it.
Motorcycle crash victims also frequently face mountains of past medical they have no hope of climbing without an improvement in their financial circumstances.
But it often seems their finances are headed in the opposite direction. Injuries tend to keep motorcyclists out of work for extended periods after an accident. And depending on the nature of their disability, they may never return to their previous occupation, or to work at all. The loss of that income only makes a difficult financial situation worse.
How a Lawyer Can Help After You Suffer a Disabling Motorcycle Accident Injury
The difficulties and disruptions described above can feel daunting, perhaps even insurmountable. But with the proper medical, social, and (critically) financial support, you can confront and overcome the challenges of the disability you suffered in a motorcycle crash. And a skilled motorcycle accident injury lawyer can help you do it.
As the victim of a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you likely have the right to seek compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. That compensation can serve as the foundation you need to pay for care, cover new expenses, and learn to adapt to your disability. A motorcycle accident injury lawyer can pursue that compensation on your behalf through insurance claims and lawsuits against the party (or parties) at fault for causing your wreck.
Who owes you damages for your motorcycle accident?
One crucial job a lawyer can do is to examine the facts and circumstances of your motorcycle accident to discover how it happened and who should pay you for the harm you suffered in it. Multiple individuals, businesses, entities, or insurance companies could have a legal obligation to compensate you.
For example, you might pursue payment from:
- A car or truck driver who triggered your crash by speeding, passing aggressively, or getting distracted behind the wheel;
- A business that employed a driver who crashed into you while driving a work vehicle;
- A bar or restaurant that served alcohol to a drunk driver who crashed into your motorcycle, if the driver was under 21 or visibly intoxicated.
- The manufacturer of your motorcycle or its parts, if defects in them caused your accident.
- A government agency or contractor, if it was responsible for causing an unreasonably dangerous road condition that made riding your bike unsafe
These are just a few examples. Every motorcycle accident case is different. The point is that a motorcycle accident injury lawyer can examine your crash and determine who caused it and what resources they have available, through insurance or assets, to pay for your damages.
What damages can you claim?
As the victim of a motorcycle accident that inflicted disabling injuries, you generally have the legal right to claim compensation for the full scope of the harm you suffered. It might surprise you to learn just how extensive your rights to compensation are.
In a typical motorcycle accident injury case, an experienced lawyer can seek payment for:
- The past and future costs of medical treatment for your injury and disabilities it caused
- The past and future costs of therapies needed to adapt to or live with your disability
- The past and future costs of medical or mobility equipment necessary to assist you in living independently
- All other past and future expenses associated with managing your life with a disability
- The earnings and benefits you have already lost because of your injury and disability
- The paid time off you have used while out of work
- The earnings and benefits you probably won’t earn in the future because of your disability
- Your physical pain and discomfort
- Your emotional struggles and mental health difficulties
- The inconvenience and disruption the disability causes in your life
- Your loss of independence
- Your diminished quality of life
- Interference with your personal or intimate relationships
- Your scarring or disfigurement
In some cases, a skilled motorcycle crash lawyer can also pursue additional damages in your name. A court may award you punitive damages, for example, if the party at fault caused your motorcycle wreck through extreme or intentionally harmful actions.
The most reliable way to find out about the types and amounts of compensation you might have the right to seek is to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer right away. Lawyers understand that money cannot directly heal the disability your crash caused. But it can go a long way in alleviating some of your burden and ensuring that you have the financial resources you need to cover expenses and adapt to your changed circumstances.
You Don’t Need to Worry About Affording a Lawyer
Injured bikers often worry that hiring a lawyer will only add to their financial difficulties by saddling them with legal bills. But that won’t happen.
Talking to a lawyer about your motorcycle accident and potential rights to compensation won’t cost you a penny. All reputable motorcycle crash attorneys offer free consultations to injured motorcyclists and their loved ones. In a consultation, the lawyer can learn a little about your case and explain your options for pursuing damages through lawsuits or insurance claims. Even if you decide against hiring the lawyer after this meeting, you’ll never owe anything for the time the lawyer spent with you or the insight you gained.
You can also count on any lawyer you hire to handle your motorcycle accident disability case to represent you on a contingent fee basis. That means the lawyer will only receive a fee for work done on your case if the lawyer gets you results. You pay nothing upfront or as the case progresses. (In limited circumstances that a lawyer can explain, you may have to pay certain court fees and costs.)
Always look for a lawyer who has a track record of motorcycle accident injury cases. And remember, the choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Take advantage of free consultations to find a lawyer who you feel you can trust with your motorcycle accident injury claim.
Tips for Protecting Your Rights
We strongly encourage you to contact an experienced attorney right away if a motorcycle accident left you disabled.
Meanwhile, protect your rights by following these tips:
- Commit to your medical care. You cannot hope to receive adequate compensation for your disability related losses without showing that you’ve done everything reasonably within your power to take care of yourself.
- Beware of any quick settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Insurance companies only offer quick settlements if they know their policyholder owes you large damages and hope they can escape that liability by convincing you to take less than you deserve.
- Don’t wait to seek legal help. You have a limited window of time in which to seek compensation for your motorcycle accident disabilities, and if you miss a deadline your rights will most likely expire permanently.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer may have additional suggestions about how to protect your rights that are specific to your particular circumstances.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Disability Injury Attorney Today
There’s no sugarcoating the fact that you face some challenges ahead after suffering a disabling injury in a motorcycle accident. But that doesn’t mean you should bear the burden of overcoming those difficulties without help.
If someone else’s wrongful actions caused your motorcycle wreck, you have potentially valuable rights to compensation for your past losses and future needs.
To learn more about your rights, contact a local motorcycle accident injury attorney today for a free case consultation.
I represent individuals in Missouri and Illinois in all types of personal injury cases. In my short time here I have obtained a judgment for $2.5 million and settled a large class action lawsuit for a confidential amount.
I love the city of St. Louis and support it and give back whenever I can. Recently I was appointed by Mayor Francis Slay to serve on the Advisory Board for the Gateway Mall.
I am married to my lovely wife Lauren and we have two beautiful daughters, Mia and Bridget.