If you thought the cost of a motorcycle accident begins and ends at a Clarksburg ER, think again. A catastrophic motorcycle accident often results in serious injuries, the short-term treatment for which can be very costly. But the injuries can cost you thousands of dollars in the long term as well.
Insurance companies will be quick to issue a settlement offer when you file a claim for damages, and this initial settlement typically falls well below the long-term costs associated with motorcycle injuries. Before you sign a settlement agreement, take into considering the long-term damages after a motorcycle accident.
Long-term Damages after a Motorcycle Accident Include Future Medical Costs
Many accident victims believe that the ER visit following the accident will be the most costly of their medical expenses. While this may be true for some injuries, some injuries from motorcycle accidents are serious and require longer-term care and recovery.
For example, according to the Health Care Cost and Utilization Report: 2011 from the Health Care Cost Institute, outpatient surgery cost an average of $3,673 in the U.S. in 2011 and was the most costly type of hospital service. Emergency room care cost an average of $1,381, though all costs are variable depending on the injuries and their severity.
Many motorcycle injuries will require surgery to repair and recover.
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Torn ligaments
- Severely fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
Aside from surgery, physical therapy is also an often necessary, long-term component of motorcycle accident recovery. Injuries to the limbs and back may require strength and flexibility exercises to regain muscle health and movement. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) after a motorcycle accident could cause cognitive impairment that requires psychological therapy to relearn skills or improve lost cognitive function.
If a motorcyclist is severely disabled after his or her accident, he or she may require round-the-clock medical care, especially in cases of paralysis or severe head trauma. In these cases, the cost of placing the victim in a skilled nursing facility may become a reality for the victim's family. Any legal claim should account for these long-term damages after a motorcycle accident.
The Cost of Lifestyle Changes Following a Motorcycle Accident
The serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be life-altering, which might ultimately lead to even more long-term damages after a motorcycle accident. Traumatic amputation is a type of injury that may require home and vehicle remodels as well as assistive equipment for the motorcyclist to comfortably carry on his or her daily life.
Spinal cord trauma can render a motorcyclist paralyzed from the waist or neck down and also create the need for specially adapted living and transportation needs.
Serious injuries also mean the motorcyclist cannot work for an extended, sometimes permanent period. The lost wages during this time should be covered in an injury settlement for the accident, as the motorcyclist would have been able to continue working and earning an income if it were not for the negligence of the party that caused the motorcycle accident.
Finally, there are non-economical damages, commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages. These are damages awarded to the victim of a motorcycle accident for the emotional trauma caused by the accident. Accident victims may battle with depression following an accident because of the pain and frustration of recovery or the loss of function of injured body parts.
Seek Professional Help When Negotiating the Long-term Damages after a Motorcycle Accident
The insurance settlement for a serious motorcycle accident needs to take into account your current damages as well as the projected long-term damages. Therefore, it takes analysis of medical records, testimony and analysis from treating physicians, and calculation of expected wage losses and quality of life impact to truly determine the value of a motorcycle injury claim.
At the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg, our attorneys are dedicated to helping West Virginians recover damages after they have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to another's negligence. If you believe you have a motorcycle accident claim, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation: 304-931-4088.