Can I Sue for Emotional Distress After a Motorcycle Injury?

Sue Emotional Distress after Injury

Motorcycle accidents cause not just physical injuries and monetary losses but also severe emotional distress. “Motorcycle injury” could apply both to broken bones and to post-traumatic stress disorder.

As a motorcycle accident victim, can you expect to win compensation for emotional distress damages? Yes, you can, though the process and how much you receive can depend on your location and situation.

Monetary vs. Non Monetary Damages

You probably know that after a motorcycle accident, you can claim compensation for damages like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of potential future income
  • Motorcycle repair or replacement costs

Apart from these tangible damages, your settlement may also include compensation for pain and suffering. “Pain and suffering” is a general term encompassing all your non-monetary losses, like physical pain, traumatic flashbacks, reduced quality of life, and emotional distress after a motorcycle injury.

How to Calculate Emotional Distress Damages

It’s easy to add up medical bills after an accident, but how do you attach a price tag to constant anxiety or losing the ability to enjoy the riding lifestyle you love? The insurance company responsible for compensating you will typically use one of two methods to calculate pain and suffering damages: per diem or multiplier.

The Per Diem Method

Under this method, the insurance company will set a certain amount to compensate you for pain and suffering throughout each day of your recovery period. This approach is more beneficial for injuries with a comparatively short recovery time.

The Multiplier Method

With long-term injuries, insurance companies tend to use the multiplier method to include pain and suffering damages in settlements. It works like this: The insurer will sum up all your tangible accident-related costs (such as medical and healthcare bills and lost wages) and multiply the result by a specific number, usually on a scale of 1.5 to five.

For instance, let’s say your total calculable costs after a motorcycle accident add up to $30,000, and the multiplier for pain and suffering is three. Thus, your final payout will be $90,000.

The height of the multiplier for pain and suffering is often the focal point of negotiation between lawyers and insurance companies. Normally, the more severe your injuries are, the higher you may expect this multiplier to be.

Caps on Pain and Suffering Damages

Some states set a limit on the amount of pain and suffering damages victims can claim. For example, in Maryland, this cap is a little over $900,000, and in Idaho, it’s currently $250,000, with some exceptions for cases that involve gross misconduct.

Apart from state-mandated caps, the total damages after motorcycle accidents are often higher than the at-fault motorist insurance coverage limit. For example, what if the estimated worth of your claim is $50,000, but the offending driver’s insurance policy will only cover damages up to $30,000? In this case, you have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible motorist.  

Why You Need a Skilled Lawyer

Working with an experienced, proficient lawyer can make a dramatic difference in the amount of your final settlement. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can:

  • Assess the realistic worth of your case
  • Source compelling evidence
  • Communicate with insurance companies
  • Advocate for your interests throughout the claim process
  • Fight for your rights in situations like a denied claim or a low settlement offer


Law Tigers: 30+ Years of Fighting for the Rights of Motorcycle Injury Victims and Their Families

At Law Tigers, we use an efficient and assertive legal approach to help our clients pursue adequate compensation for emotional distress after a motorcycle injury. So far, our outstanding team of motorcycle lawyers has secured over $999M for American riders and their families.

Call us at 1-888-863-7216 or contact us online for a case evaluation today.