Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences on the lives of the victims and their family members. A motorcycle accident happens in an instant, but it upends lives and livelihoods, causing traumatic repercussions that may be felt for months or even years. When a motorcycle collides with another vehicle – which is how a vast majority of motorcycle accidents occur – the motorcyclist usually suffers greater, and graver, injuries.
A motorcycle does not have a metal frame or cabin, like cars or trucks do to surround and protect their occupants, and it also lacks such safety devices as seatbelts and airbags. So, while motorcycling may be a thrilling hobby or an efficient way of avoiding traffic, it involves certain risks that are worth assessing.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at TorkLaw have successfully represented many clients who have been injured in these types of crashes. We have witnessed first-hand the type of damage it inflicts on individuals and their families.
Here are 15 ways motorcycle accidents can affect your life significantly:
Dealing With Property Damage
Often, the very first consequence of being in a motorcycle accident is losing your vehicle. When you have been involved in a serious motorcycle accident, it is likely that your motorcycle could be totaled, which would be a huge inconvenience if you don’t have another a means of transportation. In Southern California, public transportation tends to be inconvenient, so commuting to and from work may become difficult.
While it might be tempting to repair your motorcycle right away, our motorcycle accident attorneys recommend that you preserve your vehicle in its current condition until an accident reconstruction expert can thoroughly examine it.
Coping With Pain
Often after a motorcycle accident, the severity of your injuries may not be immediately apparent. You may have visible injuries such as lacerations or road rash, or feel a significant amount of pain that requires medication. You may have suffered broken bones and other internal injuries, which may result in chronic pain over the long term. You may not be able to walk, stand, or sometimes even sit without pain. In some cases, the pain may be minor in the beginning, because you are still in shock. Many victims only realize the impact of their injuries when the pain intensifies and begins to interfere with their everyday activities. When you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, it is important to receive medical attention promptly, even if you think the injury is not serious.
Being Unable to Go to Work
One of the first consequences of a motorcycle accident injury is being unable to work. You may have been hospitalized or require surgery. You may require further rehabilitation before you can go back to work. If you have suffered major injuries, it is not uncommon that you may be out of work for months or even a year. The longer you are away from your job, the greater the threat to your financial situation. If you are self-employed, this might affect you even more.
In most cases, individuals are able to get disability benefits during the time they take off from work. If the motorcycle accident occurred when you were on the job, you may also be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.
Dealing with Accident Related Treatment
After suffering injuries from an accident, you are likely to face numerous issues relating to your healthcare, including emergency transportation immediately following the incident, and consultations with doctors, specialists and physical therapists for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. The costs for these add up quickly.
Dealing With Medical Bills
Healthcare may quickly become very complicated. Your health insurance may not cover all your treatments. You may have questions regarding your medical bills, including who is responsible for them, and how you are going to afford them initially. Even with auto and health insurance, the costs accrue very quickly.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you keep track of your medical bills and come up with ways to pay them, like filing a motorcycle accident claim. You may be able to tap into a number of sources to help pay medical bills, including, but not limited to, health insurance and auto insurance.
The Hassle of Dealing With a Motorcycle Accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a stressful and frustrating experience, as you typically have to contact your insurance company, deal with paperwork and respond to requests for official statements. You may simply want to be left alone to recover from your injuries and get your life back on track. It is comforting to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help deal with these stressful and time-consuming issues for you. When you have a knowledgeable injury lawyer on your side, dealing with the insurance company and other parties is not your headache any more. Your lawyer will help you handle all that, and fight to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Inability to Do Household Work
If you are dealing with physical injuries after a devastating motorcycle accident, you will likely be unable to do many household chores. For example, driving your kids to school, gardening, cooking and other routine activities, which you took for granted, may simply be impossible after your accident. You may have to consider hiring a housekeeper, taking cabs to doctor’s appointments or coming up with other solutions for actions you may not be able to perform for several weeks of even months. This may lead to additional financial stress as well.
Being Unable to Enjoy Life
For many motorcycle accident victims, life becomes unrecognizable after the crash. If you are an active and dynamic individual with hobbies and a busy social life, that may grind to a halt if you are seriously injured and cannot move around.
The sudden inability to to enjoy your life the same way can have serious emotional and psychological effects. Some victims find it difficult to remain hopeful when they are no longer able to do the things they used to. It is important to rally your network of family and friends around you to stay positive as you recover from your injuries.
Losing Your Livelihood and Earning Capacity
This is one of the most devastating effects of being injured in a motorcycle accident. If you are the sole breadwinner or primary wage earner in your family, not being able to work – even for a short period of time – may prove tremendously stressful from a financial point of view. If you have been catastrophically injured and are never able to return to your job, or you lose the earning capacity you had prior to the accident, it may deal a devastating blow to your entire family.
Examples of catastrophic injuries that are commonly sustained in motorcycle accidents include traumatic head injuries, spinal cord damage and limb amputations. The loss of income and benefits, such as insurance and pensions, may be extremely hard to take. It is important that these types of losses are included in a motorcycle accident claim.
Facing the Financial Challenges
As we’ve seen so far, with the potential loss of income and exponentially growing medical bills and other expenses such as hiring a gardener or housekeeper, the financial challenge in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be formidable.
This is one of the most important reasons why motorcycle accident victims should not rush to settle their claim. It is crucial to sit down with your attorney and evaluate the nature and extent of your losses while taking into consideration other foreseeable and unforeseeable expenses, such as a surgery you may need later as a result of health complications you are currently suffering. If you settle your claim prematurely, you may not be able to seek full compensation for all your losses.
The decisions you make while you deal with your motorcycle accident claim may very well determine your family’s financial future. It is crucial that you keep copies of all documents, especially invoices and bills relating to the accident and injury. You may be able to seek compensation for your medical and other expenses by filing an injury claim.
Coping With Psychological Issues
Those who have suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents not only face physical health complications, but also psychological issues. Some may suffer from severe depression because they are unable to work or they have suffered severe scarring or disfigurement in the accident. Road rash and burn injuries may leave victims with these types of issues.
Some accident victims are also severely traumatized by the incident. As a result, they may have to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Such victims may need ongoing psychological therapy to help cope with a number of these issues. The costs of psychological therapy can also add up and are often not covered by insurance.
Learning to Deal With Legal Issues
One of the most important steps to take if you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident is to file a claim against the at-fault parties. You need a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer on your side who will fight for your rights. It is practically impossible to be able to handle the legal issues on your own, and your top priority should be to recover from your injuries and focus on the other aspects of your life that need attention during this extremely challenging time.
Your attorney will be able to handle issues such as court hearings, filing legal briefs and other necessary paperwork to get your claim moving in the right direction. It is also important that you do not talk to insurance companies for other parties before you have spoken to your attorney. Do not sign any papers without reading and understanding them. Do not provide other parties with your financial or medical information. Please remember that insurance companies don’t look out for your best interests. Their goal is to make a claim go away quickly. Do not agree to anything without talking to your attorney.
Coping With Long-term Injuries and Disabilities
One of the biggest challenges after a major injury motorcycle accident is to have to deal with life-altering disabilities. For example, if you have suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury, you may become confined to a wheelchair. This means many changes to your home and lifestyle.
You may not be able to continue with your current job. You may be reassigned to a desk job, for example. If you have lost a limb, learning to walk with a prosthetic can be a significant challenge. Accident victims need a strong support group around to help them physically and emotionally cope with such severe setbacks.
Family Members Feel the Stress Too
In addition to the injured motorcycle accident victim, family members of the victim also suffer from severe emotional stress, as well as emotional pain and suffering. Not only do they feel helpless seeing their loved ones suffer, but they must also deal with financial and other challenges as the victim recovers from his or her injuries. Relationships also become stressful as couples deal with interpersonal issues, including the inability to have intimacy. It might be helpful in such cases to not only spend more time with family members, but also to go to counseling as a family.
Precautions While Posting on Social Media
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is best to avoid posting anything about your incident on social media or online. At this point, you may even want to maintain a low profile on all your social media accounts, because what you post on social media or online may be used against you. Insurance companies and defense attorneys tend to scour social media accounts for material such as posts, photos or videos they can use against you. So, if you’ve been injured in an accident and are going through the claims process, minimize all online activity until your claim is resolved.
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be traumatic and stressful for everyone concerned. Your life may be changed in many ways. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help guide you through what may be a complex legal process and help you secure compensation for the numerous damages sustained from the accident. Contact us for a free consultation.