28 Mar

Factors That Impact Compensation In Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcycle Accidents

Factors That Impact Compensation In Motorcycle Accident Cases

In Florida, motorcyclists can seek monetary compensation in motorcycle accident cases when they were significantly injured (as long as a PIP claim is filed first). 

How much compensation will be awarded depends on many factors, but it’s important to note that insurance companies can be counted on to devalue injured motorcyclists’ claims. They lose money when they give compensation to plaintiffs, which is why it is important to work with an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer in order to maximize damages. 

The median motorcycle injury verdict in a trial is reportedly around $73,700 (according to Jury Verdict Research, published by Thomspon Reuters), but of course, it depends on the specifics of the case. Settlements are usually less, though they are speedier and avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial. Either way, the same basic factors impact how much compensation an injured motorcyclist’s claim may be worth! 

Here’s what you need to know about each:

Severity Of Injuries

Obviously, how severe a motorcyclist’s injuries are is perhaps the most influential factor when it comes to how much compensation they should recover in a settlement. Less severe injuries = less compensation. 

Say one motorcyclist suffered a broken arm in a crash, while another motorcyclist suffered road burns, a spinal cord injury, and a traumatic brain injury. While the first motorcyclist is definitely entitled to compensation, the second motorcyclist should receive significantly more because their injuries were more significant. 

Permanence Of Injuries

Likewise, injuries that will heal relatively quickly are worth less in terms of compensation than motorcycle accident injuries that will never heal. Take, for example, deep cuts and bruising (though scars may linger), or broken limbs, versus herniated discs and amputation. Permanence is another of the factors that impact compensation in motorcycle accident cases.

Impact On Career 

This is a big one – lost wages and lost future wages/ “diminished earning capacity” can be significant sources of monetary damages if the victim is unable to work due to their injuries. 

Say the motorcyclist spent a few weeks in the hospital and a few weeks at home recuperating. If they had to use up paid sick leave, or paid time off, or missed out on overtime pay that they regularly receive, then lost wages should be a part of their settlement, even if they are able to return to work after that time and function normally for the rest of their career. 

However, if the accident left them permanently disabled and no longer able to continue in the same career or work at all, the monetary damages should increase significantly. The diminished earning capacity is worth even more if they had a higher-paying job or ambitions of career success. 

Say one motorcyclist was an electrical line installer, and one motorcyclist was a janitor at a local elementary school. All things being equal, if they both were permanently disabled in an accident and can no longer work, the electrical line installer would receive more compensation because what they would have earned over the course of their career if not for the crash would have been much more than the other motorcyclist. 

Calculating diminished or lost earning capacity often requires the assistance of an economist, vocational expert, or other financial professional. 

Former Standard Of Living/Activity

If a motorcyclist was an extremely active person before the crash, but because of their injuries aren’t able to maintain that active lifestyle or pursue their hobbies, that is a factor in determining compensation.

Say one motorcyclist was an avid rock climber who was part of a gym and also enjoyed surfing. Another motorcyclist rarely worked out and had no active hobbies. Both were severely injured in motorcycle accidents. All things being equal, the first motorcyclist would likely receive more in damages than a motorcyclist who wasn’t super active before their accident.


Florida follows a modified comparative negligence standard (as of March 2023). This means that if a motorcyclist seeking damages is more than 50% at fault for the crash, they cannot seek damages from the other party; if they are less than 50% at fault for the crash, they can recover damages reduced by the percentage of fault they shared. 

For example, say a motorcyclist was weaving in and out of lanes when they were struck by someone who was texting and driving. The person who was texting and driving may be found to be 40% at fault for the crash, but the motorcyclist may be found to be 60% at fault for the crash, and can’t sue the other driver as a result. 

However, say a motorcyclist was speeding, but another driver ran a red light and collided with them; in that situation, the motorcyclist may be found to only be 20% at fault, while the driver may be found to be 80%. If damages were awarded that were $70,000, the motorcyclist may only be able to recover up to 80% ($56,000).


While motorcyclists are entitled to be safe and respected on the roads as much as any other driver or pedestrian, they are often seen as reckless, nuisances, or with other negative bias by juries. Insurance companies know this and will often reduce their settlement offers accordingly; jurors may also be less inclined to award motorcyclists as much in court.

Skilled Attorney

Another of the most direct factors that impact compensation in motorcycle accident cases is the quality of legal representation retained. Motorcyclists who represent themselves, or who have less experienced attorneys, or who have attorneys who don’t focus only on accident claims are less likely to receive fair damages. It’s the attorney’s job to argue persuasively for the full amount of compensation a motorcycle accident claim is worth; they have the knowledge and skills to negotiate successfully with the insurance company involved or litigate the case at trial! 

Contact The Florida Law Group!

The Florida Law Group is your top choice for motorcycle accident claims. If you’ve been injured by another driver while riding a motorcycle, we can help you make a strong case for maximum monetary compensation! Our attorneys are dedicated to winning. We’ve recovered over $1 billion for our clients! You don’t owe us legal fees until we win your case, so you have nothing to lose. Call today to schedule a free consultation and discuss how these factors may impact your settlement or verdict!