Motorcycle Accident

An injured motorcyclist faces extensive financial harm after an accident. They may have medical bills, lost wages, and likely will have to have damage to their bike repaired. They also may have depression, pain, or other symptoms which harm their quality of life. The financial, emotional, and mental toll of an accident can be extreme.

You can sue for compensation if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident because of another person’s negligence. However, you may wonder, what damages can you sue for? Can you sue someone for the loss of enjoyment of life if your quality of life is impacted by the accident? Below, the personal injury attorneys at TonaLaw explain the damages available in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.  

Motorcycle Lawsuits and Insurance Claims 

Motorcyclists are excluded from New York’s no-fault insurance laws. This means that rather than being able to go to your own insurance company to cover the damages you incur in an accident without finding fault, you must file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit for damages. 

The idea of filing a lawsuit is daunting. If you’re a motorcyclist, you may wonder, what damages can you sue for in a personal injury claim? The upside of a motorcyclist being exempt from the no-fault system is that they can sue for every penny of their damages. In a car accident claim, on the other hand, the only way a car accident victim can sue the responsible party directly is if they have a serious injury as defined under New York law. A motorcyclist has no such limitations in a lawsuit.

What Damages Can You Sue for if You’re a Motorcycle Accident Victim?

If you’ve been the victim of a motorcycle accident, you may wonder, specifically, what damages can you sue for after an accident? To understand what damages you can sue for, you must first understand damages. 

Damages are the law’s way of making someone who’s been harmed whole. The person legally responsible for the harm must pay the victim damages once they’re proven to be at fault.

There are three primary types of damages a motorcycle accident victim can recover from an at-fault party. These are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. We describe these damages and their differences below. 

Economic Damages

All actual, quantifiable losses related to the accident are generally considered economic damages. Economic damages are essentially losses that have a relatively straightforward dollar amount attached. Below are some common types of economic damages.

Medical Expenses

The costs of medical treatment after an accident can be overwhelming. If you had to stay a night or several nights in the hospital or undergo surgery, these expenses could quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Under New York law, you can sue the responsible party for these damages. These damages are considered economic damages because they usually have an exact dollar amount, as reflected in medical bills.

Property Damage

You can sue for the cost of any motorcycle repairs you may need due to the responsible party’s actions. If your bike is totaled, you can sue for the full value of the bike or a replacement. Property damages all have relatively precise numbers attached to them.

Lost Past and Future Wages

If you’ve been out of work due to your injuries from the motorcycle accident, you likely have lost wages. Fortunately, you can sue the at-fault party for your lost wages. Plus, if your doctor believes you still have some time to recover before you can return to work, the responsible party can be liable for lost future wages. 

Non-Economic Damages

A rider may experience mental, physical, or emotional harm from an accident. These harms do not have a clear or straightforward dollar amount attached to them, yet their impact on the life of the injured rider can be great. Compensation for these intangible losses after an accident is called non-economic damages. 

Some common forms of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Mental anguish,
  • Emotional distress,
  • Loss of consortium, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Sometimes, to support a case for non-economic damages, your attorney may need to speak with your therapist, family members, or friends. Those closest to you can describe your behavioral differences before and after the accident. This will help your attorney calculate a fair dollar amount for your non-economic losses.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages do not compensate the victim for their losses. Rather, they punish the at-fault party for particularly bad behavior that the law wants to deter. Specifically, you can seek punitive damages if you can prove, with clear and convincing evidence, that the at-fault party was:

  • Malicious,
  • Willful or wanton, or
  • Acting with complete disregard for the safety of others.

The standard for proving punitive damages – clear and convincing evidence – is much higher than other damages. There are some instances, however, when courts are more likely to award punitive damages. For example, if a drunk driver injured you, a court is much more likely to award punitive damages.

Can You Sue Someone for Loss of Enjoyment of Life?

Yes, you can sue someone for the loss of enjoyment of life after your motorcycle accident if you can prove that you’re entitled to these damages. The loss of enjoyment of life is generally under the category of non-economic damages.  

In order to determine if you can sue someone for the loss of enjoyment of life, you must first understand what this term means. Many understand the loss of enjoyment of life as losing the ability to take pleasure in things that used to bring you pleasure. However, you may also sue for loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer participate in tasks you did before the accident or you cannot do regular daily tasks.

Remember that the loss of enjoyment of life is not necessarily a separate category of damages. You and your attorney will typically come up with a total dollar amount for your non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and the loss of enjoyment of life.

TonaLaw Can Fight for Your Motorcycle Accident Compensation

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Long Island, you can turn to the trusted personal injury attorneys at TonaLaw to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys can investigate your damages claims, estimate your potential compensation, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get a fair settlement. Plus, if the case doesn’t settle, our attorneys are ready to go to trial in court if that’s in your best interests. Contact our client-centered practice to experience the TonaLaw difference today.

What Our Clients Are Saying

TonaLawExcellentTonaLaw5.0 Based on 406 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onmichele mechwartmichele mechwart ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThank you for leaving us a 5 star review Michele! Aaron ThomasAaron Thomas ★★★★★ Finding Tona Law to represent me and my family with my accident was nothing short of a blessing. Their entire team at the firm from Ana down to Thomas have not only shown exceptional professionalism and attention to detail, but they go above and beyond to make sure I was informed every step of the way concerning my case. I highly recommend them and if I ever find myself in a similar situation, I would not hesitate to reach out to them.Response from the ownerAaron, thanks so much for the kind words and trusting us with your case. You were cool, calm and collected the entire way through your case and your trust in us is truly valued. We made an amazing team together. Randall GRandall G ★★★★★ It was a pleasure working with Tone law.. 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Thank you for trusting TonaLaw to assist you! Rose FrancisqueRose Francisque ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThank you for your review Rose! Kj MuchKj Much ★★★★★ The whole team has been extremely passionate, caring and understanding thru this whole process. This was a first for me. The firm came highly recommended thank you Ralph.Special thanks to Jayda a Ana. Thanks again.Response from the ownerThank you so much for your heartfelt words! We're thrilled to hear that our team's dedication and compassion made a positive impact on your experience. Your satisfaction and well-being are always our top priorities, especially during what can often be a challenging process. Thank you again for choosing TonaLaw! RONZA DIGIORGIORONZA DIGIORGIO ★★★★★ I was referred to Tona law by a friend following a horrific accident. Mr. Tona himself called me immediately from his family vacation and set me up with a team of professional , caring people that guided me through my recovery every step of the way. I would give 10 stars if i could !Response from the ownerIt was our privilege to assist you during such a difficult time, and we're glad that Mr. Tona and our team could be there for you when you needed us most. Your acknowledgment means the world to us, and we'd give 10 stars right back if we could! If there's ever anything else we can do for you, please don't hesitate to reach out. Thank you for choosing TonaLaw. Muhammad KhanMuhammad Khan ★★★★★ Jayda and laureen are so nice and professional and they really helped me from start to finish and they always respond me back. Please get help from tonalaw if you need any in regards to accidents. ThanksResponse from the ownerMuhammad, thank you so much for your recommendation. We're delighted that you felt well taken care of from start to finish. If you ever need assistance again in the future or know someone who does, please don't hesitate to reach out. Thanks again! 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He is very detail oriented, a great advocate, and an empathetic individual.I have referred a few clients during their time of need over to Will and the friendly staff at Tona Law. He is willing to go above and beyond for others.CARLOS RODRIGUEZCARLOS RODRIGUEZ ★★★★★ I have known Will Ramos for 15 plus years and can attest to his character in placing the needs for others above his own. He is an asset to any organization and a team player with positive attitude.Jessica MalaveJessica Malave ★★★★★ I’ve known attorney Will Ramos for 16 years he always places the needs of others above his own. He is a caring man and super understanding and has a big heart.Bianca RamosBianca Ramos ★★★★★ Attorney Will Ramos is awesome the law firm is lucky to have someone like him part of their team. He genuinely cares for others and is always willing to lend a helping hand.Response from the ownerBianca, thank you for leaving a wonderful review for our firm. 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