How Much Is My Motorcycle Injury Claim Worth?

The actual value of your motorcycle injury claim in Chicago, will depend on the type and severity of your injuries, your percentage of liability, and total losses incurred. Insurance coverage, motorcycle bias, the strength of evidence, and whether your case resolves through out-of-court settlement or court verdict will also affect how much your claim is worth. Additionally, the outcome of your claim will depend on whether you work with a lawyer or alone.

Motorcycle hit by car on Toronto street during summer day. Police car on the site too. motorcycle injury claim

Motorcycle accident lawyers at Ankin Law can review your case and determine how much your motorcycle injury claim is worth. Call 312-600-0000 today for legal help.

What Factors Determine the Value of a Motorcycle Injury Claim?

Each motorcycle accident is unique. Lawyers and insurance companies consider multiple factors when calculating how much a claim is worth. The factors that will apply to your situation will depend on the specifics of your accident. Generally, the most common factors determining the value of a motorcycle injury claim include:

Type and Severity of Injuries Sustained

The type and severity of your injuries will affect the amount and types of personal injury damages you can recover after a motorcycle accident. Minor injuries, such as bruises, scrapes, and other soft tissue injuries, will result in low medical expenses. You might also not incur lost wages or income from such injuries. As such, minor injuries often result in lower payouts.

Severe injuries, such as damaged spine, head, and neck injuries, will require costly treatment procedures and ongoing medical care. They may subject you to physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages. Such injuries will keep you from working or running your business, leading to wage or income loss. Push for a higher compensation if you sustained life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle accident.


Illinois uses a fault-based insurance system. Under this system, the person whose negligence causes an accident is responsible for paying for all losses arising from that accident. So, the party found to be liable for your accident will be required to cover all your damages and expenses.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant may be liable in some motorcycle accidents. The Illinois modified comparative negligence rule applies to such cases. The rule will bar you from obtaining compensation if you were more than 50% at fault for the accident.

You will be eligible for compensation if your percentage of fault for the crash is below 50%. The insurance company or the court will, however, lower your compensation in proportion to your share of liability.

Total Losses Incurred

Medical expenses, lost earnings due to missed work, and property damage will impact the value of your motorcycle injury claim. An accident victim who stayed in the hospital for weeks or months may be entitled to higher compensation than someone discharged after a few days. Similarly, someone who stayed away from work longer may receive a higher payout than someone who missed just one or two days.

Insurance Coverage

Motorcyclists must have liability insurance before registering and riding their motorcycles on Illinois roadways. Minimum liability insurance limits are:

  • Bodily injury coverage per individual worth $25,000;
  • Total bodily injury coverage per crash worth $50,000; and
  • Property damage per crash worth $20,000.

Your damages may surpass the at-fault party’s liability coverage limits. This is especially true if you sustain debilitating injuries. The average payout for such injuries is often higher than that of less serious injuries. You may have to rely on your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage if the liable party is uninsured or has inadequate insurance.

Motorcycle Bias

Some judges and jury members may hold personal prejudices against motorcyclists. These biases may affect the value of a motorcycle injury claim. Your best shot at overcoming motorcycle bias and recovering reasonable compensation is to build a strong case and prove each element in your injury claim with compelling evidence. A lawyer who has successfully represented motorcycle accident victims over the years can help you achieve that.

Settlement vs. Court Verdict

How much you will receive from a successful motorcycle injury claim will depend on the stage at which it resolves. Resolving the case through an insurance settlement process is faster and cheaper. It may lead to a lower payout, though.

Resolving the case at trial is time-consuming and costly, but may result in higher compensation. Punitive damages may be available at trial if the judge or jury determines the defendant’s actions to be egregiously negligent.

Legal Representation vs. Self-Representation

Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries and attract higher compensation than car accidents. The reason is that a motorcycle offers less shield to the motorcyclist than the car’s frame offers the driver and passenger. Insurance companies work with lawyers and investigators to minimize payouts. The odds will be against you if you choose to represent yourself.

Understanding all laws, case studies, and precedents related to your case is not easy. You may miss deadlines or fail to include all the necessary documents due to limited knowledge of legal procedures. The outcome will be a low payout or even denial of your claim.

Only a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can accurately determine the value of your motorcycle injury claim, protect your rights and interests throughout the process, and fight for maximum compensation.

Strength of the Evidence

The available evidence can affect the outcome and compensation amount. The stronger the evidence, the higher the chance of obtaining a reasonable payout. The weaker the evidence, the lower your chance of getting a fair compensation. Evidence that can help support your claim includes medical records, eyewitness statements, proof of wages or income lost, and accident reconstruction reports.

Calculating the Value of Your Motorcycle Injury Claim

You can calculate how much your motorcycle injury claim is worth by determining the value of economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are objective, measurable financial losses arising from the motorcycle accident. They include past, current, and future medical costs, wages or earnings lost, and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.

Non-economic losses are the subjective, non-quantifiable losses you have incurred and will continue to incur because of the motorcycle accident. Examples of these losses include pain and suffering, psychological trauma, and diminished quality of life.

You can start your calculation by summing up all your medical bills and expenses from the accident. These costs are easy to quantify, as you can put a dollar value on each resulting loss. You can also obtain documentation to prove these losses.

The next step is to calculate non-economic losses. Since assigning a value to these losses is difficult, you can use the multiplier method to determine their value. This method multiplies the economic damage by a digit between 1.5 and 5. That digit is known as the multiplier.

After using the multiplier and getting a non-economic damages figure, you can add that figure to the economic damages to arrive at an estimated value of your motorcycle injury claim.

The multiplier to use in your calculations will depend on:

  • The amount of treatment you have obtained
  • Whether you will require ongoing treatment
  • Whether you will attain full recovery
  • The severity of your injuries

In 2022, motorcycle crashes accounted for 12.6% of all deaths stemming from motor vehicle accidents in Illinois. You may be entitled to wrongful death damages if you lost a family member in a motorcycle accident.

The input of a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer is instrumental in calculating your claim’s value. The lawyer knows what damages are recoverable in a motorcycle accident and can use an appropriate formula to arrive at a figure that accounts for all your losses.

How Illinois Laws and Regulations Impact Your Motorcycle Claim

State laws may have an impact on your motorcycle accident case.

The Statute of Limitations

Like any other personal injury claim, motorcycle accident claims have a two-year statute of limitations. This timeline starts from the day of the accident or when you recognized or should have reasonably recognized your injury. Missing this deadline will result in loss of your right to claim compensation from the at-fault party or the at-fault party’s insurer. In fact, the court will most likely dismiss your claim if you file past the deadline.

Modified Comparative Negligence

You will lose your right to recover damages if your share of liability for the accident is above 50%. If you are less than 50% liable, an amount representing your percentage of liability will be subtracted from your total compensation.

Safety Equipment Requirements

Illinois requires motorcyclists to wear safety equipment, such as riding jackets, leather gloves, closed-toes boots, and high-visibility vests. At the moment, the state does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets. That will change if House Bill 5620 is passed and signed into law. The liable party’s insurer may use evidence of failure to put on safety equipment to devalue your claim or deny it altogether.

Motorcycle accident lawyers at Ankin Law have a stellar record of helping clients recover compensation that covers the full scope of their losses. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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