I was asked “How often do people actually win their motorcycle accident case against insurance companies” and “How often do people get good settlement money from insurance companies, is it even worth it?”
Many lawyers don’t want to take motorcycle accident cases because juries are often not sympathetic to motorcyclists. We understand how to change that attitude. Fortunately, we have not lost a motorcycle accident case yet.
It’s usually easy to prove the driver of the other vehicle was responsible for causing your motorcycle accident, even if the motorcyclist was drunk!
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics study during a 12 month period ending June 30, 1992, 33% of cases decided by juries were automobile accident suits (the study does not mention motorcycle accidents).
In half of all jury cases, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff during the 12-month period. The median total award for a plaintiff was $52,000 (this figure is high because it includes non-tort or accident cases). Punitive damages were awarded in 6% of the jury cases where the plaintiff won. The median punitive award was $50,000. The average time from filing the complaint (start of the lawsuit) to the jury verdict was 2.5 years.
From 1992 to 2005, the total number of civil tort (accident) trials declined by 40% in the nation’s 75 most populous counties which would include all the counties in the New York Metropolitan area.
In 2005, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff in 54% of state court jury trials. The plaintiff was significantly more likely to win in a bench trial (a trial decided by a judge instead of a jury) compared to a jury trial, yet 90% of tort cases were jury trials.
The median final award for all tort plaintiff winners was $24,000. In 6.3% of jury trials, the plaintiff winner was awarded $1 million or more in compensatory and punitive damages.
The statistics involving New York motorcycle accident cases would be significantly different as compared to car accidents. Motorcycle accidents, particularly those involving Harleys and cruising motorcycles usually involve very good liability against the car which struck the motorcycle. Bikers on cruising motorcycles are usually careful drivers who are not speeding and careful to avoid accidents.
Many police accident reports show that the driver of the car which struck the motorcycle admitted liability in motorcycle accidents, possibly because of the shock of seeing the significant injuries caused. This will result in a significantly higher number of winning cases for motorcycle accidents as compared to car accidents.
Motorcycle accidents typically involve extremely serious injuries rarely seen in car accidents. Injuries caused by motorcycle accidents are frequently worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions. This will result in a significantly higher average award for motorcycle accident victims.