Visitor Question

Motorcycle Car Crash Question…

Submitted By: Patricia (Harlan, IA)

I was going home on my motorcycle in March 2010. I approached an intersection and to my left I noticed a SUV that wasn’t stopping for their stop sign. I tried to get out of the way, but she hit me on the left side and sent me and my motorcycle skidding down the street 20+ feet.

I suffered a laceration to my left heel that required stitches, a puncture wound in my left leg, rib fractures in the 3rd, 4th and 5th ribs, my right elbow has a bone chip, I lost my left back tooth due to severed roots on the tooth from the accident, my left knee is badly sprained and I have to wear a knee brace, I have problems with my left jaw but I’m not sure what that is yet.

The driver of the SUV was ticketed for failure to obey the stop sign, so it was definitely her fault. Since the accident, I have suffered immense pain and lost a lot of work because of having to go to doctors’ visits, this accident has changed my life for the worse. I still suffer from all the fractures and pain.

I know her insurance should pay for all this but I don’t know what to do. How much should I ask for? Should I just get a lawyer?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Patricia,

Liability is clearly not an issue here, so that is fortunate.

What you need to do is complete your treatment first. Make sure that you place your health first. Additionally, you want to keep track of any out of pocket expenses, such as prescription co-pays, with a verifiable source of payment such as a receipt.

You want to get something from a work supervisor that articulates your hourly rate or salary and the exact amount of wage loss you have experienced as well as how this was calculated. This should come in the form of a letter, preferably on letterhead, signed by someone in authority.

From there, you will want to submit your medical bills, wage loss and out of pocket expenses to the insurance adjuster on this case. The standard rule of thumb is to multiply your medical bills by 2.5-3x, however in a situation such as yours with potentially permanent damage, you may be able to go as high as 5 times your medical bills. Add wage loss and out of pocket to that sum and this will represent a good starting point for settlement.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 3, 2011

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