Riding a motorcycle is a popular hobby and means of transportation. The enthusiasm does not seem to wane as motorcycle riders get older, as the number of older riders is increasing. While riding can still be fun and make the person feel like his younger self, it becomes more dangerous as people age. An older motorcyclist is more likely than a younger motorcyclist to suffer long-term injuries or death when involved in a motorcycle accident.
How Serious Are the Dangers for Older Motorcyclists?
The dangers older motorcyclists face should not be taken lightly. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,693 motorcycle riders died in 2015, with 35 percent of the fatalities being motorcycle riders who were 50 years old or older. A Brown School of Medicine study in 2012 also found a correlation between older riders and more serious injuries. The researchers examined data on motorcycle crashes from 2001 through 2008 from a national-injury-tracker database. They found the following:
- Motorcycle riders who were between 40 and 59 years old were twice as likely to require admission to a hospital and 66 percent more likely to suffer serious injuries than younger riders.
- Motorcyclists who were over 60 years old had a three times greater chance of needing to be admitted to a hospital and were 250 percent more likely to suffer serious injuries.
What Injuries Are Older Motorcyclists in Danger of Suffering?
While all motorcycle riders are in danger of rib fractures and dislocations, older riders were more prone than younger riders to suffer certain catastrophic injuries. These include the following:
- Injuries around the chest and rib cage
- Internal organ damage
- Brain injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries
- Other serious complications that arise due to their other underlying medical conditions
Why the Value of an Older Motorcyclist’s Claim Could Be Higher
When an older motorcyclist is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, the value of his claim could be significantly higher than a younger rider’s because his injuries are so much more serious. Some of the types of compensation that could be increased include:
- Medical expenses. An older motorcyclist is likely to incur additional medical expenses for his hospitalizations, surgery, physical therapy, and doctor bills given the severity of his injuries, the long-term nature of some of them, and the slower recovery period due to the rider’s age.
- Lost wages. An older motorcyclist will most likely be off work for longer recovering from his injuries—if he is not permanently disabled. In addition, his wage claim may be larger because he may have a higher average wage than a younger victim.
- Pain and suffering. If an older motorcyclist suffers more serious injuries, he will also suffer more physical pain and emotional trauma from his injuries. This could increase the value of this portion of his claim.
- Wrongful death damages. If an older motorcycle rider dies as a result of his injuries, his family may have a larger wrongful death claim for unpaid medical bills, support for the dependents who likely relied on his support, and for wages due to his higher income.
If you are an older rider, you could be off work for months or longer with no income while you recover from your injuries. You need to hold the negligent driver and his insurance company accountable for compensating you for your injuries. In order to receive the settlement you are entitled to you, you need the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate your claim and negotiate your settlement.
Unfortunately, the value of your claim may exceed the amount of insurance coverage that the negligent driver carries—assuming that he follows the law and has insurance. That is why you need an attorney willing to investigate all avenues of payment. At Brauns Law, our experienced legal team is committed to obtaining the settlements our clients deserve—and will aggressively pursue compensation from all possible sources. Were you or a family member injured in a motorcycle accident? Fill out our online form or call us to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your legal options.