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How Much Does a Motorcycle Crash Cost?

motorcycle accident lawyer in san diegoA motorcycle crash not only causes extensive damage to your motorcycle, but it can also cause substantial injury to you and any of your passengers. How much does a motorcycle crash cost, exactly? The cost of your accident may vary depending on the cost of your bike, the cost of your medical bills, and the other financial losses that you suffered because of your accident.


Damage to Your Motorcycle

The average used motorcycle costs between $4,000 and $10,000, making motorcycles a highly cost-efficient means of transportation. More expensive motorcycles, including sportbikes, may cost a great deal more. Expensive brands and sports bikes may cost even more, especially if you have made costly modifications to your motorcycle.

In a serious crash, your motorcycle may suffer substantial damage. Damage that impacts the frame may total your motorcycle, which means that you will need to replace it, rather than repairing it. If you can fix your motorcycle, it may lead to a costly mechanic bill, not to mention plenty of time without your motorcycle. In some cases, you may need to arrange for alternative transportation during its repair. Renting a car can vary dramatically in cost, depending on your city, how many miles you will need to put on the car, and the type of vehicle that you rent.

Medical Costs

Following your motorcycle crash, you may need to seek medical attention immediately. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the worse your injuries may become. The cost of that medical treatment, however, can add up, especially if you have to seek long-term care because of severe injuries.

Ambulance Transport and Emergency Medical Treatment

An ambulance ride can range from around $400 to around $1,200, with additional costs for extra mileage if you need to go a long distance to reach your preferred hospital.

Emergency room treatment can cost even more.

Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need x-rays, treatment for broken bones, or even emergency surgery. You may need stitches to close wounds or a full evaluation to assess trauma to the head.

Sometimes, you can go home after receiving treatment in the emergency room. Other times, however, you may need to stay in the hospital long-term.

Surgical Treatment

The cost of surgical treatment for your injuries will depend on the type of surgery that you need. Broken bones may require surgery to properly set the break and improve your overall prognosis. If you have a herniated disc from your motorcycle accident, you may need surgery to treat the disc. Motorcycle accidents may also cause internal bleeding or organ trauma, which may also require surgical care.

Surgical costs can add up. Not only do you have to pay for the surgeon’s skill, but you may also need to pay for the anesthesiologist, any tools used during your surgery, and for the use of the facility.


Hospital costs average nearly $4,000 per day if you need to remain in the hospital long-term. Severe injuries may also require a longer-term stay in the hospital or a specialty unit. If you suffer severe burns or even substantial road rash over a large portion of your body, you may need to stay in the burn unit, which will likely increase your overall costs. If you need to stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), where you will receive increased care, you may have higher costs than if you can stay in a standard hospital room.

Durable Medical Equipment

During your recovery, you may need to use durable medical equipment, including a wheelchair or crutches and braces, to get around. Certain wheelchairs can cost thousands of dollars, depending on whether you need to use a motorized wheelchair to cope with mobility difficulties.

You may also need special medical equipment as you progress through your recovery, including:

  • A hospital bed;
  • Special shoes or braces;
  • Positive airway pressure machines, if you damaged your airway or lungs in some way; or
  • Specialty toilets or devices to aid in independence.

The more severe your injuries, the more equipment you may need to aid in your recovery. The more equipment you need, the more it can cost.


After a severe motorcycle accident, you may need long-term therapy. Therapy usually comes in one of three forms.

  • Psychological therapy. Many motorcycle accident victims struggle to cope with the challenges that result from their injuries. If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident, you may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or have trouble sleeping after your accident. Changes to your life, including new limitations from your injuries or severe scarring, can leave you with ongoing trauma. Often, working with a psychologist can help you work through many of those concerns. While some psychologists offer sliding-scale payment options, ongoing psychological therapy can still grow expensive. If you pay a psychologist out of pocket and do not work with a therapist that provides sliding scale options, it may cost between $60 and $120 per session.
  • Physical therapy. On average, physical therapy costs around $125 per session without insurance. Many insurance companies will cover only a limited number of physical therapy visits per year. If you suffered severe injuries in your motorcycle accident, your doctor may recommend more physical therapy than your insurance covers, which can leave you struggling to pay those bills. Physical therapy aids in regaining strength and mobility lost due to your injuries. A physical therapist can help you learn how to walk again after severe leg injuries, for example, or strengthen an arm broken in your accident so that you can use it as normally as possible.
  • Occupational therapy. In addition to physical and psychological therapy, many people who suffer life-altering injuries, including motorcycle accident victims, may go through occupational therapy to learn how to cope with their injuries and limitations. For example, if your motorcycle accident amputated a limb, you may need to learn how to modify your activities to account for a missing limb or relearn how to walk with a prosthesis. If you suffer spinal cord injury or a severe back injury that leaves you in a wheelchair, you may need to learn how to navigate with that wheelchair and take care of normal self-care tasks. An occupational therapist can help make those tasks easier. Occupational therapy not covered by insurance, however, could cost between $50 and $400 per hour.

Skilled Nursing Care

Some motorcycle accident victims choose to return home as soon after their accidents as possible. They may, however, still need skilled nursing care to maintain the quality of their lives and receive the medical treatment that they need for their injuries. The daily rate of in-home nursing care may start at around $200, but may increase depending on your specific needs and your level of independence. The more care you need, the more time you may need the nurse to come, and the more it may cost.

Long-Term Facility Use

If you suffer such severe injuries that you cannot return home, or if you do not have appropriate care lined up for after you leave the hospital, you may choose to stay in a long-term care facility. In these facilities, you can receive a high standard of care and assistance taking care of the activities of daily living. You can also focus heavily on your recovery, rather than having to worry about many of the usual activities that go along with day-to-day life. Unfortunately, those facilities often prove very expensive; in fact, you may spend up to $7,000 per month to stay in a facility that offers skilled nursing care.

Modifications to Your Home

If you suffered serious, long-term injuries in your accident, you may need to modify your home to make it easier to manage independently. If you end up in a wheelchair, for example, your home may not seem as accessible as you now require.

You may need to make several modifications, including:

  • Installing a wheelchair ramp. If you have stairs leading into your home, you may need to install a wheelchair ramp. The average wheelchair ramp costs $1,800. You may see higher costs depending on the slope leading up to your door; in general, the more space the wheelchair ramp must cover, the more expensive it may grow.
  • Widening doorways. If you have to use a wheelchair long-term, you may need to widen doorways to make your home more accessible. The cost will depend on the number of doors in your home and whether you need to hang a door back in those spaces or want to leave the doorway open to improve accessibility.
  • Bathroom modifications. Many people need to modify their bathrooms after an accident that results in serious injury. You may need a walk-in or roll-in shower or to change countertop heights so that you can more easily access things from a wheelchair. Even if you do not need to use a wheelchair long-term, you may want to install grab bars to make it easier to navigate in your bathroom safely during your recovery.
  • Kitchen modifications. If you have to use a wheelchair, you may need to modify your kitchen to meet your new needs, including changing countertop height and moving the location of your appliances, like your oven, stove, and dishwasher. The cost to manage those modifications may depend on your specific needs, the size of your kitchen, and the type of appliances that you choose to install.

Lost Income

In addition to the tangible costs that you may incur following your motorcycle accident, you may also lose your job. Some motorcycle accident victims can quickly return to work after their injuries. Others may have to wait longer before they can go back to work, and some may never return to their previous jobs.

Lost income can occur in several different forms following a motorcycle accident, including:

  • Lost work immediately after the accident. Immediately after your accident, you may not have the ability to go back to work. You may need to spend time focusing on your recovery, or you might lack the strength needed to complete your usual job duties. For example, if you work in a warehouse, you may have trouble taking care of your job duties while suffering from broken bones. Likewise, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury in your motorcycle accident, you may need time to heal before you can resume your usual job responsibilities.
  • Limited work hours when you return. Sometimes, you may return to work on a limited basis. Your employer might make it possible for you to go back to work part-time or allow you to work from home as you can, within the limitations of your injuries and the recommendations of your employer. Those limited hours, however, may not reflect your usual income, which can leave you struggling to pay your bills.
  • Lost hours due to appointments. If you suffered serious injuries, you may need to miss work for follow-up procedures, visits with your doctor, or therapy appointments. Those lost hours can add up quickly over the initial days of your recovery.
  • Lost vacation or sick time. Some employers will allow you to use paid time off to increase your wages during your recovery. However, in this case, you likely can’t use that time for other purposes in the future, including illness, family need, and vacation time. As a result, those hours may also count as lost wages, and you may choose to include them as part of the calculations for a motorcycle accident claim, even though you did not actually miss the income from those hours.
Attorney John Gomez
Motorcycle Accident Attorney, John Gomez

Motorcycle accidents can prove incredibly expensive, both in terms of immediate medical expenses and in terms of your overall financial losses. If you need to calculate the cost of your motorcycle accident to put together a motorcycle accident claim that includes all your costs related to your accident injuries, an attorney can help. Contact an San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about your eligibility to pursue compensation and to get a better picture of what your motorcycle accident claim should look like.

Gomez Trial Attorneys
655 West Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, Ca 92101

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