A Californian rider has been awarded a $US21.5m (about $A31.5m) payout for injuries suffered when a Kia Optima illegally left the carpool lane and jettisoned his bike across three lanes into a truck. The fiery crash in February 2018 left rider Matthew Rada with “catastrophic” injuries that ended his career as a graphic artist. GoPro video from another rider was used as evidence in the LA Court. The verdict against the driver and his employer may yet be appealed. However, it dwarfs a payout earlier this year to a North Carolina Harley rider. He was awarded $US4m (almost $A6m) after a crash with a driver who failed to yield right-of-way. The 29-year-old rider was travelling about 15mph (about 24km/h) when he was struck by a vehicle that accelerated away from a stop sign without seeing the motorcycle. America is renowned for its excessive compensation payouts, mainly due to high medical costs. According to a study by US Jury Verdict Research, the average motorcycle accident verdict is about $A560,000 and the median verdict award just over $US70,000. Crash payout In Australia, payouts for motor vehicle crashes are a lot less and rarely over $1m. Compensation can be determined by a number of factors. They include physical and mental injuries, the rider’s age, hospital expenses, on-going medical costs, pain and suffering, motorcycle damage and loss of earnings. Big payouts are rare in Australia and vary from state to state based on third-party insurance regulations. Riders should ensure they have adequate insurance cover and seek professional legal aid after a crash. Click here for tips on what to do after a minor crash.