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World’s ‘biggest’ motorcycle crash payout

A North Carolina Harley rider has been awarded $US4m (almost $A6m) after a crash with a driver who failed to yield right-of-way in what is believed to be the world’s biggest motorcycle crash payout.

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.

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In Australia, payouts for motor vehicle crashes are a lot less and rarely over $1m.

In July this year, NSW lawyers Gerard Malouf and Partners secured a personal injury about of $800,000 for a motorcycle rider after a crash.

The claim not only included rider’s injuries, but also the pain and suffering of his family.

In the North Carolina case, Attorney Mark Jetton of Jetton & Meredith lawyers claimed for physical injuries, medical expenses and lost wages.

The young rider needed to be airlifted to hospital where he spent six days and now requires on-going therapy and medication.

Compensation claims

Compensation can be determined by a number of factors, such as 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.


  1. I had a patient who was awarded over $4M back in 2001. The poor guy was a living vegetable. A customised house and 24/7 care was provided out of the payout which was determined on the basis of a (relatively long) fifteen year survival. I have since retired and do not know if he is still alive. Honestly, I hope he isn’t.

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