Insurance might cover injuries caused by a motorcycle accident up to a certain limit. However, this varies based on your individual policy and the policy of the other driver– if they were at fault. If you sustain serious injuries in a motorcycle crash and the other driver was responsible, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against them to fully cover your injuries. If this has happened to you, contact our team of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at Salamati Law.
Coverage Provided by Motorcycle Insurance
As most bikers already know, a standard auto insurance policy does not cover motorcycles. If you own a motorcycle, you must purchase separate motorcycle insurance to cover it. Similar to car insurance, there are minimum coverages mandated by the state of California, but it is often wise to pay more for better protection. Minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance here in California include the following:
- $15,000 for bodily injury sustained by one person
- $30,000 for bodily injuries suffered by more than one person
- $5,000 for property damage that is caused by a crash
Why We Recommend UIM/UM Coverage
The minimum policy discussed above pays for another vehicle occupant’s injuries or property damage if you are at fault. Unfortunately, many common motorcycle injuries are serious and lead to medical bills that quickly surpass these minimum requirements. If the other driver is at fault, then you can pursue financial compensation for your injuries from them in a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, that may limit how much you can recover.
As you can imagine, severe injuries sustained in a bike crash can easily result in medical costs that quickly skyrocket past $15,000. At Salamati Law, we recommend that you spend a little more to purchase Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist (UIM/UM) Coverage to cover your expenses when the at-fault driver cannot.
Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
While it is not required by law, one option you have as a motorcycle owner is to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage. If you are involved in a serious motorcycle accident, your bike may be totaled. This type of coverage will pay in full for– among other things– the costs to repair your motorcycle following an accident, even if it was your fault. Without it, your policy will likely not cover any costs you incur if the crash was your fault, whether these costs are related to serious injuries or property damage.
What is Medical Payments Coverage?
Another optional form of motorcycle insurance coverage is medical payments coverage. This will help you pay medical bills when you sustain injuries in an accident. It supplements your health insurance. It will help ease your financial stress in the aftermath of a crash. You would not have to be concerned about how the medical bills will be paid in the period before your health insurance deductible is met or after your health insurance limit has been reached.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Make This Much Easier
Determining what your insurance will cover among your injuries sustained in a bike crash can be overwhelming, confusing, and stressful in the aftermath of the accident. At Salamati Law, we suggest that you consult with an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to gain an understanding of what is– and is not– covered, know your rights as an accident victim, and become equipped to decide what your next steps should be.
Contact Our Team of Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Since 1995, we have taken pride in reducing the stress and worries of personal injury victims and then relentlessly fighting for justice on their behalf. Additionally, we work tirelessly to maintain close communication with our clients throughout litigation. If you have questions about insurance coverage for injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident here in California, call Salamati Law today to arrange a zero-cost consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will never pay legal fees unless you win your case.
Passengers involved in motorcycle accidents can be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances. Working with Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers will help you understand whether you can pursue a financial settlement or sue for damages in court. These would cover the expense of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Family members of a passenger who died in a motorcycle accident may also litigate to cover the unexpected cost of a funeral and burial.
What Motorcycle Injuries Can I Sue For?
The most common reasons include:
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Severe road rash
- Spine damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Who Can I Sue After a Motorcycle Crash?
Discover how much insurance money you can get for your injuries with the help of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers.
You may pursue a settlement offer from:
- The Motorcyclist’s Insurer: California is a fault-based state, meaning that the insurance provider of the party who caused the accident must pay for all injuries. Sometimes it’s the motorcyclist’s insurer.
- The Other Driver’s Insurer: The other driver involved in the accident may be responsible for causing the accident– in which case, their insurance company may be ordered to pay for damages.
- Your Own Insurance Company: If your injuries exceed policy limits, you can apply your own insurance.
- A Combination of Insurers: Drivers can also share fault for causing an accident.
Most cases result in a settlement with the insurance company well in advance of a court date. However, if settlement talks fail to materialize into a fair offer, your lawyer may recommend pursuing a legal claim for damages. Typically, it is the insurance company that ends up paying the damages award.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Pursue a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
While you can technically go down to the courthouse and file the paperwork yourself, it is not advisable. Insurers are quick to capitalize off injured victims, knowing they are unaware of what constitutes a fair settlement offer and desperate to get any money to pay off bills.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you:
- Investigate the cause of the accident, using outside resources like accident reconstructionists
- Find the best possible medical care for your particular injuries
- File paperwork and keep track of all necessary documents
- Secure eyewitness testimony or expert depositions that strengthen your claim for compensation
- Accurately tally up all past, present, and future expenses, sometimes with a forensic economist’s help
- Negotiate for fair compensation, stop creditor phone calls, and cover upfront expenses of litigation
What California Laws Pertain to Passengers?
The California Vehicle Code §27800 requires passengers to ride on a securely fastened seat or attached sidecar designed for carrying passengers. Motorcycles must have appropriate footrests that are used at all times while traveling. Failure to ride on a “safe” motorcycle could result in partial liability. Children must be at least eight years of age and out of a car seat to legally ride on a motorbike.
Helmet laws apply to drivers as well as passengers. If you chose not to wear a helmet, you could still file a lawsuit, but you won’t recover full damages. For instance, if you are legally entitled to $500,000, but the defense argues you’re 25 percent liable for your injuries, you will only be able to collect $375,000.
Contact our team of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers
Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help reduce the percentage of liability you assume so that you can secure the greatest amount of compensation possible. Immediately after seeking medical treatment, contact an attorney at Salamati Law for a free consultation to explore your rights.