Snellings Law PLLC Attorneys are Personal Injury Trial Lawyers
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
What You Need to Know
When I speak to various groups, even attorneys, I will many times start by asking if people know what type and how much insurance they have on their vehicle policy. What I usually receive in response is nervous laughter, a blank stare, or some other indication that they have no idea. Some people will respond with “full-coverage” or “comprehensive coverage,” but when I ask them what that means…crickets. My motorcycle riding friends tend to be the worst! So, for all of you out there, here is crash-course in motorcycle insurance (no pun intended).
The vast majority of states in the U.S. require that motorcycle owners have liability insurance. This policy covers other people if you injure them in a crash, as well as any property that may be damaged by you or your bike.
Liability insurance covers injuries and damages for when you mess up. What about for those situations when you are the one that is injured because someone else failed to pay attention, pulled in front of you, or any number of other bad driving moves or inattention? For those situations, we look to other types of coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM):
The law requires that every motorist have minimum insurance to be driving, but not everyone obeys the law or can afford policies with a wide range of coverage. Purchasing UM/UIM coverage will protect you if the other person either does not have any insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. PLEASE PURCHASE THIS COVERAGE! This is very inexpensive, and you can usually buy it in an amount up to your liability limits. If you do not have this insurance, and you are hit by someone with no insurance of their own, then you are most likely out of luck. You will have to find someone to sue an uninsured individual, get a judgment, and then try to find a way to collect on it.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
If you are in a crash—whether it was your fault or not—this type of policy can cover medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses associated with the injuries suffered in a crash. In Texas, personal injury protection cannot be subrogated against. This means your insurance company that pays you the PIP proceeds cannot require you to pay them back if you receive any money from an at-fault person’s insurance.
Medical Payments (MedPay):
This type of policy covers medical bills associated with a crash. It is not as comprehensive as personal injury protection. Also, your insurance company can subrogate against medical payments claims. This means, if your own insurance company pays out $2,500.00 in MedPay, then they will be entitled to receive $2,500.00 out of any settlement you receive from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Always choose PIP over MedPay.
If you’ve done any type of upgrades or added special features, you may not see payment for those if you find yourself in a crash. Most policies will only pay the original value of the bike minus depreciation. Adding this policy to your coverage will ensure that you get paid for the replacement cost of your bike, even if you made upgrades.
Accessory/Custom Equipment and Parts:
Like the replacement value option, this policy will help protect and cover the parts you added to your bike for customization.
Hopefully, if you are in the majority of insurance purchasers and are unclear as to exactly what coverages you have purchased, this article will encourage you to go check out your own insurance policy. If you do not see any protection for yourself in case of other people’s negligence, then be proactive and update it now. You do not want to be like many people we speak to and have it come up for the first time after a crash happens.
At Snellings Law, our sole focus is helping personal injury victims. If we can help walk you or your family through the personal injury minefield, please call us at 214.387.0387.