Are You Fully Insured for Motorcycle Accidents?
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As a motorcycle owner and enthusiast, you likely know that your life could be seriously altered in mere seconds if a motorcycle accident occurs. As part of this type of accident, you could be left completely debilitated through injuries sustained in the wreck, as well as the chronic pain you may have afterward.
When you are not at fault in an accident, you may think that the at-fault or negligent driver has to pay for all of your medical and long-term care costs. But the big surprise to many motorcyclists injured in accidents that were not their fault is that many costs are not covered by insurance policies and claims. Even though the other driver was at fault in your motorcycle crash, you still may end up paying for many of your personal injury costs.
Are You Protected By Insurance When a Motorcycle Accident Occurs?
Even though your state, such as Arizona, requires all motorists and motorcyclists to carry liability insurance, this insurance will most often fall short of actual injury expenses after an accident. Worse yet, many drivers like the one who may be at fault in your accident are underinsured or even not insured at all.
If your motorcycle accident is caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, who pays for the rest of your damages? How will your medical costs be covered? Who will pay for your family’s care, if you can no longer work?
How Much Insurance Will Be Enough in an Accident?
If you are a resident of Arizona, your Arizona liability coverage must meet the state’s minimums for legal operation of your motorcycle on the state’s roads. These minimums include:
- Bodily injury coverage at $15,000 per person
- Bodily injury coverage of $30,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage of $10,000 per accident
While these amounts sound “healthy” at face value, you may be surprised to learn how much a motorcycle accident can actually cost. A serious motorcycle crash can quickly lead to medical and rehabilitation costs that far exceed insurance policy limits. A fatal motorcycle accident averages about $1.2 million in damages. If the motorcyclist survives the accident, his or her injuries can cost between $2500 and $1.4 million.
If your accident injuries cost more than the at-fault driver’s insurance limits or the limits of your policy, you may be forced to cover the rest of those costs on your own. Obviously, when injuries and other damages exceed tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, one motorcycle accident can forever damage you financially.
When an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Hits You in a Motorcycle Accident
If the at-fault driver in your motorcycle accident is uninsured or underinsured, you will have to cover many of your own expenses through your uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. If you do not have this type of coverage, you will be left paying many of your expenses out-of-pocket.
It is always important to carry UM and UIM coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy. This coverage helps to protect you and your passenger on the bike, should you be in an accident that is someone else’s fault. This coverage helps you pay for injury costs after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Covered damages can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other personal injury damages.
A Motorcycle Accident Can Happen to You
If you are a motorcyclist and you have not yet suffered injury in a motorcycle accident, it can happen to you. In fact, the likelihood of being in an accident with injuries or even fatality on your motorcycle is far greater than the likelihood of being in a car accident. Even worse, surviving a motorcycle accident is less likely than surviving a vehicle accident.
On your motorcycle, you are less visible to other motorists than when you are in a car. You are also on a vehicle with maximum exposure to surfaces, elements and obstacles. You have to use a completely different set of physical and mental skills than drivers of automobiles, too. All of these factors combine to make being on your motorcycle extremely dangerous, wherever and whenever you ride.
Making matters worse, preliminary data of May 2016 from the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration shows that motorcycle fatalities are ten percent higher in the prior 12 months than in 2014. These fatality rates rose in 31 of 50 U.S. states, as only the third year in history that fatalities from motorcycle accidents were higher than 5,000 in one year. Riding a motorcycle is always dangerous, but today these dangers are more significant and fatal than ever.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 motorcyclists had a 27 times greater likelihood of being killed in a crash than occupants of automobiles. Motorcycle riders also are five times more likely to suffer accident injuries than occupants of those closed passenger vehicles.
Help You Need after an Accident
After you have been in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, you need the immediate help of an experienced personal injury and motorcycle accident lawyer. This type of lawyer is skilled in helping motorcycle crash victims gain the compensation they deserve from insurance companies for injuries.