This is Hugh Howerton and I’ve written this report to help explain how car insurance works in motorcycle accidents.
If you ever find yourself hurt in a motorcycle accident not your fault what happens now? How does car insurance work in motorcycle accidents? Who is going to fix my bike? Who is going to pay my medical bills and lost wages. What happens if the other person didn’t have car insurance? What kind of settlement can I get?
Let’s go through different examples so you see how it works.
THE OTHER DRIVER HAD CAR INSURANCE AND WAS AT FAULT FOR THE WRECK.
O.K. The insurance company will likely pay. You can make two claims against the insurance company. One to have your bike repaired or totaled and another claim for your own injuries. Under the law you are entitled to be paid for the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, impairment and scarring. But it depends on how much insurance the other driver had at the time of the wreck. If they only had the minimum amount of insurance $30,000 and your injuries are really serious, the most their insurance company is going to pay is $30,000 for your injuries. Fair? Of course not but legal? I’m afraid so.
THE OTHER DRIVER DID NOT HAVE INSURANCE AND YOU HAD ONLY LIABILITY INSURANCE
Sorry, but you are probably out of luck and stuck with all the mess. About 25% of drivers in Texas do not carry liability insurance. Sure, it’s illegal but they do it anyway. Sure, you can sue the other driver but there is a good chance they will have no money to pay even if you win.
So, what can I do to protect myself?
ANSWER: Call you motorcycle insurance company and add uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your motorcycle insurance policy. It’s called UM/UIM insurance. Yes, it costs more but if you have an accident with another driver who is at fault for the wreck and they don’t have insurance you can make a claim against your own insurance company to pay you for your personal injuries, medical bills and lost wages.
If you want protection in case your motorcycle is damaged you will need “Collision Insurance” UM/UIM only pay for your personal injuries not damage to your motorcycle. Collision coverage pays for damage to your motorcycle
THE OTHER DRIVER DID NOT HAVE INSURANCE AND YOU HAD UM/UIM COVERAGE
You can make a claim against your own insurance company for your injuries. But remember, the most your insurance company will pay is the total amount of insurance you buy. So if you buy only $30,000 in coverage regardless of how much your medical bills and lost wages are and regardless of how serious your injury is the most your own insurance company will pay you is $30,000. So, try to get at least $100,000 or more in UM/ UIM coverage. It does not cost 3X of much as $30,000 in coverage but it will be more.
THE OTHER DRIVER HAD INSURANCE AND I HAD UM/UIM INSURANCE
Here, there are two insurance policies you can use. You can make a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and if they do not have enough insurance you can also make a claim with your own insurance company. Remember, the most you can get is the total between the two policies. So if the other driver has $30,000 in liability insurance and your have $30,000 in UM/UIM insurance the most you can get is $60,000.
WHAT IS MY CLAIM WORTH
There is no calculator and insurance companies DO NOT pay 3x your medical bills. That is a myth. The honest answer is it depends on several things:
1.Whether the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident.
2. How hurt your are.
3. How much are your medical bills and lost wages and will your injury affect your wages in the future.
4. How much insurance the other driver had at the time of the accident.
5. Did you have any UM/UIM insurance and how much?
Once all of those things are known, a good lawyer should be able to give you a range of the amount of money the insurance company should pay you as a settlement.