Do I Have Adequate Insurance Coverage for My Motorcycle Accident?
If you experience a motorcycle accident, you need to know how to navigate the subsequent insurance claim process. Every licensed driver in California must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. Motorcycle insurance must be purchased separately, and the minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance are the same as the minimum coverage amounts for insuring other vehicles.
After a motorcycle accident, it is natural to worry about whether you have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate for your losses. However, you only need to file against your own motorcycle insurance policy under certain conditions. California is a fault-based state when it comes to auto accidents, meaning the party responsible for causing the accident absorbs liability for the other driver’s damages. The injured driver can file against the at-fault driver’s policy. However, they may need to file a claim against their own policy in the event the at-fault driver does not have insurance or enough coverage to fully cover the injured driver’s losses.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in California
If you have a California driver’s license, you must purchase an auto insurance policy that includes minimum coverage according to California state law:
- Your policy must provide a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for physical injuries incurred by a single person in an accident.
- The policy must also provide $30,000 or more in bodily injury liability coverage for a total accident.
- Your policy must provide at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage that compensates a claimant for vehicle repair or replacement costs.
These same minimum requirements will apply to your motorcycle insurance policy, and it is vital to remember that a minimum coverage policy will rarely offer enough to fully compensate your losses in a serious motorcycle accident.
All drivers and motorcycle riders in California should have the option to purchase additional coverage, including underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage that applies when an at-fault driver does not have enough auto insurance to compensate an injured driver’s losses or collision coverage that can provide compensation if your bike is damaged by severe weather or in a single-vehicle collision.
Assessing Your Damages
Before you start the insurance claim process, whether it’s against an at-fault driver’s policy or your own, it’s essential to fully explore the entire scope of your damages so you know how much coverage you need. Motorcycle accidents tend to result in severe injuries and substantial economic damages more frequently than accidents involving typical passenger cars. This is primarily due to the fact that a motorcycle does not offer any physical protection from a crash. While drivers and passengers in enclosed passenger vehicles have airbags, seatbelts, and vehicle frames designed to crumple and absorb crash impact forces, a motorcycle has none of these features.
A motorcycle accident can easily cause devastating injuries that lead to expensive medical bills, missed time at work, and lost future earning potential in the event the victim develops a permanent disability from their injuries. If you intend to file an insurance claim for coverage after a motorcycle accident in California, it’s essential to work closely with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to assess the full scope of your damages.
Exploring Recovery Beyond Insurance
Once you know how much coverage you need, you can examine the insurance policy in question. If another driver caused your motorcycle accident, you would file a claim against their auto insurance policy. If they do not have auto insurance, you could resort to filing against your own motorcycle accident insurance, but only if you have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In the event your damages exceed the scope of available insurance coverage, either from an at-fault driver’s policy, your own policy, or even a combination of both, your attorney can help you explore further legal remedies, such as a personal injury claim.
It’s also possible to encounter undue resistance from an insurance company after filing a legitimate claim for coverage. Unfortunately, insurance companies are rarely forthcoming with information or assistance in any claim that would require them to pay out coverage, and some insurance companies engage in bad faith tactics to avoid financial liability for claim coverage whenever possible.
At the Law Offices of Susan Handel, our team knows how difficult it can be to navigate insurance claims after damaging accidents, especially motorcycle accidents that tend to cause severe injuries and extensive economic damage to those involved. If you have recently experienced a motorcycle accident and are unsure of how to approach insurance claims or what you can do beyond filing an insurance claim, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Susan Handel today to schedule a consultation with an experienced and reliable motorcycle accident attorney.