The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Motorcyclists

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The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Motorcyclists

Uninsured motorist coverage allows the victim of a traffic accident to collect damages, even if the person who hit them does not have a large enough policy to cover their losses. This can be very important for motorcyclists who were injured by an uninsured driver or by a hit-and-run driver who cannot be found.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can determine if you have uninsured motorist coverage and fight for enough money to pay for all of your damages.

What Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is and What it Covers

If you get hit by a motor vehicle, the person who hit you should pay your damages. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works out. You might have trouble getting the money you need if the driver has broken the law by:

  • Failing to carry insurance
  • Carrying an insufficient amount of insurance (minimums vary from state to state)
  • Committing a hit and run, which involves leaving the accident scene without stopping, trying to help you, or providing their contact information

Uninsured motorist coverage is an insurance policy available to help pay accident-related expenses caused by an uninsured liable party.

Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Mandatory for Motorcyclists?

That depends on where you live. Each state is in charge of setting insurance minimums and the penalties for failing to purchase those minimums.

As an example, Michigan does not require bikers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, according to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). Bikers can choose to purchase or not purchase such a policy at their discretion.

How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Helps Bikers

The importance of uninsured motorist coverage for motorcyclists lies in ensuring the motorcyclist’s financial future. If a biker with no uninsured motorist coverage is hit by an uninsured driver, they:

  • Cannot rely on the driver’s insurer to cover major losses like medical bills, loss of income, and disability
  • Would have to rely on their own insurance or other financial resources to pay their bills, which may or may not be enough to cover everything
  • Have the option of suing the driver personally, but there is no guarantee that the driver will have enough resources to pay what the biker needs

What Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pays Motorcyclists For

This kind of policy is designed to cover everything that a regular insurance policy would cover. The primary benefit of such coverage is that it will pay for your accident-related medical care. It enables you to receive all necessary treatments without having to worry about the price tag.

Every policy is different, so be sure to double-check your policy paperwork to see what kinds of damages you can collect and the maximum amount of money you can ask for.

Personal Injury Protection and Motorcycles

Depending on where you live, bikers might be eligible to recover damages through their own personal injury protection (PIP) policy, regardless of who caused the accident. In Michigan, however, motorcyclists do not have PIP, but they can seek damages through the other driver’s policy when applicable. It is important to realize, however, that this may not be the most helpful option.

For example, PIP may not be enough to pay for everything you need, especially if you sustained catastrophic injuries. Once again, this highlights the importance of uninsured motorist coverage.

What Happens if Bikers Forego Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Going without uninsured motorist insurance is a big risk. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, you would have to rely on your own financial resources and/or other policies you may have opted into.. Some states, like Michigan, offer state benefits for those not covered by PIP.

How to Purchase Uninsured Motorist Insurance

You want to make sure you have all of the right insurance policies in place before an accident happens. You can start by researching policies online, and then you can discuss your options with your insurance agent.

How to Get Benefits from Uninsured Motorist Coverage

It is vital that you get this process right, as the insurer will take any excuse to deny or underpay your claim. If you hire a motorcycle crash lawyer, they will deal with the insurer(s) on your behalf by:

Finding Evidence of the Motorcycle Accident

The insurance company will conduct their own investigation into your collision, but you should not rely on their conclusions. A law firm can collect evidence independent of the insurer and use that information to determine:

  • Who the liable party is
  • How they caused your accident
  • How much insurance the liable party has
  • How much you deserve in economic and non-economic damages

Writing and Sending Paperwork to the Insurer

Regardless of what kind of insurance policy you file your case under, you will need to ask for compensation by sending a demand letter. This letter includes all relevant details about your case, including how much you want the insurer to pay.

A personal injury attorney has written demand letters before, so they know just what to say and how to say it. They will also deal with all other paperwork that comes up throughout the course of your legal action.

Reviewing Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage Policy

Insurance policies are often filled with legal jargon that the average person (never mind a person who has suffered a serious injury) finds difficult to decipher. As a result, you might not know what your uninsured motorist policy says or even if you have uninsured motorist coverage at all.

Your lawyer can sit down with you and go over your insurance policies in detail. They will tell you what is and is not included in each policy and answer all of your insurance-related questions.

Deciding How to Get a Settlement Through Insurance Coverage

For some motorcyclists, uninsured motorist coverage is their only option for recovering fair compensation. Others might have the option of combining multiple legal actions—such as filing a No-Fault accident claim with their own insurer and suing the liable party—to make sure they get the money they need.

How can you tell which legal action is right for you? Working closely with a personal injury law firm can provide the answer.

Negotiating an Insurance Settlement

No matter what kind of insurance claim you end up filing, you may have to negotiate with the insurer before they agree to pay your case’s full value.

The insurer’s representatives have dealt with personal injury cases before, and you probably have not. It is a good idea to let your attorney handle all communications with the insurer so they do not get a chance to cheat you out of an appropriate settlement.

Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

If the at-fault driver is insured, you have a limited time to file a case against them and seek compensation. In most states, this deadline is set at two to three years: Michigan is a typical example with a statute of limitations of three years (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805).

You can rely on your attorney to tell you if you have the option of filing a lawsuit, build your casefile, and fight for the money you deserve by negotiating hard and even representing you in court.

Learn More About Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Your Case

Call Christensen Law today for a free case review. Since 1991, we have been helping our personal injury clients to recover record-setting verdicts and settlements. Now our team wants to handle your case by explaining the importance of uninsured motorist coverage for motorcyclists and protecting your rights.