What is the Most Important Insurance Coverage a Motorcycle Rider Can Have in California?
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents result in substantial damages because the injuries from an accident tend to be catastrophic. When a motorcyclist is in a collision with another vehicle, the rider has no protection from the impact of the collision. Even riders who wear a helmet and other protective gear can be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. The damages in a motorcycle accident can quickly rise into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, many drivers in California only purchase the minimum liability insurance coverage required to drive legally in the state. The minimum liability insurance coverage for California drivers is $15,000. If you are injured by a negligent driver who has minimum insurance coverage, you could be limited to receiving $15,000 for your claim, regardless of the true value of your damages and losses. Even a personal injury claim involving a broken bone that requires minor surgery can be worth double or triple the amount of minimum car insurance coverage.
Therefore, we urge motorcyclists to discuss underinsured motorist coverage with their insurance agencies. This type of vehicle insurance can protect you in the event you are injured by a driver who has minimum insurance coverage. In most cases, the cost of underinsured motorist coverage is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the protection it offers.
How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Apply in a Motorcycle Accident?
When you are injured because of another driver, your first claim is against the at-fault driver. You need to file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company demanding full compensation for your damages. If the insurance company does not deny your claim, it can pay up to the policy limits for your claim. In cases involving substantial damages, the insurance company may decide to pay the policy limits rather than fight the claim. However, if the driver has minimum coverage, you only receive $15,000 for your claim.
However, if you have purchased underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverage, you have another means of receiving compensation for your claim.
If you have UIM coverage, you need to file a claim with your insurance provider. UIM insurance is intended to cover the gap when a policyholder does not receive full compensation for a claim. Your insurance company should pay the difference between the value of your claim and the policy limits for the at-fault driver. In other words, if the value of your accident is $200,000 but the at-fault driver has minimum liability insurance, the value of your UIM claim would be $185,000. Your insurance provider becomes responsible for paying this amount up to your UIM policy limits.
Do I Need a Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney to File an Underinsured Motorist Claim?
We encourage you to contact our office for a free case evaluation whenever you are involved in a traffic accident. Remember, you are dealing with an insurance company that wants to protect its profits, even if you are the policyholder. While your insurance provider may not argue the fact that it must pay your claim under your UIM coverage, it may argue about the value of the claim. The lower the value, the more money your insurance company saves.
Therefore, having an experienced Fresno motorcycle accident attorney on your side protects your rights and your interests regardless of whose insurance company is involved.
Call Torem & Associates at (888) 500-5000or use the contact form on our website to request your free case evaluation and free consultation with an experienced Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer.