Every year, between 80,000 and 100,000 people are injured in motorcycle collisions in the United States. Motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle make up over half of motorcycle accident fatalities.
Accidents may result from other drivers’ negligence or other conditions, such as inclement weather or poor road conditions. Following a motorcycle accident, an insurance policy can help you with damages. An insurer will look over all aspects of the incident to determine compensation. Here is some information on how motorcycle insurance works after a crash.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle wrecks involve head-on collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that 76 percent of two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles are head-on collisions. Only 7 percent of two-vehicle accidents with motorcycles involve impact to the motorcycle’s rear. Head-on collisions can be especially dangerous, given the combined forces of the vehicles against each other and the high chances of the motorcyclist being ejected into the other vehicle.
Another dangerous situation motorcyclists face involves other vehicles making left turns. Many accidents happen when another motorist does not notice the motorcyclist and makes a left turn into the motorcyclist. A motorcycle may end up getting hit by another car making a left turn if it is passing a car or in cross-traffic going through an intersection
In one year, NHTSA found left-hand turns cause about 42 percent of all two-vehicle collisions involving motorcycles. Left-turn accidents with motorcycles are more common due to motorcycles’ smaller size and the failure of motorists making left turns to notice them. Passing a vehicle on a motorcycle is a riskier endeavor.
Most states require motorcyclists to carry insurance. Insurance companies offer different categories of coverage.
These may include:
- Collision coverage. The policy covers the damage to the motorcycle after an accident with a stationary object, such as a side-rail or telephone pole. Some companies allow you to select your own deductible for this kind of coverage.
- Medical payments coverage. This coverage can help pay for reasonable, necessary medical expenses of a motorcyclist injured in an accident. You may receive compensation regardless of who was responsible.
- Liability coverage. While it does not pay for the repair of your bike, liability coverage helps cover damages to the other driver’s property and their medical expenses when the motorcyclist is at fault.
How Do Collisions Affect Motorcycle Insurance?
Different things can lead to an increase in motorcycle insurance premiums, like traffic violations, such as speeding. In the event of an accident, motorcycle insurance premiums can become significantly more expensive.
Most states have at-fault car insurance laws. If the motorcyclist violated the speed limit or drove down the wrong lane, they might be partially or fully at fault. If the state does not allow lane splitting, this may be dispositive proof of the driver’s responsibility for an accident. The insurance company may bump up rates or premiums as a result.
Collisions do not always lead to a hike in insurance rates. If you are the injured party, your premiums may be unaffected. Some insurers offer accident forgiveness, especially if you are not the one at fault.
How Motorcycle Insurance Works After a Crash
Report the Accident
After an accident, you can take steps to maximize compensation from your or the liable party’s insurance. The first step is to report the accident. Try to avoid disturbing the scene until the police arrive. Moving your bike could destroy evidence of how the accident occurred and who was responsible.
The police will create an accident report at the scene. The report includes information like who was involved in the wreck and witness statements. You should answer questions about the events leading up to the collision honestly, but you do not have to accept fault.
Seek Medical Care
If you experience injuries from a motorcycle crash, you need to seek medical care immediately. Even if you do not have visible wounds, you should check to get a medical examination to determine if you may have suffered unseen trauma, such as a concussion. Keep copies of medical bills and reports, as these can be used as evidence of your damages.
Consult an Attorney
If you believe another person caused your motorcycle accident and the resulting severe injuries or costs, speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer. They can inform you about how to obtain compensation. If they determine you have a viable case, the attorney can help you through the claim filing process.
Contact the Insurance Company
You should also inform your insurance company about the details of the accident. Filing a report with your insurer can help you get your motorcycle fixed faster.
Insurance companies and your lawyer investigate motorcycle accidents. They look over the damage to your bike, your injuries and medical expenses, and what contributed to the accident. A mechanic can provide an assessment of the cost of repair or if the motorcycle is beyond restoration. Insurance may cover expenses to fix it or the bike’s replacement value. They should also cover reasonable medical expenses which are well-supported and within the policy limits.
Your insurance company may try to prove the other driver is liable. However, the other party’s insurer is likely to try to show you were at fault.
If someone files a claim with another party’s insurance, the process might involve more negotiation. Your lawyer may submit a demand package. The package includes demands for compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and damages to the motorcycle and other personal property. The maximum limit of a coverage policy can contribute to how much payment you receive.
When dealing with the other person’s insurer, you might go through multiple rounds of negotiations. If the parties fail to reach an agreement, then you might need to go to court. A judge or jury will determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation and the amount.
Whether it is through negotiation or court order, you may receive compensation from the insurance company. The insurer usually has a limited time to issue payments. You can decide how you want to use the funds. You have the option not to repair your motorcycle and use funds solely to pay for your medical expenses.