Sep 11, 2020

Motorcycle Insurance FAQ


In this section, we attempt to address the many frequently asked questions about personal injury motorcycle insurance claims. And rightly so, these claims are among the many roadblocks to a reasonable offer. Ehline Law goes into detail on the many motorcycle insurance FAQs riders have.

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We are expert insurance claims attorneys. We have won millions without even suing. We have a burning desire to help those less fortunate. Read on, or call (888) 400-9721 to learn more.

Table of Contents:

Q: How Do I File a Motorcycle Insurance Claim - What Steps Do I Take?

A: There are many steps to take:

  • It is essential that immediately preceding a motorcycle crash, that photos are snapped of the scene and even witnesses and other potential defendants, for later identification.
  • An injury victim should also order copies of police reports and get to the hospital.
  • Also, the victim needs to take steps to notify their carrier, under the terms and conditions of the insurance instrument.

Typically, the defendant’s insurance company will blame everyone but their insured for the accident. Disputing liability is their modus operandi. Proving the other motorist is at fault, starts the moment the vehicles and bodies come to rest at the collision scene.

But if you have a lawyer on call or your family hires one for you, no time typically would be lost. Investigators can be employed right away.

Also, you may even opt to have a lawyer call your insurance company for you. So if you are too ill or consumed by your bodily injuries, you have a fighter in your corner. An unrepresented party is looked down upon by most insurance company reps.

So you become a target with a big bulls-eye that says: “sucker.” Only a sucker represents him or herself. Having your champion is indispensable. Know this.

Q: If Able to Work and Commute, How Do I Pay for a Rental Vehicle?

A: A lot of this has to do with how well your attorney argues fault. If provable, the other party must pay you for a reasonably priced rental vehicle. At least until your bike is repaired or inexpensively replaced, you get a replacement vehicle.

They must place you in a car of equal value to what you lost. In some cases, if it was a work vehicle, the insured defendant must pay for the loss of use as well. But without a motorcycle lawyer, your not in the pole position for the legal aspects.

Knowing how to make these arguments is an art—most of all, that requires extensive evidence and metal preparation. Lawyers are trained in this as part of their duties.

Q: Who Pay for Repair or Replacement of My Motorcycle and When?

A: A represented party can get their counsel working right away in negotiating a resolution for the property damage portion. If your lawyer is successful in arguing liability with the other person's insurer, repairs become rapidly conducted.

But other issues may arise, such as the fact you want original and not aftermarket parts. Sometimes you need additional money to pay for upgrades and modifications you performed. So these are valued based upon their current, actual value.

There is no real way to ensure the other insurance will pay full value. But having a lawyer drastically increases the chances of an excellent result. Other times, you may have severe, irreparable damage to your bike.

In that case, it may need a replacement model. And the insured person may not have enough coverage. So hopefully, your lawyer can work with your comp and collision adjuster. At least you could pay it off with no lawsuit or out of pocket costs.

Q: What is the Primary Cause of Motorcycle Collisions?

A: First, we only know of the reported cases of motorcycle accidents. As discussed previously, some people opt not to make insurance claims or police reports. In my opinion, the lack of driver visibility remains the leading cause of wrecks. Motorists, as a general rule, fail to look out for the occasional bicycle or motorcycle. So inattentiveness and failure to be careful remain the most significant cause of motorcycle wrecks.

Secondary and no less significant are:

  • Novice riders.
  • Experienced riders on a new bike.
  • Excessive speed.
  • Intentionally running a rider off the road.
  • Road ragers.
  • Incompetence.
  • Fidgeting with cell phones and radios.
  • Applying makeup, etc. (aka distracted driving.).

Left-hand turn and traffic intersection accidents make up our primary caseload. Fellow travelers could become distracted. Or they could fail to judge the speed of the oncoming rider.

These are just some of the causes. No matter how enthusiastic a rider is, the thrill of riding can become a nightmare. Motorcycle riders must pay particular attention and be on the lookout 100% of the time. If not, the whole family may suffer after the rider becomes a street casualty.

With the freedom of movement and lack of restrictions from riding, comes the truth that riders must be right 100% of the time. No room exists for an error in judgment when riding. And this remains true at high and lower speeds. There is no turning back. A committed rider goes past the point of no return.

Q: Who Makes/Files Motorcycle Insurance Claims?

A: As discussed, the rider can handle their claims in propria persona. But they would be better with a motorcycle lawyer pro. If the cyclist passed away, then the heirs would be making a claim. But the need for legal insulation is even more true when a cyclist suffered a fatality.

The family members are typically in mourning and grieving. More than ever, this is a time to contemplate alone. So this is where an excellent leader can make their presence known as your counsel. Having a lawyer is like having body armor and a machine gun when confronted by a knife-wielding maniac. Ehline law act as legal Marines. Do or die; we make it happen!

Q: What Penalties Do Uninsured Casualty Victims Face?

A: Not having motorcycle insurance prevents a fault free rider from recovering general damages. So they get no pain and suffering, etc. But this does not alter or diminish their eligibility to recover special damages. They can get lost wages, future care, past care, and expenses like retraining for work. And it does not stop there. Downed riders can also seek money for rehabilitating a body part, etc. Plus, you still get money for the repair or replacement of your motorcycle.

Of course, one potential penalty aside from the failure to recover general damages is that law enforcement could fine you big bucks. And because you failed to abide by California liability insurance law, the police may impound your bike. Also, beware of storage fees and court costs to clear the ticket and impound.

Q: How long will it take to settle my motorcycle claim?

A: This is the most often posed question of any impatient victim. As discussed previously, each traffic collision is judged on a case by case basis. Your overall health and financial situation and impact on life always remain different than another person. Only a medical doctor can assess the nature and extent of a victim’s injuries.

It could be that several medical specialists need to examine or operate on you. Only then can your legal counsel be competitive in his or her settlement negotiations. With good intel and evidence, your lawyer could hit a home run. So a top legal team could rapidly resolve the claim after release from medical treatment and rehab.

There are a few steps a rider and car driver can initiate before and after an accident. So now they can lessen the possibility of a future financial shortfall as follows:

Pre Accident.

  • Purchase UM/UIM Insurance.
  • Purchase Comp and Collision Protection.

Post Accident.

  • Make sure to limit discussions at the accident scene to exchanging insurance and license info and documenting injuries. Tell the police just the facts of how the accident took place. Do not get emotional or go into diatribes.
  • Get to the hospital, preferably with an ambulance. (Read why here).
  • Contact your insurance carrier. Get a lawyer before giving anyone a recorded statement. Critical!
  • Never sign a release or even the back of a check, or money draft until seeking wise legal counsel.
  • Never sign anything generated by a non-attorney, such as a general release. Always get a legal opinion from a licensed member of the Bar.

Admissions and Confessions Post Incident Are Often Fatal To Maximum Recovery.

When people are agitated or riled up, they tend to become loose-lipped in their comments. Some people feel the urge to sing like a bird. This makes sense, after all, an accident can be jarring and jolting. The post-crash trauma and fear may prompt a person to say they are responsible, to apologize, etc.

This non-essential approach of showing sorrow can poison your case. Also, this remains true even if it turns out later, your assessment of fault was wrong. This is a job for police and accident recon people.

Don’t make unneeded or ill-advised comments. Focus on your medical situation. So get stabilized and evacuated to a hospital. Use this tact when talking to bystanders, cops, the other parties. Do the same with anyone else who later could testify as a witness.

Upholding the Insurance Contract Notification Process

As part of your duties as a contracting party to an insurance policy, you are probably required to call your provider when practicable. State Farm, Farmers, Mercury, and most others need this. And most provide 1-800 numbers at no cost to you.

Speak to a Lawyer and Close Your Mouth.

So this means you can even call from a hospital. Also, this is an excellent practice because your carrier then takes steps to photograph the vehicles. Usually, they do so at the accident scene. Most of all, this strengthens the claim of the non-fault party. So if you are unsure how to answer the questions of your insurance claims adjuster, don’t guess.

Just be honest, and say you don’t know. Even better, speak with a motorcycle lawyer first. As always, never say you caused the accident. Don’t give them an excuse to refuse payment.

Instead, limit your views to the black and white. “Yes,” “No,” “I don’t know,” “I don’t remember,” “It was sunny,” “I was wearing my seatbelt.” Or it could be “the other driver appeared to be driving at approximately 60 in a school zone and has a cell phone on his right ear with his left hand as I saw in my rear-view mirrors.” Or “I passed out after he hit me at about 50 miles per hour. But I was at a complete stop for the red light.” <<< These are called facts. Learn them.

Who Determines Responsibility?

Sometimes, there are no witnesses. As a result, the case centers on the credibility of the parties. At any rate, this remains the case in many sideswipes and left-hand turn accidents. But a rear-end collision is almost always a winner for the rear-ended party.

However, in these other cases, it is not clear who is at fault. And this remains especially true if one motorist is lying, or trying to get out of it. Sometimes the other party’s insurance adjuster will cut a deal with the other party on payment of property loss. But they may agree to disagree on liability for the injuries.

But you may be required to mediate or utilize binding arbitration in your UM or UIM claim with your carrier. If no agreements become reached, you are left squaring off against your company. Either way, no one wants to be at fault.

For one, your rate can go up. Also, the DMV can suspend your license in extreme circumstances. No doubt, no one wants a reputation stigma like that. Aside from lodging a written objection, an at-fault accident is a permanent stain on your insurance record. Plus, it stays on your DMV report for at least three years.

Never Sign Anything Including Drafts

Your goal is to get the most compensation as possible. The insurance company’s vision is to get out of paying anything or paying the smallest amount possible. An unrepresented party is easy pickings for a highly trained adjuster.

The Third Party Carrier Owes You no Duty.

The other party’s adjuster owes you zero legal duty at all. So keep in mind that they could trick you into signing a release. Or they could trick you into signing the back of a check. And that could be considered a general settlement, barring you from seeking more compensation. So you could inadvertently forfeit your legal rights. Don’t do it. Hire a lawyer!

Un-Represented Settlements.

Often the parties themselves will agree to work it out at the accident scene. So if neither injured party were hurt, their rates wouldn't risk going up. So at least they won't get canceled. It could be a handshake, no cops, no insurance companies, and “I’ll send you and check when I see three estimates to fix your car,” etc.

Simple right? But that's not always true. Sometimes you will hurt after you get home. Or the other guy will string you along, placing distance between the accident with time.

And since you never notified your company out of the gate, you may have failed to abide by your duty to report quickly. Thus, you may be voiding your coverage. Even when tardy claims are accepted, some are suspect and treated as fraudulent or suspect cases.

Q: Why Should I Retain a Lawyer After My Cycling Accident?

A: An aggressive, compassionate, and caring attorney is not enough. Your attorney needs to experience riding first hand. Only then can he or she capably argue on your behalf. Akin to this would be two fighter pilots discussing an in-flight maneuver.

A lawyer experienced in riding will be able to talk shop with the fallen rider. Our lead counsel, Michael Ehline, is a lawyer who rides. We are in a position to talk shop with the rider. And this helps us protect the rider’s rights better than if we were just some thief wearing a suit.

We assist in determining road defects, work with your doctors, and investigators to build your case. Our goal is to achieve a decisive victory by leading from the front. In short, since we are lawyers who ride. So we can put ourselves in your shoes!

Q: How Do Clients Win Money?

A: Getting the settlement you deserve is only a phone call away. Our competent, highly specialized operatives are more like a military unit on a mission. But we are on a mission of mercy to liberate the oppressed motorcycle casualty from bills and fault. Also, we offer them a second chance at a better future.

For fallen riders no longer with us, we fight to uphold the family honor. Also, we work to obtain provisions for the children, siblings, or spouses that have rights as heirs.

A: Ehline Law Means Getting More Money.

These are the types of cases upon which we thrive. No matter too hard, no client too tricky. Do or die, Ehline Law makes it happen. Call and speak to a firm that has retrieved millions upon millions of dollars in legal remuneration for clients. Get a free call, and no-obligation consultation now. Call (213) 596-9642. We are here to answer your most frequently asked questions 24 hours a day, seven days per week.