Who Pays for a Motorcycle Accident?

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, accident victims and their loved ones are always faced with the question of who will pay for the mounting costs. The primary costs resulting from a motorcycle accident may include property damage and injury-related costs in the event that the rider was injured. There are several factors that determine who pays for a motorcycle accident. The main considerations typically involve the insurance policies of both drivers involved, the state in which the accident occurred, which party is at fault, and whether or not an accident victim plans to pursue a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident

Determining who pays for a motorcycle accident will involve determining which party is at fault, or which party’s negligent or careless actions caused the accident. Once fault is determined, bodily injuries and property damage are typically compensated for through the appropriate insurance policies and coverage features. If motorcyclists who are not at fault sustain injury or motorcycle damage, they may be compensated through their own insurance coverage or the applicable insurance coverage of the at-fault party.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the at-fault driver has insufficient accident insurance coverage or no coverage, the injured motorcyclist may be covered by his or her own insurance coverage, such as uninsured motorist coverage. However, this may not always be the case, as uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida and several other states. In this case, the injured motorcyclist may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to receive compensation.

Types of Motorcycle Insurance

When determining who pays for a motorcycle accident, the insurance policies of both drivers will play an important role. If the at-fault driver has sufficient accident insurance, the injured motorcyclist will typically receive compensation through the applicable insurance coverage of the at-fault driver. There are four main types of motorist insurance that play a role in who pays for a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle accident victims must be aware that the at-fault driver may not have the type of coverage needed to compensate for property damage and injuries.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

In Florida, a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is required for all automobiles with at least four wheels, but not motorcycles. Under the Florida “no fault” law, each automobile driver’s insurance company is automatically responsible for paying the majority of that driver’s medical bills of up to at least $10,000 through the required PIP coverage. However, because motorcyclists are not required to have PIP coverage, they do not receive this guaranteed coverage. Therefore, the injured motorist may be required to seek compensation through other means.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Injured motorcyclists who are not at fault may receive compensation for injuries through the at-fault driver’s bodily injury (BI) liability coverage. Bodily injury liability covers injury-related costs such as medical bills and lost wages from missed work. This type of accident insurance coverage may also provide the injured motorcyclist with compensation for less quantifiable harm such as permanent disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Property Damage Coverage

Injured motorcyclists who are not at fault and wish to receive compensation for motorcycle damage will typically receive compensation through the at-fault driver’s property damage (PD) coverage. Property damage coverage only covers damage to property in an automobile or motorcycle accident. This coverage protects at-fault drivers who are responsible for damage to another party’s vehicle and other personal property which may have been damaged during the accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If the at-fault driver is uninsured or insufficiently insured, the injured motorcyclist may need to rely on his or her own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage provides coverage for victims of accidents that are caused by motorists who do not have the appropriate insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage plans exist for both bodily injury and property damage. It is strongly recommended for all motorcyclists and automobile drivers to check with their insurance companies and ensure that they have uninsured motorist coverage.

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About the Author

Brian T. Wilson

Brian Wilson is a civil trial lawyer in Orlando, FL, specializing in personal injury. Contact Brian and the rest of the team at DWKMR&S by filling out the form below or calling 888.726.6735.

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