The key to recovering compensation after an accident is whether you or the at-fault party has insurance coverage. Although it is customary for the defendant to pay out a claim through their insurance carrier, it is recommended that you have your own coverage in order to be on the safe side. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney like David E. Gordon can explain all of the necessary insurance coverage in a Memphis motorcycle accident.
After receiving medical treatment, the next person that an injured biker should contact is an attorney who focuses on motorcycle crashes. They can go over the biker’s legal rights at no charge. Only after discussing their situation with a local attorney should the injured client contact their insurance company about the motorcycle accident. Even if they believe that the other driver’s insurance company will repair their motorcycle and pay for their injuries, they should still contact their own insurance. An accident that is not their fault will not lead to increased premiums or cancelled coverage. There is a state law against using an accident like that against the rider.
If the other driver’s insurance carrier refuses to pay out the claim, then the plaintiff will have to rely on their own insurance, so it is important to make that company aware of the possibility. This is usually required in their insurance contract.
There are a couple of reasons that a defendant’s insurance company could refuse to pay the claim, even if it is their insured’s fault. One reason could be that the driver had not fully paid their insurance premiums. If the driver was not current on their premium payments, then the insurance company could argue that the driver was not living up to their end of a contract. They might also deny the claim if the driver was in someone else’s vehicle and did not have permission to drive it.
Another way that an insurance company could deny a claim is if that particular driver was excluded from a family coverage policy. Some drivers can be excluded from family coverage if they have poor driving records.
Finally, insurance companies sometimes deny claims if the policyholder did not inform them that their household children had access to the vehicle. If one of these dependents was responsible for the accident, the claim might be denied.
If an injured biker does not have insurance on their motorcycle, then the only place to turn is to the other driver’s insurance company. If the other driver is at fault, then their insurance company should pay for the damages to the motorcycle as well as for the bodily injury to the biker.
If a motorcyclist has a crash, and does not have any insurance at all, then the investigating officer will likely give them a ticket that will result in a fine. The officer will assign a court date for the ticket to be heard and, if the biker can produce proof of insurance by the time of the court date, then the ticket is ordinarily dismissed without any fine having to be paid.
Tennessee law requires riders to have some kind of motorcycle insurance, like any other vehicle. This protects them financially if they cause injury to another driver or pedestrian. David advises motorcyclists in Memphis to have what is called uninsured motorist protection, in addition to the liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is the biker’s insurance against every other driver in town, regardless of whether they have their own insurance or not.
In Memphis, there are still many uninsured drivers, despite the state law requiring insurance. By having uninsured motorist protection in their policy, a motorcyclist is protected against drivers who will be unable to pay on any claim made against them. It is recommended that bikers have policies with at least $100,000 of uninsured motorist protection because injuries on motorcycles are often severe.
Even with insurance coverage for you and/or the defendant, a valid claim is not guaranteed. Protect yourself ahead of time by getting uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and save yourself a hassle later. Reach out to the Law Office of David E. Gordon and learn the different types of insurance coverage involved in a Memphis motorcycle accident.