Why is insurance so important?
If you are in an accident the primary source of money to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, or long-term disability comes from insurance. The average person who may hit you, or cause your accident doesn’t have nearly enough in savings to compensate you fully for the damage they cause!
As your motorcycle accident lawyer, I go after available insurance money to compensate you. If adequate insurance is not available then you end up paying for your own recovery, which is extremely expensive.
The biggest changes in Pennsylvania motorcycle accident claims I have witnessed from the start of my career to current are:
- an increase in the number of insurance policies that no longer contain uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits
- the increased number of clients who no longer have any form of health insurance and
- more vehicles are now carrying only the minimum insurance limits required by law.
Because uninsured/underinsured coverage is no longer required, it is rejected more than ever.
Unfortunately, when this rejection is coupled with an injured victim without health insurance, the medical bills become a problem, because many drivers are carrying the minimum liability coverage required on their vehicles.
As you can imagine, the combination of no UM/UIM/Health Insurance is leading to more “insurance tragedies” – this happens when a person with no uninsured/underinsured coverage and no health benefits is injured by someone with minimal insurance coverage in a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident.
These “insurance tragedies” are something that I am now seeing more then ever before. Knowing the problem, the question becomes… What can be done, without spending a kings ransom to protect ourselves from being the victim of a Pennsylvania “insurance tragedy”?
Purchase Enough Insurance
The only simple answer for you is purchasing as much uninsured/underinsured coverage as you can afford, as this offers additional coverage if you don’t have health coverage and are injured by someone who is underinsured.
Just call me at 888-292-5352 if this isn’t clear – Pennsylvania consultations are always free.
This coverage can act as de facto health insurance and be used to pay medical bills, or any other losses you may incur. The other option is to obtain some amount of medical benefits on your motorcycle policy. While this won’t do much if you end up with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, it will provide a low cost safety net if your bills are in the $5,000-$10,000 range.
If you do find yourself involved in an accident and have no health insurance, immediately apply for public assistance through the hospital’s social services office as they are best prepared to help guide you through the application process.
They also know that in most cases, this is the only way they may get paid and therefore have an incentive to help you get approved.
Handling a motorcycle accident claim is different from an auto claim
Although the same basic principles apply to motorcycle accidents as they do in auto accidents, there are insurance nuances that are easily overlooked by an inexperienced motorcycle personal injury lawyer.
Experienced motorcycle lawyers help you avoid accidentally waiving your rights.
Insurance companies will slip all sorts of fine print into the motorcycle accident settlement. One of the trickier ones includes a “waiver of subrogation,” clause that is intended to prevent your insurance company from seeking reimbursement from your award.
I always advise riders not sign a settlement with the other driver’s insurance provider until you call and speak with a qualified motorcycle lawyer.
In Pennsylvania the minimum amount of insurance that the state requires you to have on an automobile is only $15,000.
Once I explain this to a new client who is entitled to a larger claim they almost always they ask if we can sue the person individually. The answer is yes.
However, given that the person causing the accident purchased the minimum amount of insurance coverage, even if we do file a motorcycle accident lawsuit and are awarded an amount in excess of their insurance limits, the odds of actually collecting on the award are minimal at best.
I am always happy to discuss these issues from the angle of a motorcycle accident lawyer, which may be different from how the average person who has not dealt with insurance claims would view them!
Or better yet, just call me at 888-292-5352 – Pennsylvania consultations are always free.
Motorcycle Attorney Insurance Recommendations
You should have greater insurance on your motorcycle than on your cars.
The reason is simple: if you are involved in a motorcycle accident you are more likely to be seriously injured on your bike than in your car. Fixing a car or motorcycle is cheap compared to fixing your body or head.
I recommend purchasing at least $100,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your motorcycle. This protects you when someone who hits you is uninsured or underinsured.
Additionally, there are ways to increase the amount of uninsured and/or underinsured coverage taking advantage of purchasing a “stacking” option on your policies. As of 2019, in Pennsylvania, you are allowed to increase your coverage if your cycle and auto insurance are with the same carrier.
Lastly, don’t purchase your insurance online – have the company send you, via e-mail, fax or regular mail, all of the paperwork they want you sign so that you can retain a copy for your personal records, as well as documentation of what coverages you selected.
This way, should the time come when you need it, you will know exactly what you did and did not sign and what coverage you actually have.
Remember when you have questions or doubts concerning your insurance coverage – you can always contact my office for advice.
Call 888-292-5352 to discuss your Pennsylvania case or questions for free
Lawyers Cannot Force Medical Reimbursement Until the Motorcycle Accident Claim Resolves
Unlike auto insurance, motorcycle policies rarely, if ever, carry any medical benefits.
Therefore, unless you have some form of private health insurance you will initially be responsible for your medical bills.
Although your motorcycle injury lawyer can usually recover medical expenses and reach an agreement with the medical facility sending the bill, regardless of what any insurance company adjuster tells you, they will not pay your bills until the claim resolves.
Obviously, it is our goal to resolve your claim as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
On those occasions when the other side is denying responsibility, we will immediately file suit on your behalf, seeking to recover all of the motorcycle accident damages you have suffered.
If you are married the law also allows us to make a “consortium” claim for your spouse to compensate them for any losses they may have suffered as well.
Unlike some other Pennsylvania motorcycle accident law firms, if we believe the other insurance company is purposely delaying your claim, we will immediately file suit so they know we are serious about your recovery.
I Focus My Practice on Motorcycle Accidents
When looking for a motorcycle attorney in Pennsylvania please consider a lawyer that not only has experience as a biker, but who has also handled motorcycle accidents almost exclusively, as I have done for more than two decades.
Look at it this way… if you suffer a serious motorcycle accident injury to your leg, would you prefer being operated on by a doctor known for treating serious leg injuries… or would you settle for a general practitioner?
Most people want the most specialized physician they can find to repair their injuries. The same principle applies when looking for a motorcycle accident attorney.
Handling motorcycle injury claims has become a unique category of personal injury law. In order to make sure you are getting the very best representation, it is in your best interest to hire a motorcycle personal injury lawyer who has earned the trust of bikers since 1991.
Free Pennsylvania Consultations
For a free consultation, please call motorcycle accident lawyer Lee D. Gaber at 888-292-5352 anytime.