Monday, August 17, 2009

Attention Motorcyclists: Be Sure You Have Sufficient Insurance Coverage

According to the Star Tribune, one person was killed and another seriously injured in a Chisago County motorcycle versus mini-van accident on Wednesday, August 12, 2009. According to the article, the minivan ran a stop sign, hitting the motorcycle.

As of the end of July 29 motorcyclists had been killed in Minnesota this year. At the same time last year, there were 26 deaths. The article also notes that August and September are typically the most deadly in terms of motorcycle accidents.

Last year, there were a total of 72 deaths – the most since 1985. All other types of motor vehicle deaths have been on the decline, but deadly motorcycle accidents appear to be on the rise.

Meuser & Associates frequently represents people who are hurt in motorcycle versus car accidents. Unfortunately, regardless of fault, the motorcyclist usually is on the losing end of a motorcycle versus car crash. Invariably, the injuries are severe.

Unlike other vehicles in Minnesota, motorcycle owners are required to carry only liability insurance. Motorcyclists are not required to carry no-fault insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, or underinsured coverage.

It’s an unfortunate truth that motorcycle crashes usually result in severe injuries. As such, I can’t recommend strongly enough that motorcycle owners purchase sufficient no-fault insurance, uninsured motorist insurance, and underinsured motorist insurance to cover medical expenses, wage loss, and pain and suffering in case of a severe accident. Too often we see motorcyclists who suffer significant injuries but the at-fault party either has no insurance, or their insurance coverage is not sufficient to compensate the injured motorcyclist for his or her medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Even if you are at fault, or involved in a single-vehicle crash, no-fault insurance covers your medical expenses and some wage loss. No-fault insurance is also the first line of insurance that covers your initial medical expenses if you are involved in a crash where the other vehicle is at fault.

If you are hit by an at-fault driver who has no insurance, uninsured motorist insurance covers additional medical expenses, wage loss, and intangible losses, like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Unfortunately, way too many Minnesota drivers are out there on the roads without legally required liability insurance.

Even if the at-fault driver does have insurance, it’s often not enough to cover your losses. If you purchase underinsured motorist coverage, it provides an additional line of insurance coverage above and beyond the at-fault driver’s insurance. If you’re hit by a vehicle while you’re on a motorcycle, you are almost certainly going to be taken by ambulance to an emergency room. If you have severe injuries, your medical bills can exceed $50,000.00 within hours. Minnesota requires drivers to carry a minimum of only $30,000.00 in liability insurance. The defendant driver’s insurance may not even be enough to cover your emergency room visit.

It’s also important to note that the no-fault, uninsured, and underinsured insurance you have on your car will not provide coverage for injuries sustained while you’re on your motorcycle.

If you or a loved one was injured as the result of a motorcycle accident, contact Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

Visit Minnesota Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm, Meuser & Associates, P.A., at
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