HOW ARE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS UNIQUE?
A motorcycle accident claim usually involves serious injuries or even wrongful death, especially if much larger vehicles are involved.
Other differences that set motorcycle accidents apart from car crashes include:
- Driver distraction and inattention are common causes of motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles.
- Due to the smaller size of a motorcycle, drivers in other vehicles may fail to notice an oncoming rider, causing a deadly crash.
- Negligent drivers may try to pass motorcyclists or share a lane, which increases the chances of a wreck.
ARE THERE HAZARDS THAT MAY NOT AFFECT CARS AND TRUCKS THAT CAN BE DEADLY FOR MOTORCYCLIST?
- Road defects in particular may be dangerous for motorcyclists; in these cases, the city or government body responsible for the road may be liable for the crash.
- Adverse weather and defects in the bike and/or equipment may cause or contribute to motorcycle accident injuries.
- The insurance factor and possible biases… insurance adjusters and/or juries may have biases against motorcyclists.
- Adjusters and Juries may be more inclined to assume the motorcyclist was speeding or driving recklessly.
- Not wearing a helmet may make it more difficult to obtain fair compensation – though helmet use does not legally affect your ability to recover.
- More often than not… injuries and damages a motorcyclist suffers are usually high, the result of a motorcycle accident claim may be higher, compared to other claims.
WHAT ARE THE ALABAMA MOTORCYCLE LICENSE AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS?
In all 50 states, motorcyclists must have a special endorsement on their licenses in order to legally ride.
The requirements that must be met to obtain a “Class M” endorsement vary by location.
In Alabama, the requirements are that:
- the operator has completed a written motorcycle test by Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA);
- the operator has completed a specified operator course.
- Operators younger than 17 will be subject to graduated drivers licensing operating restrictions.
- Insurance is required on your bike is the same minimum requirements for this coverage are the same for any other vehicle.
You must have:
- $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury liability per person.
- $50,000 property damage liability coverage. This applies to the damage to vehicles other than the policy holder’s car.
- $25,000 per person with personal injury protection (PIP).
(If you have PIP coverage, then you can file a claim with your insurer for your own injuries and property damage, even if you were at-fault for the accident. Although Alabama does not require PIP protection, it is often a good idea to purchase this kind of policy anyway. Without it, you may be responsible for paying your expenses out of pocket if you cause a crash.)
CAN I FILE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM IF I WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET?
Since Alabama state law requires you to wear a motorcycle helmet, you may face a ticket or a fine if you do not have one on during a crash. However, insurance companies cannot use lack of helmet use as a reason to reduce your settlement.
Still, many injured riders find their motorcycle accident claims reduced or denied for this reason anyway. The insurance company may try to claim that you contributed to your own injuries by failing to wear a helmet. If this happens, then a qualified motorcycle attorney can help you fight for full and fair compensation.
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