After my motorcycle accident, what information should I obtain and keep?
It is important to keep the Driver’s Exchange Form that the reporting officer gives you at the scene. You may not be able to get another copy of this form if you lose it. If no law enforcement comes to the scene, make sure you obtain the name, address and insurance information (insurance company and policy number) for the other drivers involved in the accident, as well as the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. If you are physically unable to do this because of injury, do not worry about it and get immediate medical treatment.
After my motorcycle accident, I need medical treatment, who pays for this?
Unfortunately, motorcycles do not fall under the definition of “motor vehicles” as defined by the Florida Statutes and therefore you may not be entitled to any personal injury protection coverage or PIP. Since PIP is not available, the next step would be to give the medical provider your health insurance information. If not health insurance is available, you may need to work out a payment plan with the provider. If the motorcycle accident was not your fault, hiring an attorney to work for you against the insurance company of the at-fault driver is very important.
Does the other driver have bodily injury coverage and what does that mean?
Bodily Injury or BI coverage is the part of the automobile insurance policy that protects the at-fault driver from damages to other persons. In the State of Florida, a driver is not required to carry Bodily Injury or BI coverage. If the at-fault driver does have Bodily Injury or BI coverage, the typical amounts we see are $10,000 per person/ $20,000 per accident; $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident; and $100,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident. There are many other Bodily Injury limit combinations, but these are the most common. In a motorcycle accident with Bodily Injury coverage of $10,000 per person/ $20,000 per accident, no one person could collect more than $10,000 and the total amount available to multiple injured parties would be $20,000. If the accident involved three injured people, one person could receive $10,000 and the other two would have $10,000 remaining to split, or the three could split the $20,000 in any combination, as long as one person did not receive more than $10,000.
I have “Full Coverage”, so I am sure to have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage, correct?
The short answer is not necessarily. Full coverage in the State of Florida means you have the minimum allowed by the state. In Florida that is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage (PD) coverage. Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage is something that you have to elect to have on your policy and increases your premiums. Like the names suggest, Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects the victim of a motorcycle accident for damages caused by another, if the at-fault driver does not Bodily Injury Coverage or if the Bodily Injury coverage is not sufficient to cover the damages.
What happens after I start treating with doctors and the medical bills keep growing? Won’t the at-fault carrier pay my damages?
Not necessarily. The driver that caused the motorcycle accident may not have bodily injury coverage or the insurance company will try to offer settlements much lower than the case is actually worth. Insurance companies make these low offers early in a case when the injured person does not have an attorney and are still confused about how to proceed. The insurance companies are banking on this and know that once an attorney is involved, the chances of settling the case at unreasonable amounts are much more difficult. Keep in mind, the at-fault party’s insurance company does not have your best interest in mind. It only wants to protect its insured and obtain a release anyway possible. You need a lawyer to protect your interests.
Why choose STAMATAKIS + THALJI + BONANNO for your motorcycle accident?
At STAMATAKIS + THALJI + BONANNO, we pride ourselves in offering personal attention to each and every motorcycle accident case that comes through our door. We understand that no two motorcycle accidents are the same, so we treat every case differently based on the unique facts surrounding each one. Rob Bonanno has over twelve (12) years of experience representing insurance companies and at-fault drivers, as well as individuals injured in motorcycle accidents. At STAMATAKIS + THALJI + BONANNO, you will be treated as an individual with the personal attention you deserve.