Sometimes, when you’re dealing with extensive injuries and medical bills from a motorcycle crash, the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your damages. This is when I have to go looking for additional sources of insurance coverage. Truthfully, as a motorcycle accident attorney, I’ve gotten pretty good at it over the past 30 years. I’ll explain how I might be able to find more insurance coverage to make sure you’re compensated for the the injuries you sustained in the motorcycle collision.
I created an entire series of pages explaining how I handle motorcycle accident claims. There are several other pages you may want to review prior to reading further:
- Understanding Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Claims
- The Purpose of a Letter of Representation in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
- Reserving No-Fault Benefits After a Motorcycle Wreck
- Getting Motorcycle Crash Medical Records and Bills
- Quickly Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim for Policy Limits
- Splitting Policy Limits between Multiple Injured Motorcyclists
Continuing with the previous page’s explanation of why I had to negotiate how the insurance was divided, I was glad we had somewhere to start. While I was pleased that insurance had rolled over and tendered their policy limits, it was time to begin looking for additional sources of insurance coverage. I had to find underinsured motorist insurance to recover more of the value of my client’s personal injury claim.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Recall that I previously said the value of my client’s claim was between $150,000 to $300,000 and so far, we only have $25,000 on the table. I have explained underinsured motorist coverage in other areas of this website. However, it essentially covers those aspects of my client’s personal injury claim that were not covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance.
When you look for underinsured motorist coverage, you start by looking at the insurance for the vehicle you were in at the time of motor vehicle wreck. Why? A good personal injury lawyer “fishes” for insurance coverage that can apply to a motorcycle accident. Any injury lawyer who has been practicing law for a while has probably had an injury case worth over a million dollars. However, because of the lack of insurance on the at-fault driver, they probably only recovered only thousands instead.
As a result, a good injury attorney will look in a lot of places for different insurance policies because most insurance policies probably have some very inclusive language, known as an omnibus clause; that clause can provide insurance coverage to family, relatives and people using the automobile or motorcycle. As a motorcycle lawyer, I want to cast a very wide net and I never want to miss an insurance policy that could cover part of the personal injury claim. I would rather have an insurance company tell me I am wrong and overreaching, instead of missing dollars that can be recovered on my client’s behalf.
In this instance, my client was a passenger on another person’s motorcycle so that’s where we started; and yes, they had underinsured motorist coverage of $50,000 per person. As a result, I had to follow a procedure known as a “Coots notice”, covered in KRS 304.39-320, and put them on notice of my intention to make an underinsured claim on behalf of my client because the at-fault driver was an underinsured driver. Of course, I sent them my client’s medical records and bills as well because, that’s my big bat to swing. Are you starting to see the importance that medical bills and records play in a personal injury claim?
But we are not yet done with our search for underinsured motorist coverage. My client owns an automobile, with automobile insurance on it and with underinsured motorist benefits of $25,000. So yes, I sent that automobile insurance a “Coots notice”, claiming more underinsured motorist benefits, and a copy of her medical bills and records.
Correct! I am making an automobile insurance policy apply to injuries sustained while riding a motorcycle. Essentially, that automobile policy can cover you while operating or riding in a motor vehicle, in this instance a motorcycle, unless an exclusion applies.
Insurance Exclusions for Motorcycles
For example, an exclusion that is found in most car insurance policies is that they won’t cover a vehicle that is “regularly owned and operated” by you but not listed in their insurance policy. In other words, if you insure your motorcycle with GEICO but your car’s with State Farm, State Farm does not have to cover you while you are riding your motorcycle because you regularly own/use your motorcycle and they don’t insure that motorcycle. However, in this instance, my client was a passenger on a motorcycle that she did not own or regularly use. As a result, her automobile insurance can apply to the injuries she sustained while riding a motorcycle. This is why it’s so important that your attorney is looking for additional sources of insurance coverage.
Let’s continue the discussion on motorcycle accident claims on the next page about No-Fault Coverage While Riding a Motorcycle.