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Choosing a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’re seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, hiring an attorney early on is very important. The problem with motorcycle accidents is that they are not like a regular motor vehicle automobile case because there usually is not no-fault coverage on a motorcycle to protect you from increased medical expenses. With no-fault, there are no deductibles and things such as that. With motorcycle cases, if you don’t have private health insurance, you are going to have a difficult time getting your medical expenses paid for. You want to get an attorney involved right away because we want to make sure there’s proper coverage to make sure those expenses are paid, and we want to get our investigation done as soon as possible. Many times with motorcycle cases, the injuries are more severe than with a car because, of course, you lack protection from seat belts and a metal frame.
We want to make sure that we have all the witnesses’ information that saw the accident and can tell us exactly what they saw to make sure that the responsible party is held accountable. If you wait too long to get witness statements and find witnesses, number one, you may not find the witness, and number two, even if you have witnesses’ names and you wait six months to talk to them, their memory of what happened may be a lot worse than it would have been a couple days after the accident.
Differences Between a Motorcycle Injury Case and a Car Injury Case
People have asked me about the differences between motorcycle cases and car accident cases, and one of the major differences is the fact that motorcyclists are not covered by no-fault insurance. We’ve talked about this before. When you’re in a car, certain insurance coverage protects you when it comes to paying for medical expenses, replacing lost wages, and covering incidental expenses to a certain extent. With motorcycles, however, there is none of that because no-fault protection doesn’t apply. If you don’t have good health insurance of your own, you could be in big trouble as far as your medical problems are concerned.
My experience has shown me that the injuries related to so many motorcycle claims can be very, very catastrophic. If you don’t have health insurance available to help you with these things, it could put us in a deep hole as far as your lawsuit is concerned because the coverage on the other side may be limited. If you get hurt because of someone’s negligence, they may have only $500,000 in coverage – and your injuries are likely to be worth far more than that. If that’s the case, you may have so much in medical expenses that weren’t covered by insurance that we could be in a difficult situation. I tell all people with motorcycles that they should make it their number one priority to have proper health insurance in place. You can buy extra medical coverage on your motorcycle policy; however, it’s somewhat expensive.
The biggest thing, when it comes to coverage on your motorcycle – as we’ve talked about before with regard to auto cases – is to carry supplemental coverage for your motorcycle. If you’re injured and the person who injured you has only minimal coverage – say $25,000 – as a motorcyclist, your supplemental insurance can be a lifesaver. I tell everybody to get up to half a million dollars in coverage, and have half a million dollars in supplemental coverage.
If you’re on a motorcycle, you need to have that coverage just in case you are hit by somebody who doesn’t have a sufficient amount. Once you get the $25,000 from that other driver, you go back to your own company for the difference. That’s $475,000 you can get from your own insurance company to compensate you for your injuries. It’s very important that motorcyclists carry proper health insurance and that they include the proper supplemental underinsurance coverage.
Understanding Motorcycle Accident Injury Cases
If you are injured on a motorcycle in Buffalo, keep several things in mind. Number one is that the no-fault law in New York State does not apply. Most of the time, you’ll be on the hook for your own medical bills – unless you purchase specific coverage through your own insurance to cover your bike. We always encourage our clients who ride motorcycles – or who are frequent passengers on motorcycles – to make sure that they and their family members have adequate coverage in case of an accident. Needless to say, you should always wear a helmet, and get on a bike only with someone who’s safe, knows how to operate the bike, and follows the rules of the road. Keep those things in mind if you ride a motorcycle in Buffalo.
Strict deadlines apply with respect to obtaining benefits pursuant to no-fault. When someone suffers motorcycle accident injuries, it is especially important to consult with an experienced attorney for this reason. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact one of our experienced Hamburg injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation. Our trial team is aggressive and determined when it comes to making our clients whole.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a motorcycle crash and have questions? Don’t ruin your motorcycle accident case! Contact a Hamburg motorcycle accident lawyer at Chiacchia and Fleming today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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