Motorcycle Accident Claims
A motorcycle accident claim is like other vehicle accidents with special differences. The general law of negligence applies. If the drivers do not follow the duty of ordinary care, the injured party can sue. In the case of Motorcycle accidents over ¾ of the accidents are because the other driver ignored the motorcycle right of way and pulled out right in front of the motorcycle driver. Too often, the driver of the automobile fails to see the oncoming motorcycle.
How is a Motorcycle Claim Different?
A motorcycle accident differs from most auto accident claims because of the nature of the injuries. A high percentage of motorcycle drivers are very seriously injured. Because of the inherent nature of a motorcycle, the driver is thrown resulting in serious injury even death. These accidents often have a head, neck, and leg injuries that are disabling. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/810982
Do Motorcycle Drivers get No-Fault Benefits?
Motorcycle drivers are allowed to opt-out of the Kansas Personal Injury Protection No-Fault benefits which means they rarely have the protection of having their medical bills paid right away after the accident. This means the medical bills will need to be sent to the health insurance if any right after the injury as the liability claim may not be settled for some time.
Auto drivers must use ordinary reasonable care to avoid hitting motorcycles and this is compared with any fault of the motorcycle driver. Any recovery is reduced by the fault of the motorcycle driver. In Kansas, if the motorcycle driver is 50% or more at fault, there is no recovery.
Your next step
Before you settle, you need to make a complete investigation of the limits of the liability insurance policy, any underinsured motorist coverage, umbrella policies or other sources of recovery so you are not leaving money on the table. Once you sign the release, the claim is over.
Don’t forget the Liens
Because the injuries are severe, often, the injured party must deal with liens or claims against the recovery. For example, if Medicaid paid the bills, Medicaid may have reimbursement, the same with Medicare, and the ERISA health care plan. If you have questions on how to protect your settlement from these liens, call well before the settlement.
After the Settlement
After the settlement, you will want a financial plan which might include a special needs trust in certain situations to prevent the turning off your Medicaid and related benefits.
Free Webinar: Calculating the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
In this webinar, attorney Joe Patton covers this important concept in detail. Pretty often in a personal injury claim, an insurance company will make an initial offer to settle all damages. Before accepting any preliminary offers, it’s very important that you speak with a professional about the total value of your case. If you don’t properly value your claim, you will very likely accept an offer from an insurance company that is far too low. Learn from Joe how to calculate the value of a personal injury claim.