When using a motorcycle as your primary source of transport in Los Angeles, you face higher risks of accidents. As a result, it is always advisable to secure your insurance policy as soon as you purchase the motorcycle, to help you recover if an accident should arise. However, motorists using personal cars, trucks, or other types of vehicles rarely obtain a valid insurance policy to cover for any injuries or losses they may cause in an accident.
As a result, if you, as a motorcyclist, suffer losses or damages from the uninsured motorist, you will have to receive compensation from a specific insurance policy available for incidents with uninsured drivers. While you can benefit from the particular insurance policy, it is essential to remember that working with insurance adjusters can be an arduous task, as they are determined to compensate you the least amount possible.
Hence, you want to include a car accident attorney’s services as you seek to recover from the damages caused by an uninsured driver. With the help of your lawyer, you can negotiate for higher amounts of compensation from the insurance company to cater to any severe injuries or irreversible damage to property that occurred after the accident.
It is also beneficial to work with a professional and highly experienced car accident attorney conversant with insurance claims and working with strict insurance adjusters. At Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we focus on providing our clients in Los Angeles, California, the best legal services related to car accident compensation. With our skilled team’s help, your claims from an uninsured motorist become more comfortable to handle as we work to get you the best compensatory amount possible from your insurance carrier.
The Importance of Obtaining an Insurance Policy
Usually, accidents are unpredictable and can involve different parties, including drivers, without proper insurance coverage. Subsequently, when an incident involving your motorcycle occurs, you will have to deal with numerous issues, including scheduling meetings with an insurance adjuster to discuss the accident’s nature and the possible recovery amounts you are entitled to receive.
When you purchase a motorcycle, you will need to take out several insurance policies to protect you in case of an accident. Moreover, the different systems cover uninsured or underinsured motorists, as they often lack enough funds to pay out of pocket.
Under proposition 213, your insurance company should provide uninsured and underinsured policies to all motorcycle users as an extra protective measure against the damages and losses that motorcyclists face. Thus, the two systems are part of the overall motorcycle insurance required for each motorcyclist in California.
Types of Insurance Policies for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
After an accident, you will have to use one of the various insurance policies depending on the incident’s circumstances. Each insurance policy works under unique factors and determinants to provide a viable compensation source from an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
It is necessary to understand that bringing a claim under uninsured and underinsured policies does not warrant the driver at fault to pay the compensatory fees. Instead, your insurance carrier will have to provide compensation under the contractual agreements.
However, since insurance providers run a business model, they are not looking to comply with your demands and pay the exact amount you asked for. Subsequently, they often use insurance adjusters to bargain on behalf of the company to the lowest settlement.
Working with a car accident attorney will help you understand the different criteria requirements before filing any policies. This way, you will be ready to face an insurance agent who represents the company. Receiving your lawyer’s assistance becomes essential, mainly because the insurance agent has an objective to reach the lowest possible settlement amount.
Some of the claims from uninsured and underinsured policies you can benefit from are:
Uninsured Motorists Claims (UM) Claims
When your motorcycle accident involves a driver without insurance, you will benefit from filing an uninsured motorists claim. However, you will have to fulfill some requirements to promote the best chances of recovering a full amount.
Firstly, your lawyer should determine that the motorist in question was responsible for the accident and had a significant at-fault percentage.
Additionally, it is necessary to establish that the motorist did not have an insurance policy, meaning that he/she cannot quickly provide compensation for the damages and losses you suffered.
To do this, your lawyer can engage with the driver at-fault and run several checks on his or her obtained contact information. If no insurance carrier is affiliated with the motorist, you will have established that he/she was uninsured.
Moreover, uninsured motorists include any driver at fault in a hit and run incident. Usually, the hit and run accident leave little to no chance of finding the motorist responsible for the occurrence. Consequently, it becomes reasonable to assume that the motorist was uninsured because you cannot trace the person.
When you present the uninsured motorist claim to your insurance carrier, the representative receiving your official claims may ask additional questions concerning the accident. We recommend declining to answer the questions, especially if you do not have your car accident attorney next to you.
Informing the insurance agent that all information is in the written claim is a reasonable answer to provide, as it saves you the pressure not to give any details that could reveal your faults. When dealing with insurance adjusters or agents, they may use any information you provide to your disadvantage, as they work to reduce the amount you receive eventually.
Hence, when the adjuster notes any details that could tie some fault in your part, you will be eligible to receive less compensation than expected.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Claims
Additionally, you may have taken out a UMBI policy to provide compensation specifically for accidents that cause bodily injury. Like in the standard uninsured motorist policies, you will recover from your insurance carrier for an uninsured motorist’s faults.
As discussed, an uninsured motorist is one who does not have any valid insurance policies to enable recovery of damages that he/she causes.
When presenting an uninsured motorist bodily injury claim, your lawyer should show that the driver at fault did not have insurance coverage and that he/she was at fault. Often, proving fault in road accidents will require your lawyer to rely on various civil wrongs, including gross negligence.
When your lawyer proves fault in negligence, he/she should show that the motorist in question breached a duty of care to drive cautiously, resulting in the accident.
Additionally, it is advisable to include documents of proof of bodily injury when presenting your claim to the insurance carrier. For example, if you suffered from severe bone fractures from the incident, you can provide your X-Ray images as supporting evidence of the existence of bodily harm.
Other sources of proof may come from the prescription forms you received from the hospital, directing you to receive medication for the injuries you sustained. You can also add the actual receipts you received after buying the medicine to strengthen the figures you present in the claim.
Also, doctor’s reports and directives issued, like receiving in-patient treatment, are valuable documents to include when presenting the claim.
You need to note that the limits provided in an uninsured motorist bodily injury policy are the same as your insurance liability limits. Hence, you can only recover as much compensation as your liability insurance provisions include.
As a result, if the liability insurance coverage was not high, you will have an existing limit on personal injury recovery.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Claims
Also, under the category of uninsured motorists, you can present a claim for the property damage that the motorist caused. In this case, property damage may include damage to your motorcycle or any other damages you would be responsible for if the driver was not at fault.
For example, if the impact from the vehicle pushed you into a street restaurant glass door, you would be responsible for paying for the damages in normal circumstances. However, your UMPD claim can cover for the losses.
Since the at-fault driver is uninsured, you will present the claim to your insurance carrier, like in other circumstances. Therefore, you want to be prepared for the meetings with insurance adjusters, who will not be keen on providing the amount you include in your claim.
Hence, your attorney should prepare persuasive and credible counter-arguments to justify your claims and compel the insurance carrier to dispense the requested amount.
During the negotiations, your attorney may provide information on the case’s circumstances to show that your involvement was involuntary and solely on the uninsured driver’s fault.
Additionally, the lawyer can present attestations from a professional motorcycle repair specialist who can provide a quote for the cost of repair and replacement of damaged parts.
Also, presenting receipts from other parties who suffered damage from the motorcycle accident like the restaurant with a broken glass door, will help advocate for a reasonable compensation amount from your insurance carrier.
However, UMPD claims also have an amount limit that only lets you recover for property damage of up to $3500. If your claim involves losses more than the amount limit, you may need to make out of pocket payments or contact the at-fault driver to negotiate for direct prices.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Claims
Sometimes, the driver who caused the accident may have an insurance policy. However, he/she may have taken out the minimum insurance policy that only provides $15,000 per person involved in the accident, or $30,000 per accident caused.
Consequently, having the minimum policy coverage means that the at-fault driver is underinsured in case of a severe accident that creates an impact on your motorcycle.
Since an underinsured motorist has some insurance coverage source to provide after an accident, you should first recover the benefits included in his/her minimum policy coverage.
When dealing with the driver’s insurance adjuster, your lawyer should be as diligent as possible to help you receive the total amount provided for in the policy.
The rationale behind an adamant demand from the underinsured driver is that his/her insurance policy will barely be enough to compensate you for the total losses.
Therefore, the insurance adjuster and your attorney should reach a settlement that provides a reasonable compensatory amount for your best interests.
After recovering from the motorist’s insurance carrier, you will still have an outstanding balance of claims in damages. In this case, you will then turn to your insurance carrier to cater to the balance.
Essentially, the insurance carrier should help you receive complete compensation for your losses, despite obtaining a percentage from the driver’s insurance policy.
However, as mentioned, the insurance company rarely agrees to your claims initially, meaning that you will need your car accident lawyer’s services to help with the negotiations.
For example, your lawyer will help provide lawyer’s services sufficient proof to show that the at-fault motorist had the $15,000 minimum insurance policy, meaning that he/she could not repay for all your losses.
Alternatively, your lawyer can conduct separate investigations on the motorist’s assets to help you recover from a driver who claims to have insufficient funds. This alternative is often a last resort after your insurance carrier provides rigid payments for your sustained losses.
Suppose your attorney identifies and confirms that the driver has assets capable of liquidation to cover the outstanding balance for your injuries and losses. In that case, he/she can then seek a court judgment.
The judge’s orders will be to the at-fault motorist, ordering him/her to pay you directly from the asset liquidation. Eventually, you will have received rightful compensation from the underinsured motorist to cover severe injuries, property damage, and medical expenses.
The Process of Filing for an Insurance Claim
Whether you are filing for an uninsured or underinsured claim, it is essential to follow the guidelines required of each claimant after a motorcycle accident. Moreover, working with your lawyer eases the pressure of looking for all the requirements at the last minute, which may lower your chances of receiving the compensatory amount you hope for.
As a result, you want to understand the process to follow when filing a claim for the best results. The first step to undertake is proving that the driver in question was at fault, leading to the motorcycle accident.
While most strategies involve proving the driver’s negligence, you may also present allegations that include reckless or aggressive driving and breaking traffic rules, including speed warnings. The accident may also have occurred from careless driving tactics, including overlapping or applying sudden brakes with no obstacles.
When preparing to file the claim, your lawyer must refine the case’s facts to help counter the insurance representative. Often, the insurance agents may ask questions relating to the events that transpired moments before the accident, including your motorcyclist position. If your records indicate that you were not at any fault, the insurance adjuster will have a more challenging time compelling you to accept a low compensation rate.
Moreover, you want to adhere to the strict deadlines set for you to bring a claim forth. Usually, most insurance carriers include a strict timeline to eliminate the number of claims they receive on the grounds of late applications.
Subsequently, we recommend reaching out to your lawyer soon after the accident to give him/her adequate preparation time. Upon presenting the claims on time, you will have avoided the elimination method used to prevent claimants from receiving their insurance coverage payments.
During the negotiations, the insurance adjuster will go over the company policy to establish that you are well within the required criteria of claimants seeking payments. Additionally, your lawyer will represent your demands orally, citing reasons for each request and giving details on its relation to the accident.
Most discussions and negotiations may drag on for a while, primarily because both the insurance carrier and your attorney want to receive or retain the larger percentage of the monetary compensation available. Sometimes, the negotiations can lead to amicable settlements, where you obtain an amount close to what you anticipated, as the insurance carrier agrees to dispense it.
Conversely, your lawyer and the insurance adjuster may fail to settle, meaning that none of the parties are willing to yield. Suppose your claim gives rise to a fall out with the insurance agent. In that case, your attorney can request an arbitration session, where an independent arbitrator will listen to your case and analyze the facts concerning an uninsured or underinsured driver hits your motorcycle.
Additionally, the arbitrator will consider the types of injuries and losses you sustained from the accident, along with any source of proof you present to corroborate your case. After hearing both sides, the arbitrator should reach a decision and issue a recommendation that can serve as a guideline for the insurance company to compensate you for the motorcycle accident.
The last option for disputing negotiations is scheduling a hearing where arbitrators will preside over the discussions and determine how to move forward. Since the arbitrators are independent, they are likely to offer clear directives that provide reasonable outcomes for your claim.
Other Possible Parties Liable for Your Motorcycle Accident
Sometimes, your motorcycle accident may arise from other parties’ liabilities apart from the uninsured or underinsured driver. Here, the collision that occurs may be from the driver’s operation of the vehicle.
However, the liability will fall on a third party owing to an existing legal relationship between the uninsured motorist and the third party. Hence, it would be more advisable to present compensatory claims to third parties, especially if dealing with an insurance company is likely to yield fewer results. Some of the parties you may seek compensation from include:
The Driver’s Employer Through Vicarious Liability
If a motorcycle accident involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the liability will shift to the employer based on vicarious liability. The factors to satisfy in a vicarious imposition of penalty include ensuring that the driver was within the employment scope when the incident occurred.
The employment scope includes any actions that occurred as the motorist performed tasks within what he/she was hired to do. For example, if the driver delivers items for an online store company, he/she will be within the scope of employment if the accident arises on his delivery routes.
Similarly, a chauffeur driving guests or hirers to different locations is within the employment scope and can transfer the accident’s liability to his/her employment. However, if the chauffeur passes by his/her home before picking clients, he/she may be responsible for causing the accident, as the scope of employment does not include making stops at home during working hours.
You may also have to direct your claim to a vehicle manufacturer instead of the uninsured motorist in circumstances where the accident arose from genuine car malfunctions that the driver did not foresee. For example, suppose the brake fluid system failed for the first time, causing the motorist to hit your motorcycle from behind. In that case, you are better off issuing the claim to the vehicle manufacturers.
The manufacturers of different car parts can also become responsible for the damages and losses you sustain, especially if the uninsured motorist can prove that he/she recently changed the specific car part that malfunctioned, leading to the accident. If the motorist presents compelling information that removes him/her from any fault, you can forward the compensatory claim to the vehicle and parts manufacturer.
Contact an Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near Me
Mostly, motorcycle riders suffer from prejudice and strict scrutiny for fault after involvement in a car accident. Therefore, most of them cannot recover compensation, even where the liable party was an uninsured motorist without a competent injury attorney. Nevertheless, with an acceptable insurance policy, you can recover compensatory amounts from your insurance carrier despite dealing with the uninsured driver. However, you need to remember that your insurance carrier is not keen on meeting your requests and provide complete compensation.
Hence, you want to work with an experienced lawyer who will put your needs first and help you negotiate the best terms possible to recover from your underinsured or uninsured motorist policy. At the Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, you will receive reliable and professional legal services to help you recover for all the damage and personal injury suffered after a motorcycle accident. If you need an accident attorney in Los Angeles, California, call us today at 424-237-3600.