Roughly 90,000 people are injured in motorcycle accidents each year and almost 5000 of those incidents are fatal according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While helmets reduce the percentage of fatal accidents, motorcyclists are exposed to the dangerous conditions in the face of a crash where as drivers have the protection of seat belts and air bags. Further, Illinois is among three states that do not require motorcycle operators to wear a helmet.
Further, unlike auto accidents, the overwhelming majority of accidents involving motorcycles and cars involve the motorcyclist being struck from the front as opposed to rear end collisions which are common for car versus car accidents. Given the dangers associated with operating a motorcycle, it is imperative that owners of motorcycles obtain significant insurance coverage. You insurance policy options must be carefully selected in terms of the amounts of medical payments coverage which will pay portions of your medical bills. Your insurance policy for your motorcycle will have an option for the dollar amount you can have for medical payments if you are injured and very often the price difference between $5000 and a significantly higher limit is not a lot of money. When weighing these coverage limits options please consider the small amounts of money you can pay to have adequate coverage.
The price of one expensive dinner out can be the difference between inadequate and adequate medical payments coverage for our insurance. And, more importantly, you will have the option when purchasing insurance coverage for your motorcycle to obtain Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). If you are involved in an accident and the at fault driver doesn’t have insurance for their vehicle or if you are injured in a hit and run accident then UM coverage will step in and provide you with coverage for your injuries. If the other driver’s insurance coverage limits are low and you have significant injuries and the value of your medical bills exceeds the limits of the at fault party’s insurance coverage limits than your UIM coverage can step in and cover the difference so long as your UIM limits are greater than the limits of the at fault party’s bodily injury limits.
This can be very confusing but it is critical that you sit down with your insurance agent and have these coverage options explained to you. Often we request coverage through our local insurance agent and we ask to spend the least amount possible per month and still comply with the law in Illinois. The problem is that the price difference between the lowest limits and significantly higher limits is usually pretty little. Most purchasers of auto insurance coverage would be surprised at the price difference between $25,000 in coverage versus $250,000 in coverage. Make sure to have these conversations with your insurance carrier to ensure that you are adequately covered, especially if you operate a motorcycle.
If you have any questions as to your insurance policy or if you were injured in a motorcycle accident call our office immediately for a free consultation. We can explain your rights and help you ascertain whether you have available recovery options that can be pursued. Our phone number is (312) 422-0500 and it is FREE to call and speak directly with one of our experienced attorneys.