When involved in a motor vehicle accident, you will most likely feel a sense of stress and worry regarding how your insurance company will handle your accident. Although some cases are straightforward, others require a consultation with an experienced attorney who can help you anticipate the decision of an insurance company.
For more information regarding insurance claims in Columbia motorcycle accidents, be sure to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys at AW Smith Law Firm. Doing so could prove to be helpful to your case.
The injuries are more extensive and severe in a motorcycle incident because of the lack of safety devices. In Missouri, the economic damages related to medical bills may be higher than for a similar passenger vehicle incident. There is an increased risk of fractures, road rash, and brain injury. In addition to the economic damages associated with medical care, the injured party may receive economic damages for lost wages or property damage and non-economic damages, which may include pain and suffering.
Sometimes, age affects a person’s insurance rates. A younger driver operating a motorcycle might have higher rates. Having numerous collisions and/or incidents involving on a motorcycle could also increase a motorcyclist’s insurance rates.
Insurance rates may depend on the insurance carrier. Some insurance carriers that specialize in providing coverage for motorcycle operators have premiums that may be lower than insurance companies that do not focus on motorcycle riders.
Missouri does not recognize contributory negligence. It is a comparative fault state which is different from contributory negligence. Comparative fault is a legal term used by the jury in a court to assign percentages of fault in causing or contributing to a collision, and any of the resulting injuries. Comparative fault is not factored into a person’s insurance rates.
In Missouri, one might have liability insurance, medical payment coverage, and comprehensive coverage. There are two other types of insurance. One is uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).
When an individual has liability insurance in Missouri, they automatically have uninsured motorist coverage. It is not an additional packet of coverage they need to request or pay for. It is part of their liability policy which they do not have to purchase. Uninsured motorist coverage provides the policyholder with coverage should the person who caused the collision have no insurance. The individual who calls the collision “uninsured” can make a UM claim to their own insurance policy that will assess it and pay accordingly.
Underinsured motorist coverage is optional and is not necessarily required by the Missouri Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. A person pays for extra coverage above what the party that caused the collision may have. For example, an individual is injured in a motor vehicle collision and the person who caused the collision has only $25,000 in liability coverage. The injured party has $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage. They could make a claim to their insurance company under their UIM coverage because the party that caused the collision is underinsured. Various provisions such as set-off provisions may be in their policy, that could affect the amount they can recover. In Missouri, individuals required to have minimum liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence.
When there is a hit-and-run and the at-fault driver cannot be found because they fled the scene of the collision, the other party is able to make an uninsured motorist claim, regardless of whether it be a motorcyclist or the operator of a passenger vehicle. When an at-fault driver leaves the scene of the incident, they are known as a “phantom driver.” Most uninsured policies provide that in a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver cannot be found, they are considered an uninsured driver. That means the injured motorcyclist can make a UM claim against their own insurance company.
Dealing with insurance is always a nuisance for anyone responsible for operating a motor vehicle. For motorcycle accidents in particular, the stakes are usually higher considering the severity of the injuries commonly sustained. As a result, plaintiffs looking to make sure that they are properly compensated for their damages should reach out to our professional attorneys at AW Smith Law Firm. To get started discussing the details of your claim, call today to schedule a consultation.