Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney hears this particular question in pretty much every phone call with an injured motorcyclist calling the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg.
“I have been injured and have liability insurance on my car, but not on my motorcycle,” an injured motorcyclist asks our attorneys from Law Offices of Howard Kornberg, “Does it mean I will be barred from making a personal injury claim to recover damages?”
“Not exactly,” says our motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles. As a rule of thumb, you have the right to make a personal injury claim even if you do not carry insurance on your motorcycle but only as long as the other party was at fault for the crash.
Our lawyers also warn that the amount of money you can recover as part of your personal injury settlement will be significantly limited because you do not carry insurance liability coverage for your motorcycle.
When your car’s liability insurance does not apply to motorcycle crashes
Note: Liability insurance coverage is intended to pay for the damages suffered by another person involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Let’s imagine the following scenario. You have purchased liability insurance for your car (doing so is required by California law), but you also own a motorcycle. If you are at fault for a motorcycle accident, and your motorcycle was not specifically included in your liability insurance nor have you purchased a separate liability coverage for the motorcycle, you will not be able to use this liability coverage to pay for the damages suffered by another party.
For your car’s liability insurance to apply to motorcycle accidents, you have to specifically ask your insurance adjuster to add coverage for your motorcycle in the existing policy or purchase separate liability coverage for your motorcycle.
You may still be able to file a personal injury claim though
But what happens when you get into a motorcycle accident that occurred due to another party’s fault in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California and have no motorcycle insurance coverage? Our motorcycle crash lawyer warns that although you will be penalized for not complying with California law (liability insurance is mandatory under California law), in no way does it mean that you will not be able to recover damages.
It is true that you will be barred from seeking compensation for “non-economic damages,” but you can still make a personal injury claim for “economic damages” (medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and others).
“In other words,” our experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles explains, “The amount of money you can recover as part of your settlement will be substantially lower than what it could have been if you had motorcycle coverage in your liability insurance.”
As a rule of thumb, pain and suffering damages represent a sizeable percentage of a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident, which is why having no motorcycle insurance will significantly reduce the value of your claim. Needless to say, the more severe your injuries, the bigger the amount of money you can recover as part of your personal injury claim.
Also, the bigger the value of your damages, the more likely it is that a lawyer will agree to take your case. However, here at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are not like other lawyers in California. We offer a free consultation to those who have no liability coverage for their motorcycle but want to recover the full value of damages. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 for a free case evaluation.