How Injured Motorcycle Riders in Utah Get Shafted
You are riding your motorcycle. You are in a crash. It is not your fault. You think you have good insurance coverage and you will be treated fairly if you have to go to trial—think again!
Motorcycle Insurance in Utah Does Not Have Personal Injury Protection
Motorcycle coverage in Utah does not have personal injury protection (PIP) like car insurance in Utah. You can purchase “Med Pay” that works like PIP but you have to request it because most insurance brokers do not know about it. Med Pay is ideal for people who ride motorcycles but do not have medical insurance. This is how it works. If you are injured in a motorcycle crash (the crash must involve you while riding your motorcycle) you send your treatment bills to your insurance company and they will pay up to the amount of coverage you purchased. Usually the purchased amounts available are in $5,000 increments and there is no limit you can purchase. This coverage kicks in regardless of the mechanism of injury, meaning whether you are hit negligently by another driver, or you cause the crash and injure yourself. Basically, medical insurance pays in the event that you are injured while on your motorcycle.
Custom Work & Parts Not Covered
Insurance companies claim they only owe you the “stock value” of your motorcycle, leaving you with no compensation for that custom paint job and custom handlebars. Depending on your insurance company you may need to request a specialty policy that lists your motorcycle as a collector item or an antique. We often fight with insurance companies to pay for add-ons such as custom bags, custom paint and custom parts even without the specialty coverage mentioned above—we are often successful. BTW we do this for free when representing you in a motorcycle injury case.
A Juror’s Stereotype of Motorcycle Riders
Let’s face it—most people do not ride motorcycles—only the chosen. Most juries are made up of people who do not ride motorcycles. Most jurors who do not ride motorcycles think that most (if not all) motorcycle riders are speed demons and/or just reckless. They also think that just the act of getting on a motorcycle places you at risk and if you are injured you kind of get what you deserve regardless of the fault and negligence of others.
There is a process before trial starts called “voir dire” that translates into “To Speak the Truth.” As trial attorneys we try our best to weed out jurors who demonstrate bias and even prejudice against motorcycle riders so we can have a fair and impartial jury. As a side note, some of the people most biased against motorcycle riders are other motorcycle riders. These “perfect” motorcycle riders often say that the injured rider should have done this or could have done that to avoid the crash and of course, given the same circumstances, they would have reacted exactly the same way.
You Think You Have “Full Coverage”
“Full coverage” means different things to different people—including insurance salespeople. Make sure you have liability coverage – it pays for people you injure. You should have uninsured coverage – it pays you when someone injures you and they have no insurance coverage. You should have underinsured coverage – it pays you when the person who injures you has insurance coverage but not enough to pay for all the injuries they caused to you. Also consider purchasing “med pay,” discussed above. You might also consider “specialty coverage,” also discussed above.
Here is great website that compares the 5 best motorcycle insurance companies.
The Sneaky Statute of Limitations
You have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Utah. That might seem like a long time but insurance companies have a way making it go by so fast. Oftentimes I see people being denied a reasonable settlement while “negotiating” with the insurance companies. This is a ploy to lull you into complacency while the statute of limitations runs and once it runs (expires) you are out of luck and without opportunity to get fair compensation.
There are other ways motorcycle riders get shafted and you need a good motorcycle lawyer to handle your case—one that is ready, willing and able to take your case to trial if necessary. WHY? Because your ability to try your case publicly to a jury is the only real power you have to ensure fair compensation by the insurance companies that routinely shaft motorcycle riders—that’s why!
Utah Bike Law is a motorcycle injury law firm and its lawyers who ride are dedicated to representing injured motorcycle riders and their families. If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle crash anywhere in the United States we invite you to call for a free confidential consultation. There is no obligation and you are not charged any fees whatsoever unless we recover money for you.
Utah Bike Law and its attorneys are licensed to practice law only in the State of Utah and maintain offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. No attorney client relationship is established by simply visiting this website