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Motorcycle Crashes Q&A with Jon Ostroff


Hi, I’m John Ostroff, thanks for visiting ostrofflaw.com. You’ve clicked on a question about motorcycle crashes, and I’m here to answer the questions, and tell you a little bit about how a motorcycle crash would be handled. The first thing you should know is, that if you are on a motorcycle, and injured by somebody else, someone else who was at fault, even if it’s clear they were at fault, because you’re on a motorcycle, you’re going to be dealing with some stereotypes. Oftentimes, police, insurance adjusters, even jurors, conclude that someone on a motorcycle, was going too fast.

We’ve had cases where, a motorcyclist is actually on a road with no stop sign, a car comes onto that road, and the car has a stop sign, the motorcycle doesn’t, and the jury will conclude, that the motorcycle driver was going faster than they should’ve, and contributed to the crash, even when it wasn’t the case. We have to know how to handle those biases, and overcome them for motorcyclists. If you’re on a motorcycle you’re much more vulnerable, and you really need to make sure you’re getting the right medial care, and we get involved in that, it’s really important that your injuries are treated properly and well documented.

Also, if you’re on a motorcycle, but your insurance policy on your car or your household says you’re limited tort, you’re probably going to hear from your insurance adjuster and other lawyers may tell you, and I’m telling you know, they’re wrong. That you are bound by limited tort, which means you can’t sue unless certain exceptions apply. If you’re on a motorcycle, your limited tort does not apply to your crash. If you’re in anything but a private passenger vehicle, a four wheel car, if you’re in a commercial truck, you’re a pedestrian, you’re on a motorcycle, you’re on a bicycle, limited tort doesn’t apply, even if that’s the insurance of your household. So don’t buy into that.

Also, you may have underinsured motorists, and uninsured motorists, that applies and gives you additional insurance, above the insurance of the car that’s at fault. Or, if the car at fault has no insurance, there’s still hope, if you have uninsured motorists coverage in your household. So, once you recover against the car that’s at fault maybe it’s easier for me to give you an example: Let’s say that you’ve been seriously injured, your case is worth $500,000 and the car at fault only has $50,000 of liability insurance. You can go back to your UIM insurance, your underinsured motorist coverage and get additional insurance, but be careful, before you accept the insurance from the car at fault, there’s certain hoops you have to jump through. Certain legal requirements, to make sure you don’t jeopardize a UIM, and that’s something that we’ll make sure that we walk you through properly with every client that has a UIM or UM claim. I hope this information has been helpful. Thanks.

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