WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CAR ACCIDENT AND A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
An important difference between Maryland motorcycle accident cases and automobile accident cases involve the degree and types of injuries sustained by the victims.
The injuries sustained by the driver of a motorcycle are substantially more significant than those sustained by the driver of the car, because upon impact, motorcyclists are not insulated by the structure of an automobile.
The blunt force trauma of the direct contact between the motorcyclist with the surface of the road, automobiles, guardrails and other surfaces, results in significant or catastrophic injuries, which are sometimes fatal.
Statistics show that victims of motorcycle accidents have a greater chance of dying in a motorcycle accident than personal injury victims who are involved in car accidents or even truck accidents. The tragedy that surrounds the families of victims who are killed in fatal motorcycle, car and truck crashes, is unbearable and unforgivable.
The laws in these wrongful death claims allow the victim’s family and loved ones in fatal motorcycle accidents, fatal car accidents or fatal truck accidents, to seek compensation for their own suffering, damages and losses from the person who caused the accident. If you are the wife, husband, parent, or child of the deceased victim, my Firm will recover all damages available under Maryland law to which you are entitled.
These damages include damages for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, filial care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance, or education where applicable.
Motorcycle accidents in Maryland are also treated differently than automobile accidents and truck accidents in Maryland with respect to Insurance coverage. If you have a car, the Insurance coverage on your automobile insurance policy for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) does not apply to the motorcycle accident.
In Maryland, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers medical bills, lost wages, and other accident related expenses resulting from personal injuries and losses sustained in an auto accident.
Other benefits of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) are that it is not fault-based, which means it provides financial compensation and covers for your personal injuries resulting from an automobile accident, regardless of who caused the car accident. And, your Insurance company will not count it against you so that you will not face increased premiums as a result of making a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim.
Furthermore, under Maryland law and the “Collateral Source Rule” you can receive benefits from more than one source. For instance, I will recover your lost wages and medical expenses for you from the other side’s Insurance company, and I will also recover those expenses and lost wages for you up to the amount of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
Under Maryland law, you are allowed to be compensated twice under the “Collateral Source Rule” because you have paid the insurance premiums for the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and therefore the law recognizes that you should not be penalized as an injured victim, and should benefit from that collateral, or other, source.
As discussed above, in Maryland, the Insurance coverage that you have on your automobile insurance policy for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) does not apply to motorcycle accidents.
Motorcyclists must have separate Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for their motorcycles. This is because Insurance companies want to protect themselves from the financial risks they have with motorcycle accidents.
Therefore, as a motorcyclist, make sure that you purchased Personal Injury Protection (PIP) specifically for your motorcycle. I also recommend to my clients that they get additional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, over the standard $2,500.00 coverage.
The Insurance companies do not tell you that the additional coverage does not cost a lot more than the basic $2,500.00 coverage. If you are injured in a motorcycle or automobile accident and suffer personal injuries, the amount of your medical bills alone will most likely exceed $2,500.00. You can elect to get the higher Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of $5,000.00 or more, by paying a little bit more for the insurance premium and it is well worth it.
It is important to know that under Maryland law, a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim resulting from a personal injury automobile accident must be filed within one (1) year of the date of the accident. Otherwise, you are barred from getting the coverage it provides for your medical expenses and lost wages.
Another difference in Insurance coverage between motorcycle accidents in Maryland and car accidents or truck accidents is with cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.
In a personal injury accident involving an at fault “uninsured motorist,” the negligent driver who caused the accident does not have automobile insurance coverage.
In a personal injury accident involving an at fault “underinsured motorist,” the negligent driver who caused the accident has insufficient liability insurance limits to cover your total losses and damages and the policy limits of your underinsured motorist policy are higher.
Therefore, under Maryland law, if the at-fault driver either does not have any insurance or has insurance but carries lower coverage than your own policy, your own insurance company will pay for all of your damages and losses with your higher policy limits so that you are completely covered since the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is not enough to cover your losses and damages.
With respect to motorcycle accidents and uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver while you were riding another person’s motorcycle, you would likely be covered under your own automobile insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
However, if you own both a motorcycle and a car and carry insurance on both, the Insurance company will apply the policy limit on the motorcycle to the accident even if the policy limit for the automobile’s uninsured motorist coverage is higher.
Therefore, I also recommend to my clients that they get the higher limits of coverage on their motorcycles on their policies, which includes uninsured motorist coverage.
As a victim of a motorcycle accident, there is no cost to you for receiving medical treatment and legal representation. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that the Insurance company that pays for the injuries, damages and losses in the case, will pay for the medical treatment, related expenses and attorney’s fees, and you will be compensated and made whole for the negligence of the other driver.
For more information about your motorcycle accident case and what you need to do right now, call me directly at: 410-983-3022 and I will discuss, review and evaluate your case with you at no charge. You may also contact me by completing the Contact box on the left side of this page, or by email. You can also protect your case by reading my advice in my Free Bike Accident Fact Book.