In New York State, there is a minimum No-Fault insurance coverage of $50,000 required for all automobiles. This coverage pays a person injured during the use and operation of an automobile for medical treatment, loss of wages and other expenses associated with an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This coverage also applies to a pedestrian hit by a car or motorcycle.
However, unlike automobile drivers and pedestrians, motorcyclists and their passengers do not have access to No-Fault insurance coverage and are often left responsible to pay for medical treatment, lost wages and other expenses associated with an accident. While a motorcyclist can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of someone else, every motorcyclist should keep the following in mind to protect him or herself in the event of an accident:
1. Determine how you will pay for medical care if you are injured on a motorcycle. Because No-Fault benefits will not be available to you, you should consider purchasing extra medical coverage for your motorcycle policy, especially if you lack adequate health insurance. If you have health insurance, extra medical coverage may remain a good decision if you have a high deductible health care plan or a health care plan with significant co-pays.
2. Consider the possibility that you may not be able to work if injured on a motorcycle. Because No-Fault benefits will not be available to you, you should consider purchasing a short and long term disability insurance policy.
3. You cannot count on others to carry adequate insurance. Consequently, you should also consider purchasing extra insurance coverage that would compensate you in the event a negligent third person carries no insurance or has insurance limits that are inadequate to compensate you for your loss. This is known as Supplemental Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist (SUM) coverage.
4. Motorcyclists often believe they have purchased No-Fault insurance because their insurance policy states that the coverage portfolio includes No-Fault benefits. This occurs when a motorcyclist also has an automobile. The No-Fault coverage applies to the automobile, but not the motorcycle. You must request additional coverage for the motorcycle.
If you have been injured in a car or on a motorcycle, please contact a personal injury attorney at Lacy Katzen LLP for a free consultation.