Motorcycle accident victims who were passengers on a friend’s bike can file an injury claim against the at-fault party. It will either be under the motorcyclist’s insurance policy or against another party, such as the driver of a passenger vehicle. This largely depends on who was at fault for the motorcycle accident and the type of coverage available.
Minimum Motorcycle Insurance in Iowa
When the driver of the motorcycle is at fault, his/her coverage might pay for damages to an injured passenger. If another party is responsible for the accident, the passenger may file a claim against that party’s insurance company. Bodily injury liability would cover injuries up to the limits of the policy.
In Iowa, motorcyclists are required to carry a minimum of 20/40/15:
- $20,000 in bodily injury liability for one person;
- $40,000 bodily injury liability for all injuries in one accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage.
Many motorcyclists and motorists choose to carry higher insurance coverage, though. Some motorists carry medical payments coverage, which pays for costs of medical care regardless of fault. Passengers may even use their own coverage to initially cover their costs before recovering compensation from the at-fault party.
When Insurance Coverage isn’t Enough
The at-fault party’s insurance coverage may not be enough. Let’s say a driver runs a red light and crashes into the motorcycle. Not only is the passenger injured but so is the motorcyclist. If the driver only has the minimum amount of coverage, minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $40,000 may not take care of everyone’s damages.
Whenever insurance isn’t enough, there is always the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the person who was at fault for the accident – whether the motorcyclist or the driver of the passenger car or other vehicle. While some minor insurance claims may be handled without an attorney, filing a lawsuit typically requires legal representation.
Damages Recoverable by a Passenger in a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident victim may suffer severe injuries. The medical and hospital costs associated with the injuries could be recovered in the claim or lawsuit. If the passenger is out of work for a few days, several weeks or longer, the earnings he/she is without could also be addressed.
Damages besides hospital stay and lost wages may include:
- pain and suffering;
- disability; and
- emotional distress.
Talking with an attorney can help injured passengers understand all the forms of compensation that may be available.
Talk to an Attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair
Some motorcycle accident victims have difficulty knowing what type of legal action to pursue when injured in a motorcycle crash. Further, filing an insurance claim – even a minor one – requires dealing with the insurance company which may use various tactics to get out of paying the claimant. This is yet another reason it is usually a good idea to consult with an attorney.
Walker, Billingsley & Bair can help if a passenger has sustained injuries in a serious motorcycle crash and wishes to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.