California Motorcycle Insurance
Facts About California Motorcycle Insurance
Below, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will discuss motorcycle insurance requirements. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a collision, our personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always available to answer any questions you may have about accident claims and damages.
Car Insurance Policy Is Not a Motorcycle Insurance Policy
First and foremost, it’s important to know that California requires motorcycle specific insurance, which is different and separate from car insurance.
Minimum Coverage for a Motorcycle Is the Same as for a Car
Under California law, it is required for motorcyclists to have the minimum amount of insurance coverage in order to legally ride a motorcycle. In California, a standard motorcycle insurance policy must cover:
- $15,000 for any bodily injury that is incurred by another person
- $30,000 for bodily injury done to others who are involved in an accident
- $5,000 for all property damage caused by the collision
Minimum requirements for coverage are just that: the minimum. A policy that covers the minimum will not likely compensate for all of your losses should you be found responsible for an accident, and will likely have to pay out-of-pocket costs. However, you may purchase additional coverage if you are interested in doing so.
Liability Insurance Will Not Cover Damages You Incur if You Are Found Liable
As mentioned, a minimum coverage policy will pay for losses caused to someone else in the event that you are found guilty. However, any losses you suffer in an accident that you are responsible for will not be covered by a bare minimum policy.
A comprehensive motorcycle insurance plan is a good alternative, as it can cover repairs and non-collision-related losses. It may cost a bit more, but it is a great long-term investment.
Just like how a comprehensive coverage policy is a good idea, so is uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This coverage provides financial protection for those who are involved in an accident that is not their fault and was caused by a motorist who is uninsured or underinsured.
Being involved in a crash with someone who has no insurance can be a nightmare. A motorcyclist would have to pay out-of-pocket to cover all of their injuries and property damage. Adding UM/UIM coverage will help cover those costs up to the policy’s limits.
Modified Bikes Are NOT Covered by a General Motorcycle Insurance Policy
Modifications are not covered by a regular motorcycle insurance policy. You will need to purchase additional coverage to protect your unique alterations.
You Must ALWAYS Carry Proof of Insurance
If a motorcyclist is pulled over without proof of insurance, he or she can potentially be fined between $100 to $2,000. A police officer may decide to impound your motorcycle if you are stopped and do not have your proof of insurance on you at hand. To avoid being involved in this type of situation, it is highly recommended for you to carry a copy of your policy in your wallet or gear bag at all times.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a motorcycle accident, an attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for damages including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.