Archive for November, 2019

25
Nov

Do I Need Special Insurance If I Drive Both a Car and a Motorcycle?

November 25, 2019

In short, the answer is that you need to meet state minimum insurance requirements for both your car and your motorcycle. Both vehicles must also be registered with the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before you are permitted to drive them.

Vehicle Insurance

Before you can register your car or motorcycle, you must have the proper insurance for each vehicle. Every driver will need to bring proof of insurance to their local DMV. Here is a quick rundown of minimum insurance requirements. A licensed insurance agent can help with making sure a vehicle will have appropriate insurance.

For a car, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $25,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage (in case the other driver is uninsured or underinsured): $50,000

For a motorcycle, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $10,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage: $50,000

Drivers can often save money each month by bundling insurance plans for multiple vehicles with the same company. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of many accidents can exceed the above coverage limits. Additionally, should a vehicle become harmed or destroyed in an incident other than a traffic accident, drivers won’t likely be covered unless they have proper comprehensive coverage.

For those reasons (and more), many choose to carry insurance coverage for both their car and motorcycle that exceeds state minimum requirements.

Vehicle Registration

In Indiana, drivers must register cars and/or motorcycles within two months of purchase or moving from out of state. If purchasing either vehicle from a dealership, sellers may be able to handle vehicle registration directly with the DMV on their customers’ behalf. Buyers should confirm this before assuming vehicle registration has been completed.

In order to obtain car registration, vehicle owners must complete a VIN inspection, present a valid driver’s license, and be prepared to complete an emissions inspection within two years of registering (an emissions inspection will need to be completed every other year to retain your vehicle’s registration). Be sure to bring the car title (or if held by the auto lender, proof of ownership such as the lien agreement), proof of residency and proof of insurance.

For motorcycle registration, drivers must complete a VIN inspection, as well as have a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Additionally, proof of home address (residency), proof of social security number and proof of the state’s motorcycle insurance minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage is required. Currently, the cost for registering a motorcycle in Indiana is less than $30 before taxes.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

 

18
Nov

What to Do If You’re at Fault for a Motorcycle Crash

November 18, 2019

Because motorcyclists are far more likely to become fatally injured in a crash, getting into an accident with a motorcycle can be extremely frightening. Everyone’s first priority should be making sure that any injured drivers receive medical attention.

However, in the aftermath of the accident, you may be accused of being the one responsible for the accident, especially if the motorcyclist was badly injured. If you’ve been found at fault for a motorcycle crash, here are some things you need to know.

Speak as Little as Possible

In the moments during and after the accident, what you say can be used against you or even twisted by witnesses. Therefore, say as little as possible while you exchange insurance information with the other driver. Let the responding police officers do their job of taking statements.

Gather Your Own Evidence

While on the scene, you should take pictures of the scene of the crash, including the damage to all vehicles involved. Record information that could demonstrate that the motorcycle driver could have been negligent.

Inform Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your insurance provider and give them the necessary details of the accident. If your insurance company unfairly finds you at fault, you should challenge their decision.

Talk to an Attorney

After seeking medical attention, nothing is more important in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash than talking to a personal injury attorney. They will be able to help you deal with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and possible personal injury lawsuits that may be filed against you later.

Understanding Negligence

In a typical motorcycle accident case, the injured motorcyclist will claim that the vehicle driver was negligent. The reasoning is that because motorcyclists are less protected on the roads, vehicle operators must exercise greater care while sharing the road with motorcyclists. 

However, this isn’t always the case. Your motorcycle accident attorney will review the evidence to see what other factors contributed to the accident. Gathering your own evidence that demonstrates other drivers’ (including the motorcycle driver) negligence could be crucial in the event of a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding the “Reasonable” Standard in Negligence

When discussing negligence in a personal injury case, the overarching concern is whether or not both parties exercised reasonable care and took sensible steps to avoid a crash. It is possible that neither party did the “reasonable” thing in an accident, particularly if someone intentionally caused the accident to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

No-Contact Motorcycle Crash

If a motorcycle driver sees that a crash is about to take place, they may put the bike down in order to minimize damage and injuries. These crashes are known as no-contact crashes. In a no-contact crash, the vehicle driver may still be found at fault for injury and property damage sustained by the motorcyclist. Therefore, if you or someone you love was involved in a no-contact accident with a motorcycle driver, you should speak with a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents.

For more information about how an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

5
Nov

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

November 05, 2019

If you were injured in a car accident, you should start working with a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills and more. Here are three tips to help you find the right attorney for your case.

Check Years of Experience

First, the attorney that you select to help you with your car accident case should have a thorough understanding of Indiana traffic laws. The top car accident attorneys know how unique each car accident can be. They will be able to spot and address each crucial nuance involved in your case.

Second, your attorney should have a good intuition when it comes to investigating. That is, knowing the right questions to ask, the right evidence to collect, and even the right attitude during the discovery phase of personal injury claims. Gathering evidence and testimonies can be tedious. Good attorneys know how to prioritize their investigation and get key evidence fast.

Third, a skilled car accident attorney will feel at ease in high-pressure situations, including depositions or jury trials. They are not easily discouraged or intimidated by changing circumstances or strong opposition.

Research Fee Structure

While the standard fee structure for personal injury is around 30% of awarded damages, some car accident attorneys may charge more. An attorney that charges more may or may not be worth the extra cost. However, in many cases, attorneys with the highest amount of experience and success charge more because their clients tend to win more.

On the flip side, just because a car accident attorney charges less than someone else doesn’t mean the attorney lacks the experience or ability to get the job done. Either way, you should definitely examine the firm or attorney’s fee structure in addition to the track record to get a better idea of whether or not those fees are worth the investment.

Establish Trust

A qualified attorney will need to know all the details of your car accident case. As such, you need to feel that you can trust the attorney you choose. An attorney who makes you feel small and insignificant may not inspire the honesty and courage your personal injury claim will require of you.

Additionally, car accident lawsuits can be a long and arduous process. Those who remain patient are the ones who win their cases and receive compensation for damages. Furthermore, the best attorneys will help you manage your expectations for the long journey ahead so that you do not feel misinformed or alone.

Attorneys who build a strong relationship with their clients will remain in contact with them, providing regular updates and making sure that their clients’ questions and concerns are addressed at all times. You need to feel that your personal injury attorney is deeply invested in your case, even while they juggle other cases. The right attorney will make sure that you know you are a priority to them. 

For more information about how an Indiana car accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529, or visit our website.