Motorcycle accidents can be tragic for many reasons. Not only do injuries tend to be more severe in a motorcycle accident, but many times the motorcycle was totaled. Here is our quick guide to replacing your lost motorcycle after an accident.
Declaring a Total Loss in the State of Indiana
In the wake of an accident, your insurance company will assess the damage to your motorcycle. You should also see a physician for any injuries or suspected injuries you sustained. If the insurance claims adjuster finds the other driver at fault for your accident, then the other driver’s insurance claims liability for loss or repairs.
In the state of Indiana, an insurance company will repair your motorcycle provided that the cost of repairs does not exceed 70% of the market value of your vehicle. If repair costs do exceed 70% of the market value, then insurance will declare your motorcycle a total loss and they will not attempt a repair.
How Insurance Handles Total Loss
In a total loss situation, the insurance company claiming liability will issue payment for the market value of your motorcycle at the time of the accident. If your vehicle was financed by a lender, then the insurance company will send all payments directly to the lender (known as the lienholder in this case).
If you own a motorcycle outright, then the insurance company will issue payment to you directly. It is up to you whether you want to use those funds to purchase a new motorcycle or simply pocket the money for something else.
Even though the insurance company claiming liability pays for your repair/replacement and medical bills, you always run the risk that the costs exceed insurance limits. For example, the state of Indiana only requires registered drivers to maintain $25,000 in injury liability and $25,000 in property damage. If the total cost of your medical bills exceeds that amount, and the replacement cost of your motorcycle exceeds the $25,000 limit in property damage, then you will have to cover those expenses yourself.
Many drivers choose to include comprehensive and collision coverage on top of the state minimum requirements. If this is the case, then the cost of replacing your motorcycle may exceed $25,000, but the additional coverage ensures that you are paid the full market value of your vehicle.
Additional considerations to your motorcycle loss include lost wages from your time in recovery. If any of your expenses exceed the insurance policy limits, then you are liable for those expenses. In these cases, many people choose to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Can I Include Motorcycle Damage in Personal Injury Lawsuit Damages?
In a personal injury lawsuit, you are attempting to place the financial responsibility of your accident on the at-fault driver. This keeps you from being stuck with all expenses related to your injuries, recovery, lost wages, and even emotional trauma suffered as a result of your accident.
If you or someone you love was not only injured in a motorcycle accident but also suffered a total loss of their motorcycle, then it is possible for you to include the loss of the motorcycle in the damages amount requested in a personal injury claim. It is important that you seek guidance from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. They can help you find the market value of the lost vehicle and seek compensation for the full scope of damages you’ve suffered as a result of your accident.
For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.