Motorcycle Accidents and Insurance on Motorcycles

Motorcycle and Motorbike Accidents

Initial Factors

After a motorcycle, motorbike or motor scooter accident, there are several immediate steps which should be considered. There are certain steps that should be considered after any accident has occurred:

– Note the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses. This is especially important since the police recently stopped making detailed police reports on many accidents in Hawaii.

– Inform the police of the motorcycle accident if it is substantial or if there are any injuries.

– Identify the driver of the other vehicle and who owned the vehicle as well, if possible.

– Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance company info and license numbers.

– Note a description of each vehicle, including year, make, model, color and damage sustained. This latter point can be very important- take photos if possible.

– Note the exact location of the collision and how it happened – take photos if possible or at least make a diagram. Sometimes it can be hard to remember the details of how an accident occurred – if a trial does not occur until several years later.

– If you are injured – or think that you may have injuries develop later – request an ambulance or at least go to the emergency room. Get competent medical assistance. Encourage others to do so as well.

– If serious injuries resulted from the motorcycle accident, preserve the motorcycle and other vehicles to the extent possible for photographing and inspection by an expert in accident reconstruction.

– Report the accident to your insurer promptly.

– If serious injuries resulted from the accident, consider taking photographs of the injuries a day or two after the accident in order to preserve evidence of the extent of the injuries.

Unfortunately, some motorcycle , motorbike and motor scooter accidents are severe in nature and serious injuries or death may result. If so, then you may consider making a personal injury claim. Under such circumstances you may wish to:

Contact Car Accident Attorney Hawaii now for a free evaluation of your case.

Motorcycle Insurance Information

There are various types of insurance coverage related to motorcycle accident claims. For an overview of the types of coverage, please click here: Types of insurance coverage

Hawaii law requires all motorcycle and motor scooter operators to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. A valid insurance I.D. card must be kept with the motorcycle or scooter or carried by the operator at all times.

The motorcycle liability policy must include a $20,000 per person bodily injury liability, which pays claims to those whom the motorcycle rider causes death or injury. The policy must also include $10,000 per occurrence in property damage liability which pays for damages to vehicles or property that caused by the negligent operation of the motorcycle.

The insurance company must also offer optional coverages which include: personal injury medical coverage up to $20,000; an income disability plan; and higher liability coverages. The insurance company may (of course) offer to sell damage coverage for the motorcycle.

To purchase a motorcycle insurance policy, one must have a valid motorcycle or motor scooter license. Those with a learner’s permit must enroll in and successfully complete a motorcycle education course which has been approved by the State Department of Transportation in order to purchase motorcycle insurance.

Currently, there are approximately six licensed insurance companies in the state which sell motorcycle insurance. They are: Allstate Insurance Company, American Reliable Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity Company, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, and United Services Automobile Association.

In Dines v. Pacific Insurance Company, Ltd. , 78 Haw. 325, 893 P.2d 176 (1995), the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a motorcyclist, that was involved in an accident with a phantom vehicle, was able to recover UM (uninsured motorists) coverage from an auto insurer on an automobile that he owned, even though his motorcycle insurance did not have UM coverage. The court stated: “UM coverage attaches to the named insured’s person and not to any particular vehicle – ‘motor’ or otherwise. That being the case, a ‘covered auto’ named in an automobile policy need not be involved in an accident in order for the injured named insured to be entitled to collect UM benefits. Thus, such a named insured, injured by an uninsured motorist from whom the named insured is legally entitled to recover damages, is entitled to UM coverage no matter where he or she is injured, be it in an automobile or a rocking chair on a front porch, or on a motorcycle, a bicycle, a horse, a pogo stick, or on foot. [Citations and footnotes omitted.]” Id. at 331-32. The logic of this decision would also appear to make UIM (purchased by an insured for an automobile, truck or bus) available for an accident even if it occurred while the insured was on a motorcycle- so long as someone else’s automobile, truck or bus is involved in the accident.