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Insurance coverage often isn’t enough for injured motorcycle riders

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Motorcycle Accidents

Many adults in Kansas have a motorcycle that they use for recreational riding or as a warm-weather commute vehicle. Motorcycles are efficient and generally cost less to acquire, insure and operate when compared with larger vehicles. However, they come with a noticeable downside because they create much more risk for riders than enclosed vehicles do for their occupants in the event of a collision. The risk of serious injury is higher after a motorcycle crash than it might be in a crash involving two larger vehicles.

A motorcycle rider might also find that they cannot rely on the other driver’s insurance coverage for full compensation after a crash. Personal injury lawsuits frequently follow collisions involving motorcycles for a few key reasons.

Baseline coverage is relatively low

When compared with many other states, Kansas actually has relatively thorough insurance requirements. The liability coverage required is not particularly high, but the state requires more than just bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Motorists have to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that covers their medical costs and lost wages after a crash. PIP coverage provides no-fault benefits including a set amount of medical coverage and reimbursement for lost wages.

Kansas requires at least $4,500 to cover injuries and at least 12 months’ worth of wage loss benefits that can provide $900 in income or more per month. Additionally, insurance coverage needs to include uninsured and underinsured motorist protection in amounts equal to their liability coverage. Motorcycle riders typically need to carry the same basic coverage as those in bigger vehicles.

Even with an at-fault driver’s liability coverage, PIP coverage and underinsured motorist protection, a motorcycle rider may find that their losses are higher still. If a review of likely medical expenses and lost wages shows that insurance may not provide adequate compensation, then a motorcycle rider may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash.

Unlike insurance, which only provides a certain amount of compensation based on policy limits, a lawsuit could potentially lead to reimbursement for the full financial impact of a motorcycle collision. Motorcycle riders familiar with Kansas insurance rules may recognize when legal action is necessary following a motorcycle crash. Learning more about insurance and estimating the costs a collision may inspire can help people better handle the aftermath of a wreck.