I have had a run of bikers who have had motorcycle accidents call me lately that do not even have basic liability insurance. I am not talking about the type of insurance that will cover your motorcycle in case of an accident for your own property damage. (Comprehensive and Collision Coverage) I am talking about liability coverage that will cover someone or a passenger in case you are at fault in an accident.
The biggest reason you need this insurance is that it required by California State Law. The voters enacted proposition 213 some time ago. The law requires that all drivers of motor vehicles on public roads in the State of California have at least minimum liability coverage’s of $10,000 for property damage, $15,000.00 for bodily injury per person, and $30,000.00 per incident.
You may think; “oh well, I am riding a motorcycle, what damage can I do?” This is not the issue, the issue’s are; (1) You can lose your drivers license for up to a year if you drive without liability insurance, this goes for driving cages too; (2) Your vehicle can be impounded and sold at auction if you are caught driving it with no insurance; and (3) You will face up to a $2,000.00 fine or ticket if you are caught riding or driving without insurance.
If this is not enough to scare you there is more! Proposition 213 precludes anyone who is driving a motor vehicle (motorcycle, car, truck, etc.) on public roads, without the minimum liability insurance coverage, from recovering general damages in an accident! You are only entitled to Special Damages.
What are General Damages? They include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress! These are the big money items that are compensable in a motorcycle accident!
What are Special Damages? They include out of pocket losses such as property damage, medical bills, loss of use of vehicle, etc.
Imagine being taken out in a motorcycle accident, losing a leg, and finding out that you will not recover the big bucks for general damages because you were foolish enough to let your liability insurance lapse and be cancelled!
Most insurance companies give you 30 days to declare a new motorcycle on an existing policy, but I for one do not take any chances. Anytime I buy a new bike, I cover it before I ride it period.
Now my law firm does accept some so-called Proposition 213 cases for bikers and motorcyclist, (Bikers and Motorcyclist who are not at fault but have no liability coverage.) However, the vast majority of all personal injury lawyers reject these types of cases.
Come on guys and gals, get your shit together and at least carry minimum liability insurance coverage just in case! It is required by law, and if you are taken out in an accident that is not your fault you will not be precluded from full compensation, not to mention all of the penalties that go with being an uninsured motorist.
If you have been in a motorcycle or other type of motor vehicle accident anywhere in the State of California, you may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529.
By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2007