Episode 34: Kentucky personal injury attorney Jeff Roberts has been an avid motorcyclist for years. Each Spring, he publishes an episode to help other motorcyclists prepare for “motorcycle season.” He’ll provide some safety tips and insights to help everyone ride safely. This begins by getting your motorcycle ready for Spring.
Pre-Season Check-Ups for Your Motorcycle
It’s important to make sure your bike is in proper working order, before heading out for the first ride of the season. Your motorcycle has been sitting in the garage or the barn for the winter. It’s a good idea to check out various components to ensure they are still operating properly.
Inspect your tires and the tire pressure. Make sure there’s plenty of tread on the tires. Your safety equipment is extremely important. Verify that your headlight is working in both the normal and high-beam settings. Your headlight is usually on whenever the bike is running. This provides other drivers a very noticeable signal, especially at intersections.
You should also check your brake lights and blinkers to ensure none of the bulbs are burned out. Jeff recommends you do this even with your automobile. You may not be aware that your tail lights are out. He describes a situation when a police officer pulled him over for faulty tail lights.
It’s a good idea to also inspect your cables. Brake cables and others can fray or wear over time. You can easily check these in the driveway or in front of your house. A brake failure on a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous.
The equipment and safety equipment for your motorcycle are critically important to your safety and enjoyment. Spending a little time getting your motorcycle ready for Spring is well worth the effort.
Laying Your Bike Down without Actual Contact
This is a question of insurance coverage. It can occur when a car pulls out in front of you and then speeds off. To avoid a collision, you may have to lay down the bike, but will your insurance cover you if there’s no contact? It depends.
First, can you identify who actually pulled out in front of you? This is the at-fault driver. If so, it’s handled as if there was physical contact between the car and your motorcycle. Witness testimony may also be helpful.
Second, if you can’t identify the other driver. Suppose they never saw you in the first place. If nobody can identify the driver, you may be able to file a claim against your Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM). In Kentucky, if you can’t identify the at-fault driver, it’s may be treated as an uninsured motorist. The contract language of your specific insurance policy is very specific. You’ll need to review it for restrictions. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to determine if you’re covered. Some insurance carriers may actually require physical contact between the vehicles.
Will My Premiums Increase if I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
In Kentucky, the regulations state this type of claim is prevented from causing your premiums to increase. It’s a good reason to make sure you have adequate UM/UIM coverage.
To clarify, uninsured motorist coverage is there to reimburse you for bodily injury, not your property damage. Your collision coverage is there for the property damage.
Can I Use the UM Insurance from My Automobile Policy for My Motorcycle Wreck?
Jeff comment that most likely you won’t be able to do this. Automobile insurance policies often exclude motorcycles. However, there’s a possibility that if you are covered by the same carrier’s policy for both your car and your motorcycle, it may be applicable. You should seek out the advice of a qualified attorney to clarify your specific situation.
Do I Have PIP Coverage for My Motorcycle?
In Kentucky, while this no-fault coverage is automatic for a car, it’s optional for a motorcycle. As a motorcyclist, you have to request it. Jeff has it on his own motorcycle insurance policy. Without PIP coverage, a motorcyclist is barred from pursuing a claim for the first $10,000 in damages. You may be able to use your health insurance or disability insurance.
Review Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy
As we close out this episode, it’s important that you take a look at your policy to ensure you’re adequately covered, before your take your motorcycle on the road. This is a good time to do it. While insurance isn’t part of your motorcycle or safety equipment, Jeff hopes you’ll review your motorcycle insurance policy while you’re getting your motorcycle ready for Spring.
We hope you found this episode insightful and helpful. Thank you for listening!
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The office phone number is (270) 753-0053. For more information, visit www.JeffRobertsLaw.com. This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice. Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an advertisement.