Wind gusting through your helmet (hopefully), sun shining in the sky, and the wide-open road ahead – that’s what riding on a motorcycle is all about!! As exciting as that can all sound, motorcycle passengers are even more exposed to the roadway and the dangers lurking than the rider themselves. Unfortunately, if a collision does happen, you are at the mercy of the person driving the motorcycle and whoever else is involved in the accident. If an injury presents itself, it can be confusing when it’s time to file a claim. Whose insurance policy covers you? Both, neither or yours? Can you also file a claim against anyone involved?
These are all interesting questions and have come up a lot recently. In the state of Nebraska, there have been 28 motorcycle fatalities in 2020 alone. Due to this statistic, the question is raised on who is responsible for the motorcycle passenger.
What Are The Passenger Rights?
The majority of the time, when law firms and police departments discuss motorcycle accidents, they focus on the lead rider and the other drivers involved – the passenger tends to get left out. The main reason this happens is that insurance companies are interested in who was at fault and the passenger typically isn’t a determining factor in the cause of the crash. It is possible for the passenger to cause a crash, but it is very rare. Most claims will look at the lead driver’s actions and determine their rights to compensation.
Due to the nature of a motorcycle, a passenger cannot control what happens in a collision. All they can do is hold on to the lead rider and hope for the best. Passengers can be thrown off the motorcycle and suffer injuries to almost every body part. A serious enough motorcycle injury can bankrupt anyone who has to pay the expenses out-of-pocket. As a passenger, it is incredibly important to determine if you can file a claim and against which party.
In most cases, a motorcycle passenger is covered under the insurance policy of the lead rider. If the rider caused the collision or crash, then you can file against their liability policy. If you are injured due to the negligence of another driver or rider, then you file a claim against their insurance policy. Although it can be difficult to find passengers negligent for accidents, insurance claims can still be complicated and drawn out.
Typically, motorcycle passengers are avid motorcyclists themselves and will often times have their own insurance policies. If this is the case, your Medpay coverage might be able to cover a portion of the medical expenses if you’re badly injured. This policy may also be used in conjunction with your health insurance policy to make sure you receive the most amount of coverage possible.
After using your own insurance options, you may be able to file an accident claim against the lead rider or other drivers, depending on who is determined at fault for the accident.
For example, if the lead rider was speeding, driving recklessly, and collided with another vehicle, your claim would be filed against the lead rider of the motorcycle. Each situation will have different circumstances and the severity of the injuries will change so your attorney will help you determine the appropriate plan of attack.
If you’re in a relationship with the lead rider or they are your friend, it may be difficult to want to file a claim against them. When you file a claim, it goes against their insurance company and not the individual themselves. Always focus on getting yourself proper compensation as the result of an accident.
When the driver of an automobile is at fault for an accident, your insurance claim against them may be more clear-cut because it is hard to find a passenger at fault.
Put Your Trust In Us.
Motorcycle accidents are severe and unfortunately common. If you find yourself in an accident, give our office a call. You shouldn’t have to navigate the complexity of a personal injury lawsuit on your own. There are a lot of factors that go into determining fault, so let our team of experienced lawyers help you through it. We offer free case consultations and all of our cases are based on a contingency basis. That means that if we don’t win, you don’t pay anything. It’s one less thing you or your family has to worry about.