Frequently Asked Questions - Can I Get Compensated For Road Rash?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you should think about hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your rights to you and which benefits you are entitled to. Because you were involved in a motorcycle accident does not mean the insurance company will automatically compensate you for your injuries, especially road rash. Road rash typically occurs when you fall off your motorcycle and slide along the ground, causing scrapes and cuts to your body. While some road rash is more extensive than others, usually, road rash is a minor injury and, most of the time, does not leave any permanent injuries. You can take certain precautions to avoid as many injuries as possible while involved in a motorcycle accident, such as wearing a helmet or protective clothing. Protective clothing, such as leather jackets or specialized pants, are made to withstand a certain amount of wear and tear, but they do not always protect you from major injuries. If the impact is bad enough, you will probably sustain some injury if you are thrown from your motorcycle. Although road rash does not seem like it could result in a permanent injury, some road rash is bad enough to leave scarring. If you sustain any scaring from a motorcycle accident, the insurance company will likely offer you more money to settle your claim since scaring is usually permanent. Permanent injury claims are more serious than soft tissue claims in which you are not left with an injury that can affect you for the rest of your life.
To be compensated for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, the person that hit you must have a bodily injury liability insurance policy. In the State of Florida, bodily injury coverage is not a mandatory coverage you have to have on your insurance policy. The only coverage you are required to maintain on your insurance policy, per Florida law, is property damage at a minimum of $10,000.00 and Personal Injury Protection coverage of a standard amount of $10,000.00. Personal Injury Protection covers you, your immediate family members, or anyone riding in your vehicle during an accident if they do not have their insurance coverage or do not live with an immediate family member with an auto insurance policy. Property damage covers any damages to another vehicle or property, such as a stop sign or a fence, should you cause an auto accident.
When riding a motorcycle, you should remember that the State of Florida does not allow Personal Injury Protection coverage on motorcycle insurance policies, unlike regular automobile insurance policies where it is mandatory. Even if you own a vehicle with a standard automobile insurance policy that affords Personal Injury Protection coverage, you still do not qualify for that coverage if you were riding your motorcycle at the time of your accident. If you are struck by a vehicle that does not have any bodily injury coverage on its insurance policy, you will be unable to obtain any compensation from that insurance company. If you own a vehicle with insurance coverage, purchasing underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage through your insurance company is always a smart idea. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you are injured in an auto or motorcycle accident caused by someone who does not have bodily injury coverage on their policy. If there is no bodily injury coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage automatically kicks in and compensates you. If someone with bodily injury coverage strikes you but only a very minimal policy and your injuries far exceed the amount of their coverage, you will likely be compensated through their bodily injury insurance carrier for the full policy limits. Then you would have to provide proof of that compensation to your insurance carrier to be compensated for any underinsured coverage you may have on your policy. How much you are compensated all depends on your injuries and how much the insurance company is willing to offer you. Road rash tends to be a minor injury, so the chances of you obtaining substantial money are slim. If your road rash is more severe and results in deep cuts or scaring, the insurance company may be inclined to offer you more money for your settlement.
If you hire a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim, the insurance company will deal directly with your attorney for any settlement amount you may be afforded. Your attorney will then contact you to discuss any settlement proposal with you. Upon hiring an experienced personal injury attorney for your motorcycle accident, the attorney will review your injuries and ensure you are treated by doctors specializing in your type of injury. Your attorney will also deal with the insurance company adjusters directly, so you do not have to worry about the burden of having to go back and forth with the insurance company. If you have any other injuries besides road rash after a motorcycle accident, you should be sure to seek medical treatment with a doctor for all of your injuries so they can all be included when the adjuster makes their settlement offer. If you settle your claim but later on down the road your pain worsens, or you continue to have pain for injuries that you did not address when your claim was initially opened, there is no way for your to re-open your claim with the insurance company. Once you settle your claim and sign the release and closing documents, the case can never be opened again. You also must remember that in Florida, you have four years from your accident to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is the statute of limitations, in which you only have a certain timeframe to file or settle a claim.