Motorcyclists and Insurance Coverage

It is a well known fact that motorcylists take a greater risk of being injured in an accident than the driver of a car. The car driver is protected by a metal frame, air bags, seat belts, and other safety devices not available to motorcyclists. In New York, drivers and occupants of cars also have another benefit that motorcyclists don't enjoy, the protection of no fault insurance. When a car driver, occupant or pedestrian is involved in in an accident involving the use of a vehicle they are entitled to have their medical coverage paid by no fault insurance. Each of these people are entitled to at least $50,000 in benefits to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and out of pocket expenses. All cars, trucks, etc. are required to by New York law to have at least $50,000 in no fault benefits per person for the benefit of the occupants of that vehicle and pedestrians. However, there is no such requirement for motorcycles in New York. Thus, a motorcyclist injured in a motor vehicle accident will not have any of his own medical expenses, lost wages or out of pocket expenses paid by his own insurance carrier. The motorcyclist will have to look to his own health insurer to pay medical bills, and unlike no fault insurance that may mean paying deductibles and co-payments. It also may mean that the health insurer is entitled to recover any money they paid out, from money the motorcyclist receives from a lawsuit arising out of the injury causing event. Even worse, the motorcyclist who does not have health insurance may be left with being personally liable for medical bills incurred and may not be able to afford necessary medical treatment. What can a motorcyclist do to better protect themselves. First, speak to your insurance carrier to see if no fault or similar insurance can be purchased to protect you. Second, if you are going to drive a motorcycle make sure you have health insurance. Third, if you are injured due to the fault of others you can bring a lawsuit to be reimbursed for your damages, including pain and suffering and out of pocket expenses. In summary, it is important for all drivers to be aware of the coverage provided, and not provided, by their insurance policies. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us. - Marc Miner, Esq. Zalman & Schnurman is a New York law firm that concentrates in personal injury actions such as construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, premises liability, trip and falls, slip and falls, snow and ice cases, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. Learn more at, or contact us at 1-800-LAWLINE, or 1-800-529-5463 New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Rockland County. The information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not meant as legal advice or to cover all possible facts or factors. An attorney should be consulted to discuss specific facts and laws.

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