Accident - Initial Considerations
After a motorcycle accident, there are several immediate steps which should be considered.
Many accidents are fortunately quite minor in nature and are easily dealt with. An attorney
is not generally needed in the aftermath of a minor accident.
However there are certain procedures that should always be considered after an accident has occurred:
- Note the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
This is especially important since the police recently stopped making detailed
police reports on many accidents in Hawaii.
- Inform the police of the motorcycle accident
if it is substantial or where there are any injuries.
- Identify the driver of the other vehicle and who the owner of the vehicle as well, if possible.
- Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance company info and license numbers.
- Note a description of each vehicle, including year, make, model, color and damage sustained.
This latter point can be very important-
take photos if at all possible.
- Note the exact location of the collision and how it happened -
take photos if at all possible or make a diagram if you can.
- If you are injured- or believe you may show injuries later- request an
ambulance or otherwise obtain competent
medical assistance. Encourage others to do so as well.
- If serious injuries resulted from the motorcycle accident, consider
preserving the motorcycle and other vehicles to the extent possible for photographing and inspection by
an expert in accident reconstruction.
- Report the accident to your insurer when you get home.
- If serious injuries resulted from the accident, consider taking photographs and
videotape of the injuries and their effects- a day or two after the
accident and thereafter, as appropriate- to preserve evidence of the extent
of the injuries for later use.
Unfortunately, some motorcycle accidents are severe in nature and serious injuries or death
may result. Under such circumstances- especially if someone else was responsible for
the accident- you may wish to consider making a personal injury claim.
Under such circumstances you may wish to:
Hawaii Personal Injury Attorney now for a free evaluation of your case.
There are various types of insurance coverage related to motorcycle
accident claims. For an overview of the types of coverage, please click here:
Types of insurance coverage
Hawaii law requires all motorcycle and motor scooter operators
to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. A valid
I.D. card must be kept with the motorcycle or scooter or
carried by the operator at all times.
motorcycle liability policy must include a $25,000 per person
bodily injury liability, which pays claims to those whom
you cause death of injury. It must also include $10,000
per occurrence in property damage liability which pays for
vehicles or property that are damaged in the negligent
operation of the motorcycle.
The insurance company must also offer optional coverages
which include: personal injury medical coverage up to $20,000;
an income disability plan; and higher liability coverages.The
insurance company may (of course) offer to sell damage coverage
for the motorcycle.
purchase a motorcycle policy, one must have a valid motorcycle
or motor scooter license. Those with a learner's permit,
in order to obtain insurance, must enroll in and
successfully complete a motorcycle education course which
has been approved by the State Department of Transportation.
there were six licensed insurance companies in the state
which sell motorcycle insurance. They are: Allstate Insurance
Company, American Reliable Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity
Company, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, and United Services
Dines v. Pacific Insurance Company, Ltd.
, 78 Haw. 325, 893 P.2d 176 (1995), the Hawaii Supreme
Court ruled that a motorcyclist, that got involved in an accident
with a phantom vehicle, was able to recover UM (uninsured motorists)
coverage from an auto insurer on an automobile that he owned,
even though his motorcycle insurance did not have UM coverage. The court
stated: "UM coverage attaches to the named insured's person and not to any particular
vehicle - 'motor' or otherwise. That being the case, a 'covered auto' named
in an automobile policy need not be involved in an accident in order for the
injured named insured to be entitled to collect UM benefits. Thus, such a
named insured, injured by an uninsured motorist from whom the named insured
is legally entitled to recover damages, is entitled to UM coverage no matter
where he or she is injured, be it in an automobile or a rocking chair on a
front porch, or on a motorcycle, a bicycle, a horse, a pogo stick, or on
foot. [Citations and footnotes omitted.]" Id. at 331-32.
The logic of this decision would also appear to make UIM (purchased by an
insured for an automobile, truck or bus) available for an accident
even if it occurred while the insured was on a motorcycle- so long
as someone else's automobile, truck or bus is involved in the accident.