WNCN reported on March 22, 2014 that up to 15 motorcycles were involved in an accident in Wendell, North Carolina on Route 64 near Edgemont Road and Lick Road. The motorcyclists were part of a group of 60 motorcycles participating in a charity ride for victims of lupus. Someone in a passenger car threw a pink beach ball into the middle of the pack causing the drivers to hit their brakes and swerve. Seven people were taken to a nearby hospital for non-fatal injuries including road burn and broken bones.
This case raises a number of issues with regards to liability. The person who threw the beach ball clearly committed an irresponsible act. If the person can be identified, this might be a proper claim for bringing punitive damages as well as the standard liability claim. A secondary issue would be whether the owners of the passenger car could be held accountable.
Both the owners and the passengers of the motorcycles will have to sue the responsible people to collect for pain and suffering.
To collect for medical bills and property damage, the owner of the motorcycle has to have first party coverage—usually referred to as medical payment or ‘med pay’ coverage, for medical bills and property damage. Unfortunately, in both North Carolina and Virginia, such coverage, even if purchased, is usually fairly low.
North Carolina does require that motorcycle owners have at least $30,000 in liability insurance for bodily injury to one person in a single accident, $60,000 in coverage for all bodily injury (multiple victims) in one accident, and $25,000 in collision damage coverage.
If the liability coverage of the automobile is not sufficient, then the individual motorcycle riders would have to look to their underinsured motorist coverage to try and make up the difference.
Issues of medical payment coverage, liability coverage, and other insurance coverage issues are complicated. As such, it’s best to consult with an attorney if you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that was caused by another party’s recklessness or negligence.
Attorney Joe Miller knows the insurance laws for both North Carolina and Virginia. If you were in an accident involving a truck, motorcycle, or any other motor vehicle, contact Joe Miller Law, Ltd., at (888) 694-1671 for the help you need. Our legal team knows what evidence you need to process your claim and which insurance companies should pay your claim. If the responsible insurance companies don’t pay you the full amount you deserve, we will take your case to court and aggressively seek to hold the people at fault responsible for your needless suffering.