Jason Stephens | May 18, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents
Some states require motorcyclists to carry additional insurance coverage or do not extend certain types of insurance coverage to motorcyclists. Texas is not one of those states. Motorcycles have the same insurance requirements in Texas as cars.
Texas Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Motorcyclists must carry the same basic liability insurance coverage that other motorists carry. All drivers in Texas are required to purchase a minimum of:
- $30,000 in liability insurance for bodily injury to one person
- $60,000 in liability insurance for insurance to more than one person
- $25,000 in property damage insurance
A motorcyclist may purchase higher limits for liability insurance and property damage insurance. Liability insurance and property damage insurance compensate accident victims for injuries and damages from an accident caused by the insured.
If you cause a car accident and do not have sufficient liability insurance to pay the claim, you could be personally liable for the claim amount that exceeds your liability insurance limits. Therefore, if you have income or property that exceeds the value of property exempt from judgments in Texas, you may want to carry higher limits of liability insurance or purchase an umbrella insurance policy.
What are the Penalties for Failing to Maintain Motorcycle Insurance in Texas?
Texas laws require that a motorcyclist or driver maintains financial responsibility for a vehicle. A motor vehicle liability insurance policy satisfies the requirement to maintain financial responsibility.
If a driver does not have insurance or another acceptable form of financial responsibility, the driver may receive a traffic citation. The driver must pay a fine, which increases with subsequent charges. Driving without insurance and causing a motor vehicle accident increases the severity of the traffic offense.
Should I Purchase Optional Insurance Coverage for My Motorcycle?
In addition to purchasing higher coverage for liability insurance, you may also want to purchase optional insurance coverage. Motorcycle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries to the rider. Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Internal Organ Damage
If a driver carries minimum liability insurance, you may receive $30,000 even though the value of your motorcycle accident claim is $100,000.
Purchasing underinsured motorist insurance can help. Your underinsured motorist coverage pays the difference between the compensation received from the at-fault party and the value of your claim, up to your policy limits.
Uninsured motorist coverage is also beneficial because many people break the law by driving without insurance. Your uninsured motorist coverage pays your claim if an uninsured driver causes the accident.
Other optional motorcycle insurance coverages you may want to purchase are Med Pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP and Med Pay are no-fault insurance policies. They help pay for medical treatment and compensate you for loss of income regardless of who is at fault for causing the motorcycle accident.
Are There Special Requirements to Obtain a Motorcycle License?
Motorcyclists are required to obtain a motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle in Texas. In addition to the requirements for a regular driver’s license, riders must complete a motorcycle safety course approved by the Department of Public Safety. If a rider has a valid motorcycle license issued by another state, the rider does not need to complete the motorcycle safety course.
A motorcycle knowledge test and motorcycle drive test may be required. The knowledge test may be waived if the rider completes a motorcycle safety course. The motorcycle drive test can only be waived for riders who are over 18 years of age and meet specific criteria.
Minors between the ages of 15 and 17 have additional requirements that must be met to obtain a motorcycle license.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Call 911 to report the motorcycle accident and request assistance. Do not apologize or accept responsibility for the cause of the accident. Even if you might have contributed to the cause of the crash, you need to talk to a motorcycle accident attorney before discussing the accident.
See a doctor as soon as possible for medical treatment. Documenting your injuries is vital if you seek compensation for your damages from the other driver.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Motorcycle accident claims can be complicated. The insurance provider for the other driver may try to blame you even though you are not at fault.
You need an experienced injury lawyer to give you advice and help you avoid mistakes that could result in a denied claim or a much lower settlement amount.