Filing successful motorcycle accident claims is not as simple as you might think. Getting the right injury compensation is difficult if you do not know what to do. Remember that as a motorcycle driver, you are much more likely to be seriously injured during a crash than when you are a car passenger. The motorcyclist is vulnerable and the possibility of having a serious injury is really high.
You should always hire a personal injury lawyer whenever injuries appeared during a collision if you want maximum compensation. Also, you should remember the following tips.
Never Refuse Treatment At The Scene Of The Accident
Due to excitement and shock, life-threatening injuries might not be noticed. If paramedics come and they want to take you to a hospital, do not refuse. In the event that you do not go to the hospital immediately following the accident, you still need to go to be evaluated as soon as possible.
Besides the fact that you might be seriously injured, medical treatment delays undermine insurance claims. An insurance firm will quickly try to deny the claim with the argument that injuries suffered were not caused by the motorcycle accident.
Gather As Much Evidence As Possible At The Scene
When physically able, gather all the evidence that you can at the scene of the accident. You need information from the other people involved when a collision happened. This includes:
- Driver name and address
- Insurance information
- Vehicle information
If possible, see if there are witnesses you can contact to give a testimony and use your phone to take accident scene pictures. Include motorcycle damage, roadway and anything else that might be relevant. Focus on paint chips present on the ground, structures damaged and broken motorcycle parts.
Be Careful With What You Say
When questioned by the police, cooperate. However, do not admit fault at any point. You might be affected by the motorcycle accident and say things that are incorrect. Also, when you talk with a claims adjuster, he/she will ask for a recorded statement. This is not something that is required by law so you are not obliged to do it. An adjuster tries to get you on record saying something that would lead to not making a payment or making a reduced payment.
You want to be particularly careful with the adjuster since anything you say can eventually be used against you. If you feel put in an uncomfortable situation or pressured, contact a personal injury attorney. Insurance adjusters cannot take advantage of attorneys as they are aware of all legal rights, methodologies, and processes.
Notify Involved Insurance Companies
Although discussing with an insurance adjuster can be difficult, this does not mean that you should not contact the insurance companies as soon as possible. If you let too much time pass before you file the insurance claim, adjusters will find it easier to say that the injuries you suffered were not caused by the motorcycle accident.
After contacting the insurance company, you will be assigned a unique claim number you have to keep track of. In all future correspondence, the number has to be mentioned. Also, if the incident involved both personal injury and property damage, it is possible to be offered two claim numbers.
Gather Evidence To Prove What Injuries You Suffered
Besides the evidence that you gather at the scene of the accident, you need to get as much extra evidence as you can so that you prove how injured you were. This includes:
- Clothes and helmet – Put these away in a plastic bin. Although most injury claims are settled out of court, the impact of bloodstained, torn jackets and dented helms on juries should never be underestimated.
- Medical bills and records – These are vital for determining claim value. Always request medical record copies for surgeries, ongoing care, hospitalization, and emergency care. Basically, every single medical bill should be gathered.
- Lost wages – These are often overlooked but they are a big part of the personal injury claim. If you’ve missed work due to the accident, talk to your employer to give you a lost wage written statement. It should include all sick leave and vacation time that had to be used. If there were missed bonuses or overtime opportunities, add those as well.
Filing an injury claim following a motorcycle accident seems to be simple, especially if you only talk with insurance adjusters. However, this doesn’t guarantee that you will receive a lot less than what you are actually entitled to. Although you are not required by law to do so, it is highly recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney to help you throughout the process.