If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident that is somebody else’s fault, you’re legally entitled to compensation for property damage, loss of earnings, medical expenses, emotional stress, and more. However, the outcome significantly depends on how you handle the claim. Knowing the errors not to make when filing your claim can help maximize your claim. Outlined below are five mistakes you should avoid when making a motorcycle accident claim.
1. Representing yourself
Representing yourself in a motorcycle accident case can compromise your claim and lower your chances of being compensated or the settlement you get. Personal accident law is complex and requires the necessary expertise to navigate. Without the right knowledge and experience, self-representation can significantly lower your winning chances. To better your success chances, consider hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer. They’ll guide and support you through the complex legal process as they know their specific state practice’s laws and regulations. Proving liability is among the most challenging tasks in a motorcycle accident claim. An experienced attorney will help prove your claim.
Dealing with insurance adjusters isn’t easy because they have experience negotiating settlements for their companies’ best interests, which can make it hard to receive the compensation you deserve. A good motorcycle accident lawyer can negotiate the claim on your behalf, getting you the highest possible settlement. Determining your claim’s worth is key to ensuring you maximize your compensation. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help value your claim correctly.
2. Not seeking prompt medical assistance
Failure to seek immediate medical care not only compromises your health but the motorcycle accident claim as well. The liable party’s attorney can claim that your injuries weren’t as severe as you purported or you didn’t sustain those injuries in that specific accident. To avoid such issues, getting prompt medical assistance after an accident is essential, even if your injuries aren’t apparent or painful.
Early diagnosis helps catch severe injuries that would have manifested later, making them difficult to treat. Getting examined by a medical professional immediately after a crash is key to proving your claim. So, follow your doctor’s advice and suggestions to avoid compromising your claim and increase your winning chances.
3. Failure to call the police
Failure to call the police after a motorcycle accident can negatively impact your claim. While the at-fault party might try convincing you not to call the police, you shouldn’t listen to them. State laws demand that the police should be notified after an accident. If your insurance policy has personal injury protection included, you might be required to provide a police report to your insurer for them to cover your damages. Upon calling the police, they’ll assess the situation and file a report. A police report comes in handy when making your motorcycle accident claim. Get a copy of the report, which will contain:
- Witness and driver statements
- Any issued traffic citations
- The police’s recommendations regarding the accident
- A non-partisan account of how the accident occurred
- The accident scene’s diagram and photos
4. Issuing a recorded statement
Within a few days after your motorcycle accident, your insurance adjuster might request that you give a recorded statement. Recorded statements are usually tape-recorded sessions with insurance adjusters. They can be taken in person or over the phone. An insurance adjuster asks questions regarding the motorcycle crash, your injuries, plus other relevant details.
Giving such a statement could have legal impacts and a negative effect on your claim’s outcome. While the adjuster might claim that recording your statement is part of standard procedure, it isn’t so. The insurance adjuster’s aim is to save their employer’s money. You can refuse to grant the adjuster’s request for the following reasons:
- The law doesn’t oblige you to give a recorded statement
- They can ask you confusing questions to trap you
- A recorded statement may be used against you
- You might say something that hurts your claim
If you must talk to the insurance company, only do so under your lawyer’s guidance.
5. Not gathering sufficient, relevant evidence
To support your motorcycle accident claim, you need sufficient, relevant proof. Failure to collect evidence weakens your case. Gather as much evidence as possible to build and strengthen your claim. You can get a copy of the police report and take photos of your injuries and the accident scene. Keep medical treatment records/ receipts and take witness statements.
What you do immediately after a motorcycle crash determines your claim’s outcome. Familiarize yourself with the mistakes to avoid when making a motorcycle accident claim.