There’s no denying that as a motorcycle rider, you know the thrill and freedom of the open road, but you also understand the risks of being involved in a crash. Unfortunately, accidents can happen anywhere, even if you’re a defensive rider. If you suffer injuries due to the other driver’s negligence, you’ll likely want to present a claim for your damages. Dealing with insurance companies after a motorcycle crash can be challenging, so it’s important to remember some helpful tips.
Filing an insurance claim in a motorcycle accident requires dealing with an adjuster from the other driver’s company. Read on to learn how to navigate this process successfully.
Protecting your rights starts in the moments after the accident. Gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. Virginia is a contributory negligence state. That means you will not receive any compensation for your injuries if you are even 1% at fault.
Contact the police to respond and prepare a report. Evidence collected at the scene includes scene photos, exchanging information with the other driver, and getting witness contact information if anyone stops.
If you don’t need emergency transportation to the hospital, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You could have internal injuries that are not visually noticeable. It will help to document your injuries and ensure you get the necessary treatment.
Don’t Admit Fault
Be cautious about what you say at the accident scene and to the driver’s insurance company. Even something as seemingly unimportant as “I’m sorry,” could be construed as an admission of guilt. Even if you think you might be partially responsible, do not say anything at the accident scene to the police or the driver.
Once you file a claim with the driver’s insurance, they will undoubtedly ask you to provide a recorded statement. The adjuster could use anything you say against you in the investigation. Do not agree to a recorded statement without legal representation. When you hire a Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you, your attorney will handle all the communication.
Contact a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer to represent you after a motorcycle accident is one of the best ways to avoid dealing with insurance companies after a motorcycle crash. At The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC, we will help you navigate Virginia’s challenging personal injury claims process. We will investigate and gather evidence, hire any necessary experts, and try to negotiate a favorable motorcycle accident insurance settlement.
Keep Detailed Records
Keeping detailed records of everything related to your accident and injuries is essential throughout the claims process. Examples include:
- Medical bills and records,
- Lost wages and other lost compensation or benefits at work,
- Motorcycle repair estimate or total loss evaluation, and
- Other receipts for related losses.
Keeping a pain journal is also recommended. You can note how the accident impacts your everyday life. The accident may have left you unable to care for yourself. Or, maybe there are hobbies or aspects of your job you can no longer do. Whatever the issues are, take notes in a journal.
Keeping records is important because you can refer to your journal should your case eventually end up in litigation. It might be a year or even two after the accident when you receive a deposition notice. You want to make sure you adequately explain your injuries on record. Otherwise, you risk receiving less compensation than you deserve.
Be Prepared to Negotiate If You Don’t Have a Lawyer
Haven’t hired a Virginia motorcycle accident lawyer yet, or think you don’t need one? If you decide to handle your claim without a lawyer, you have a lot of work in front of you. You must send the insurance company a demand and negotiate without legal representation. If you are not an experienced negotiator, you risk jeopardizing your case. Most likely, the insurance adjuster for the other driver will deny liability and hope you walk away after they close their case.
Don’t Accept a Settlement Too Quickly
On the other hand, the adjuster might offer you a settlement early on in the claim. Be wary of situations like this. Sometimes adjusters try to resolve a case early on because they know there’s a potential for it to be worth a significant amount of money. By offering you a small amount now, the adjuster hopes you’ll go for the cash and sign a release of all claims.
Do not agree to settle, especially early on in the claim, without speaking to a lawyer first. You need to talk with a lawyer to protect your rights and ensure you get a fair settlement amount. In accidents with severe injuries, you might not know the extent of your injuries and future treatment yet. By accepting a settlement and signing a release, you cannot bring any future claims connected with the accident against this party.
Contact The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC
Contact us today if you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by another party. With nearly 50 years of experience, we know what it takes to build a successful motorcycle accident case in Virginia. In fact, we maintain the record for the largest jury verdict in Norfolk, VA.
Don’t inadvertently jeopardize your case by trying to handle dealing with the insurance company alone. Instead, contact The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC. Let us review your case and advise you how best to proceed. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can protect your rights.