Having to deal with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident can be both an intimidating and confusing process. If a motorcyclist isn’t vigilant enough, they can forfeit their claims or even leave a substantial amount on the table – money that’s legally theirs.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by those Saul Goodman, heartfelt like ads you see on TV: Insurance agencies are NEVER “on your side,” they are not your “good friend,” and you are certainly not “in good hands” with them. Their purpose is all the same: pay out as little as possible. For this reason, after a motorcycle accident, it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer and understand your rights.
Below are some guidelines for dealing with insurance agencies after a motorcycle and improving your chances of compensation.
What Type of Claim Do I Need To File?
Typically, there are two main types of claims after a motorcycle accident:
Personal injuries: In some states, motorcyclists are not required to have PIP or personal injury protection insurance like cars. Therefore, if you have been hurt in a collision, you will likely be pursuing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver’s insurance agency. What’s more, if you have purchased a Med Pay policy, you can file a claim with your own agency to cover medical expenses.
Property damage: If you’ve purchased collision insurance, then you can file a claim with your own insurance agency for any existing property damage your motorcycle sustained. If you don’t have crash insurance, you can make this claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance agency.
What Can I Collect in a Property Damage Claim?
Usually, property damage claims are meant to compensate you for any damage sustained to your bike during the collision. In addition to this, you can also claim any lugging costs for your vehicle, rental car costs if you need to rent a vehicle temporarily, and damage to any of your personal items.
You should know that the insurance agency may decide that it’s cheaper to replace your bike than to repair it. This decision will be made based on the motorcycle’s fair market price.
What Can I Collect in a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims are meant to recover damages caused by any injuries you suffered as a result of the crash. This should include compensation for costs involving personal injury lawyers, lost wages, medical expenses, scarring and permanent injuries, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and future estimated losses.
How Do I Prepare to Make a Claim?
Before you file a claim, there are a few steps you should take to gather supporting documentation – documentation that will serve as evidence to support your claim and demonstrate the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Some of the evidence that can be used to back your claim for compensation includes:
- Medical records, invoices, and bills
- Photos of the accident scene, such as your injuries, your helmet, vehicles involved
- Names and contact information for witnesses, as well as statements from them
- Video surveillance for nearby buildings