Motorcycle Accident: Personal Injury Claims & Lawsuits
Being in a motorcycle accident is a difficult and complex situation. After an accident, a motorcyclist must not only deal with any physical and emotional injuries caused by the accident — as well as the potentially substantial financial burden related to those injuries — but also an insurance company with little regard for how the outcome affects their well being. Identifying when you should connect with a personal injury lawyer to help process your claim can be the difference in receiving a fair motorcycle accident settlement and reducing the stress and anxiety that comes from an extended engagement with an insurance company.
Should I Contact a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident Injury?
After a motorcycle accident, it can be challenging to figure out if the case should be handled through the insurance company, or if it requires the legal expertise of a personal injury lawyer. To help determine the need for a motorcycle accident injury lawyer, see if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Did the accident result in hospitalization or surgery?
- Did a permanent injury such as paralysis, amputation or burns occur?
- Did the accident involve pedestrians or multiple vehicles?
- Did the accident occur in a construction area?
- Is there a dispute regarding the fault of the motorcycle accident?
- Does the police report inaccurately describe the accident and put you at fault?
- Are you uninsured, or has your insurance company claimed that you did not pay your last premium?
- Is the insurance company not cooperating, or have they brought in their own lawyers for your case?
Note that if a motorcycle accident led to death, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Take pictures of the motorcycle accident — If possible, take pictures of your injuries, the accident scene – including all vehicles involved – and damage to your motorcycle.
Obtain medical treatment for injuries — After being in a motorcycle accident, even if injuries are not immediately apparent, it is advised to seek medical attention. This helps diagnose any conditions, such as whiplash and soft tissue injuries, that may not become symptomatic until sometime after the accident. Of equal importance, it can also help show that the injuries were directly attributable to the motorcycle accident.
Review your insurance coverage — After the motorcycle accident, look at your insurance policy in detail, including the exclusions section, so there is a solid understanding of your coverage. It is also a good idea to check for additional coverage that may be available through other insurance policies, such as homeowner and "umbrella" policies.
Document interactions with the insurance company — When conversing with insurance company representatives, write down names, phone numbers and job titles of the people with which you speak. Also note the call times, subject matter and important information discussed during phone calls.
Document medical expenses — If you are going to file a claim, which typically occurs after an injury-related motorcycle accident, keep track of all of the medical expenses related to the treatment of your injuries. Expenses to document include medical bills, prescription costs and insurance co-pays. Additionally, you may be able to get reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses related to medical care for your motorcycle accident injuries.
Request medical records — Medical records provide a significant amount of information that may be important for a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit. Obtain copies for reference, or have a lawyer help you.
Keep records of all accident-related items — After a motorcycle accident injury, it is important to document the accident, injuries and other related conversations, paperwork and expenses. Maintaining records and keeping everything organized is useful for any claims or lawsuits that result.
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