By: KGD Law
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Filing an Insurance Claim after a Motorcycle Accident
Insurance claims after a motorcycle accident can be complicated and inconvenient to deal with. Depending on who was responsible and the sort of damage inflicted on the passengers or vehicles, each accident can be handled in a variety of ways. Property damage claims differ from injury claims. Accidents in which no other vehicle is involved differ from accidents caused by another vehicle. Some claims are made against the rider’s own insurance carrier, while others are made against the insurance company that covers the at-fault driver.
Riders can protect themselves in all circumstances by following a few simple steps when filing a motorcycle claim. Stay on top of the claim by acting quickly, preserving evidence, and following a doctor’s recommendations. By saying no, insurance companies save money, but riders can get reasonable compensation by paying attention to the details. Read on to learn what to keep in mind when filing a claim with your insurance company.
Types of Accident Claims
- A claim for damage to the motorcycle is known as a property damage claim. If you were in a collision with another car and the other driver was at fault, you should seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. You can submit a claim against your own insurance policy if you were at fault or there was no other driver involved, as long as you have adequate coverage.
- Personal injury claims involve bodily harm and related losses sustained as a result of an accident caused by another driver. To win a personal injury case, you must show that the other motorist was negligent.
Property Damage Claim Value
In most cases, if you file a claim for motorcycle damage, you will be entitled to the lesser of your repair costs or the worth of your motorcycle at the time of the accident, less the salvage value. The amount you would have gotten if you sold your motorcycle to a stranger at a fair price at the time of the accident is the value of your motorcycle at the time of the accident. It is not the price you paid for the bike when you got it. Regrettably, sentimental worth is not factored into the equation.
If you file a claim against another driver’s insurance, you should be able to get the whole amount. The amount you will receive if you file a claim against your own insurance company is determined on the terms of your policy and whether you have adequate coverage.
If you crash with another car, collision coverage kicks in. This could also be the case if you collided with a stationary item, such as a guardrail. Damage that is not caused by a collision is covered under comprehensive coverage. You may be able to recover damages under your comprehensive coverage if you spun out on a curve and wrecked your bike.
The maximum amount you can recover is determined by the amount of coverage you buy. A deductible, which is an amount you pay out of pocket yourself before the insurance company pays anything, will be included in your policy. You will not be able to collect on your claim if the cost of repairs or the value of the motorcycle is less than the deductible.
If you file an insurance claim, your insurance rates may rise. If you will not be getting much after the deductible, you might be able to save money by paying for repairs yourself instead of paying higher insurance rates.
Personal Injury Claim Value
In most cases, compensation for a personal injury involves three types of damages. These losses are referred to as damages by lawyers. They include the following:
- Medical expenses, such as doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy fees, medication prices, and any other healthcare costs incurred or expected as a result of the accident.
- Wage loss as a result of being unable to work due to an accident injury, as well as the loss of future earning capacity if you are unable to return to the same job.
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident, including emotional discomfort, mental agony, and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as damages that will last in the future.
Damage awards for permanent injuries are usually higher. Compensation may be required to cover the costs of vocational rehabilitation, wheelchairs, a wheelchair-accessible van, home healthcare, or an assisted-living facility’s residential costs.
Putting a monetary value on a personal damage is not an exact science. Lawyers compare the facts of each case to previous jury verdicts in similar cases. If your injuries are severe and you do not want to settle for less than your claim is worth, you should seek legal counsel.
Making a Claim
If you are filing a claim against your own company, have your insurance agent contact a claims adjuster on your behalf. You will almost certainly be asked to sign a proof of claim form by the adjuster. Make sure the information in the form is correct and complete. You will need to get repair quotes or proof of the value of your motorcycle. Your insurance company is obligated to negotiate in good faith with you, so you should be able to reach a reasonable settlement.
Contact the other driver’s insurance company if you are filing a claim against them. Unfortunately, when it comes to negotiating a settlement, that firm has no obligation to be fair. In most cases, insurance adjusters make low-ball proposals at first. If they can’t reach an agreement quickly, they may try to stretch the negotiations out. They are not always honest. Their purpose is to save money for their company. By settling claims for less than their full value, they may even earn a bonus.
Insurance companies have a financial interest to reach a settlement before the full nature of the damage is revealed. You should never settle a personal injury claim until your doctor says your injuries have healed fully or are permanent. Settlements are final, so if the injury turns out to be more serious than you anticipated, you will not be able to ask for more money.
Your insurance contract requires you to cooperate with the claims adjuster if the claim is against your own company. You should give a statement if the adjuster requests it. If you are pursuing a lawsuit against another driver, you should seek legal counsel before making a statement. Making a mistake with the adjuster can jeopardize your claim.
A statute of limitations applies to accident claims. You lose your right to compensation if you do not settle or bring a case forward before the statute of limitations runs out. The timeframe for filing a claim if you were in an accident with another driver is determined by the state in where the accident occurred. If you are filing a claim against your own insurance company, the timeframe is set by the laws of the state where you bought the policy.
Accidents are messy, but dealing with an insurance company can be even messier. Let a professional help you. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of Kirshner, Groff, and Diaz as soon as possible for a no-obligation initial consultation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve when dealing with difficult insurance providers. You will have the opportunity to speak about your case directly with a real attorney.