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The 5 Stages to Build a Strong Insurance Claim After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycles may be agile and fuel efficient, but motorcycle accidents are a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are not only more often hit by drivers who “just don’t see” them, they are also more frequently blamed for accidents and denied fair insurance settlements due to a pervasive motorcycle bias.

Motorcyclists often face unusually harsh challenges in defending their insurance claims and getting a fair settlement for potentially grievous injuries, long recovery, costly repairs, and even permanent disability.  Miami personal injury lawyers are are dedicated to helping those who have been injured in achieving a fair and full settlement. In that spirit, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how what you can do to empower and defend your insurance claim in the event of a motorcycle accident.  

1) Before an Accident

If you drive a motorcycle, the risk of an accident is always imminent. It only takes one inattentive car-driver turning left or veering into your lane, which means it pays to be prepared. If you’re worried about getting clipped by other drivers and being blamed after the fact (all too common for motorcyclists), take these steps.

  • Use Front and Rear “Dash” Cams
    • Place recording cameras on your motorcycle or your person to catch both your movements and the behavior of traffic around you. Use front and rear view. Motorcycle bias can be overcome if other’s erratic driving can be proven.
  • Always Wear Safety Gear
    • Not only does safety gear protect you from injury, it also displays that you are a conscientious motorcycle driver and not a reckless youth with no regard for safety.
  • Check Your Insurance Coverage
    • It’s always a good idea to check your insurance policy details before getting on the road. Make sure you have Comprehensive, collision, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured/underinsured coverage. This makes sure your damage and injuries are covered even if someone without insurance hits your motorcycle.

2) When/If You Seen a Motorcycle Accident About to Happen

Sometimes, you have a few seconds to decide how to deal with an accident about-to-happen. Sometimes, you don’t.  What you do in this moment can determine your own life or death, and it can also influence how your insurance case is handled later. The more you do to avoid the accident and keep everyone on the scene safe, the stronger your not-at-fault claim will be.

  • Crystallize the Scene in Your Memory
    • In this moment, try to remember everything. License plate numbers, exact wheel positions, and a clarity of memory when asked later will can all make a difference when recreating the scene and establishing your credibility for the sake of your claim.
  • Maneuver Immediately to Avoid or Minimize the Accident
    • FIrst and foremost, stay alive. If you have room to make decisions beyond that, try to avoid as much damage to people and to property as possible. Be the most responsible person on the road so you can’t be accused of being the least.
  • Hit the Horn
    • If you see something like a lane drift in progress, make some noise. Lay on the horn to wake a dozing or texting driver. If you have to dodge someone who nearly hits you, honk as you do so they don’t hit anyone else. Other drivers will also remember this and witnesses may vouch for your accident-avoidant actions later.

3) Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident

You have just been in a motorcycle accident. If you are not badly injured, the next steps can allow you to secure critical evidence – and avoid common mistakes – that will strengthen your insurance claim to follow.

  • Don’t Say “Sorry”
    • It’s a sad truth that no one can say “sorry” after an accident, as it can legally be construed as an admission of guilt.
  • Get the Other Driver’s Information
    • As in any vehicle accident, make sure to acquire the full personal an insurance information of the other driver.
  • Collect Witness Information
    • Someone – you, a friend, or a bystander – should collect witness information from other drivers and pedestrians who saw the accident occur. Get their contact details and any preliminary recollections.  
  • Take Pictures of the Scene, Vehicles, and Injuries
    • Use your phone to take pictures of everything. Catch photos of the scene before it is cleaned up to give the accident-recreation (and fault determining) the best chance to know exactly what happened and how you are not at fault
  • Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company, Carefully
    • Call your insurance company, but don’t say everything immediately. Say there was an accident, report the number of known injuries and apparent vehicle damage, and check back later. Do not give any information that could be used against you later – all insurance companies cut settlements, even yours.
  • Seek a Motorcycle Injury Attorney Consultation
    • Finally, seek out a personal injury attorney with experience handling local motorcycle accident cases. They will have the expertise you need to face off against one or both insurance agencies (yours and the other drivers’.)

4) After Seeking Medical Attention

After a motorcycle accident, make sure to seek immediate medical attention. Once that task is done and you are no longer in danger, take the following steps to build a strong claim that will be difficult for insurance companies to deny or whittle down.

  • Have Your Injuries Medically Photographed and Documented
    • Ask your doctor to take professional and documented photographs of your injuries immediately after the accident and as you recover during settlement negotiations. Do not wait, this will prevent the insurance company from downplaying theseverity of your injuries.
  • Keep a Copy of all Accident-Related Medical and Financial Reports
    • Keep your own copy of all related medical and repair records. Keep documents of your injuries and your predicted recovery needs. Keep records of your medical expenses and your repair expenses. These will be essential later on in determining the correct value of your settlement.
  • Do Not See an Insurance-Provided Doctor
    • Never see a doctor suggested by either insurance company. This is typically part of an arrangement to under-report your injuries and your recovery costs so your settlement can be reduced.
  • Build an Insurance Claim Strategy with Your Lawyer
    • What happened and the situation afterward will shape the right way to build your insurance claim. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can help you build a strong claim with any information you have managed to collect.

5) While Making Your Accident Insurance Claim

Lastly, your motorcycle accident lawyer will help you through the claim approval process, defending your claim and settlement amount in the process.

  • Reach a Full Assessment of Your Medical Recovery Needs & Repair Costs
    • As you begin to recover, your doctor will have a better view of your total recovery arc and the cost of treatments, temporary or permanent disability, and lost work. 
  • Don’t Get Undercut or Discouraged
    • Insurance companies can be brutal, relentless, and time-consuming. Don’t let it bring you down. Remember to keep your determination high and if your morale flags, you can always lean on your personal injury attorney who has fought this battle before.
  • Prepare for the Motorcycle Bias
    • Be prepared to be distrusted and accused of recklessness just because of the motorcycle. This is known as motorcycle bias and if you are prepared, you can counter it with clear reports and records. The best counter, of course, is footage from your (and witness-shared) dash cams.
  • Reject Low Settlement Offers
    • Do not just accept the first settlement offer from either insurance company. They often seriously low-ball the first offer to see if they can make you go away at a discount. Work with your lawyer to know the minimum acceptable settlement and accept nothing less

Winning a Fair Insurance Settlement After Your Motorcycle Accident

If you or someone you know has recently been in a motorcycle accident, these steps can help to build a strong claim, With the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you can fight against insurance cost-cutting and avoid the traps of motorcycle bias to win a fair settlement. Contact  a Miami personal injury lawyer today for a consultation.

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