Filing Your Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claim
Before you set out on your motorcycle, you should get to know your insurance policy coverage and limits. You should also familiarize yourself with your rights and obligations under the law. Knowing these will help you if you are in a motorcycle accident.
Being insured and going through the hassle of filing an insurance claim after an accident is always better than the financial and legal repercussions of being in an accident while uninsured. If you have to file an insurance claim, knowing your policy details will give you a head start in the process. By having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer working with you for filing of the claim, the majority of the headaches are taken off your shoulders. This lawyer knows how insurance companies work in these cases and will negotiate the highest possible settlement for your claim.
Responses to Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
The insurance company has a limited number of days after you have filed your motorcycle accident claim in which it must complete an investigation and inform you of whether your claim is accepted or denied. When you file your motorcycle accident claim, the insurance company should notify you of the benefits and coverages that are available or may be applicable from the policyholder’s insurance.
Settlement of Your Accident Claim
An insurance company or their adjuster should never advise you as a claimant to not seek the services of an attorney. They should also not suggest that payment of your claim will be affected or delayed if you do retain a lawyer. The adjuster or insurance company cannot demand information that is not relative to the settlement of the claim. These are all considered unfair settlement practices.
Fair settlement involves the insurance company’s clear explanation of what settlement offers or payments are for. The insurance company should never issue an offer of partial settlement contingent upon agreement to settle another part of your claim. They should also never make any threats of rescission or cancellation of a policy to induce settlement. There are civil penalties for claims adjusters who act in bad faith when handling a motorcycle accident claim.
Role of Insurance Adjusters
Most insurance adjusters are not bad people. But adjusters are not like insurance sales agents, providing incentives to win your business. Adjusters have their own role in the insurance field, specifically to save their company money on claims like yours.
The insurance adjuster may ask for statements, such as one in which you describe the incident according to your perspective and memory. You need to be very, very careful about how you answer these questions and how your words are chosen. You should exercise your right to speak with a personal injury lawyer first, as they are expert in dealing with insurance adjusters and know how to keep you from falling into a trap.
Your Role in Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you have already answered the adjuster’s questions and provided a statement, you have the right to request a written copy of the initial statement. You can then promptly make corrections to your words or recollections, providing a copy of those to the adjuster. You should always request a copy of your insurance claims file documents. Those are yours to request.
Never complete claims forms, releases or waivers without speaking with an attorney first. You need to fully understand these documents before signing. If the adjuster is pressing you for a signature, ask for more time. Most motorcycle accident lawyers do not charge a fee for their services unless they are able to gain a settlement or win in your case. So you should take these documents to a lawyer specializing in these matters, a personal injury and motorcycle accident attorney.
Remember that you should be open and honest with your banker, should you still own money on a motorcycle that was totaled in your accident. You may get stuck in that position of having a high loan payoff while seeking an insurance settlement. You will likely need to find out what your motorcycle’s market value was, in order to press the adjuster for the right settlement amount. Of course, a good motorcycle accident lawyer will do this for you.
Get the Help You Need
It is always the adjuster’s primary goal to cost their insurance company as little as possible as part of an insurance claim. Of course, it is your need to ensure you gain a timely and fair resolution of your motorcycle accident claim. You can do that by having a qualified and reputable motorcycle accident lawyer working with you for your claim.
David Michael Cantor is a phoenix-based personal injury attorney with three firms and is also the co-founder of a retargeting startup for lawyers called geobid.