Motorcycle accidents can cause debilitating injuries which may prevent you from working, caring for your family, or engaging in recreational activities while you recover. All this time, your medical bills are piling up and this only adds stress to the situation. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, your financial recovery is second only to your physical recovery and you deserve full compensation for your injuries. Here are some things you can do to ensure just that:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. All too often, motorcyclists walk away from accidents believing they have sustained no injuries, only to wake up in significant pain just a few days later; some doctors attribute this to surges of adrenaline at the time of an accident. Lest your injuries turn out to be severe, you want your record to show that they were directly caused by the accident and you sought medical attention as soon as possible. Otherwise, the insurance company may claim that your injuries are exaggerated or were caused by something else.
- If possible, take pictures for evidence. They may not be necessary in the end, but phones with built-in cameras make it quite convenient to quickly snap important pictures. These can include the damaged vehicles, any obvious injuries, and even witnesses who are willing to speak if necessary.
- Don’t rush to reach a settlement. There will be concern over finances in the aftermath of an accident and the insurance company may offer a seemingly-impressive amount of money, but it’s important not to take this initial offer. Insurance companies have a strong interest in settling claims as quickly and cheaply as possible, and once an offer is accepted, no more compensation can ever be earned for the same claim. The help of an attorney is essential to ensure that you receive a truly fair settlement.
- Be ready for the insurance adjuster. Insurance companies employ persuasive, well-paid adjusters who may seem friendly, but aim to solve your case cheaply and with little regard for your pain and suffering. It may be the first time you’ve worked through a personal injury claim, but these adjusters do what they do for a living. You simply can’t afford to go it alone.
- Don’t provide a statement to the adjuster. The insurance adjuster may contact you after the accident and will be looking for any statement, comment, or detail that can be used against you later. In fact, it’s likely that he’s taking notes or even recording the call! You may have heard the phrase, “I’m not saying anything without my lawyer present,” and this is a common reason.
- Don’t sign medical authorization forms of any kind. The insurance company may also search through your medical records to attempt to attribute your injuries to something other than the accident. Don’t sign any medical forms or allow permission for such analysis without the approval of your attorney.
- Keep all documents and paperwork related to the accident. This includes insurance forms, medical bills, police reports, doctors’ notes, and so on. If possible, scan these documents to back them up electronically, as well. If you’re seeking reimbursement for medical bills, you must have copies of those bills for your attorney and the insurance company. Also, keep track of the number of work-days you’ve missed and the sum of your lost wages.
- Be entirely honest. Your credibility may be ruined by any lies or exaggerations to the insurance company. You need not volunteer any information to the adjuster, but avoid lying for any reason.
- Don’t hide anything from your attorney. Even if there is some aspect of your accident or injury that you fear may look bad for your case, don’t conceal any information from your attorneys. They are on your side every step of the way, but can only succeed if they know every bit of valuable information that you know in order to be fully prepared.
- Don’t exaggerate the severity of your injuries. Don’t underestimate the lengths insurers will go to discredit you and lower your potential settlement. If you claim you can’t put weight on your leg but play basketball or go out jogging, don’t be surprised if it turns out that a private investigator caught you on film; it has certainly happened.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Mike Agruss Law, LLC for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.