Seven Secrets Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Know
Hopefully you have never had to file a personal injury or motorcycle accident claim; but if you have, you know how complicated and frustrating it can be to deal with insurance companies and at-fault parties. We’ve seen thousands of motorcycle accident cases and learned a few things along the way. The seven secrets below will help you know what to expect and what steps to take to ensure your rights are protected and you do not end up with a minimal settlement.
Make sure you know the following things before you talk to the insurance companies:
1.) Insurance Companies Often Try To Low Ball You With A Low Initial Offer
Insurance companies are businesses, some are even publicly traded companies, like Mercury Insurance, which means that their ultimate goal is to turn a profit. One way to make a profit is by settling potential claims for as little as possible. If your injury claim is worth $20,000.00, but you agree to settle for $5,000, then the insurance company has saved itself $15,000.00. Hiring an experienced California Motorcycle Attorney can help to make sure you get the full amount you are entitled to.
2.) The Other Party May Say The Collision Is Partially Your Fault – Even As Little As 5%
Because California is a comparative fault state, if you are partially at fault, you can still recover. However, the reverse is also true, if an insurance company finds you at fault, even 5%, not only can their insured try to sue you, but they can discount the amount of money you are owed for your property damage or bodily injury claim. An experienced lawyer can help clearly illustrate fault and protect your rights.
3.) Insurance Companies May Try To Trick You Into Signing Paperwork For Quick Money
Insurance Companies love to try to settle their claims as quickly as possible – they will sometimes try to get an injured person to sign a “Release” soon after a collision. This offer is generally lower than what you would receive by hiring an attorney. Some people agree to sign these releases in order to receive “quick money” only to later regret this decision when faced with high medical bills and an uncertain future. Don’t rush to settle. Have a motorcycle accident attorney review the details of your case before you sign any paperwork.
4.) You Probably Won’t Have To Go To Trial
Hiring a lawyer does not mean you will end up in trial – in fact, less than 5% of all cases even get near trial. Trial can be incredibly expensive for both sides, as such, in most cases it is better for everyone to settle the issue outside of Court.
5.) There May Be More Insurance Coverage
Just because you are told that a person only has a certain amount of insurance coverage, it does not mean a knowledgeable attorney cannot find additional insurance. The defendant may have been working for someone at the time of the collision, driving for a ride-share company like Uber, or may have additional insurance such as an umbrella policy, that an experienced attorney can help to uncover.
6.) Insurance Companies Rarely Pay For Medical Treatment Until Bills Are Submitted For Reimbursement.
Insurance companies generally do not give you money up-front for your medical treatment, rather they require you to go to the doctor, get the bill, then submit that bill to the insurance company in hopes that they will repay you. Even if you do submit these medical records to the insurance company, they may not pay all the bills as being “reasonable and customary” – leaving you owing doctors money.
7.) The Insurance Company May Delay Talking To You In Hopes You Don’t Treat Your Injuries – Also Known As Gap In Treatment
An insurance company won’t tell you to go to the doctor, but you should always go to the doctor if you believe there is a chance you may be injured in a motorcycle accident. Injuries sometimes do not appear for days after the collision, and after adrenaline wears off. However, insurance companies hope that you avoid the doctor and allow them to offer you a low settlement amount. If you do not see a doctor for several weeks, this is called a “gap in treatment” and insurance companies use this to offer you less than you deserve.
Knowing these facts will help you take the proper steps to establish a clear case and ensure a full and fair settlement after an accident.