Problems to Expect When Filing a Claim With the Insurance Company After Your Motorcycle Wreck
No matter how careful you are when riding your motorcycle, you may not be able to avoid an accident caused by a negligent driver. Because of the lack of protection you have in a crash, you could suffer catastrophic injuries that require expensive medical treatments and months or longer off work while you recover. Fortunately, you are entitled to compensation from the negligent driver. However, this does not mean that you will have an easy time negotiating a fair settlement with his insurance company.
Tactics the Insurance Company Could Use to Deny or Reduce Your Claim
The adjuster assigned to your claim works for the insurance company and has a duty to conduct an investigation before agreeing to a settlement. However, he can put up so many roadblocks to settling your claim that it may seem like he is just trying to delay, reduce, or deny your claim. Here are some of the tactics the insurance company may use that you should be aware of to protect your rights:
Blame you. While insurance adjusters will also point the blame at the victim of a motor vehicle accident, they may be more likely to do this when the rider is a motorcyclist. The adjuster may have a preconceived idea that motorcyclists are more reckless. He could wrongly argue that you were partially or completely at fault no matter how safely you were driving. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you prove that the other driver—and not you—was the cause of your accident.
Mislead you. Unfortunately, you cannot trust that what the insurance adjuster says is true. For example, if you had a preexisting injury to the same body part injured in the wreck, the adjuster could incorrectly tell you that this prevents you from receiving a settlement for your current injuries. To avoid these problems, you should leave all communications with the insurance company to your attorney and let him advise you on your legal rights.
Offer quick settlement. If the insurance company recognizes its liability for your accident, the adjuster may offer you a quick settlement of your claim. However, this may just be a way to get you to accept less than you are really entitled to. You never want to settle your claim without first consulting with an experienced attorney who will know what your claim is really worth.
Ask for recorded statement. In one of your first communications with the adjuster, he may ask you to give a recorded statement, which is where he records the answers you give to his questions then transcribes them into a written document. You are not required to give this statement and could inadvertently give incorrect answers in response to confusing questions. You should politely refuse this request and have the adjuster direct all other communications to your attorney.
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident? Call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can deal with the negligent driver’s insurance company for you so that you receive the settlement that you should.