With over 8.3 million motorcycles registered in the U.S. (as of 2018, much higher today), there must be several million motorcyclists hitting the roads daily. Motorcycle accidents keep happening, and they are much more severe than car accidents as far as the injuries sustained are concerned. Suppose you happen to be in an unfortunate motorcycle accident. In that case, the first thing you need after medical treatment is the support and services of a motorcycle accident lawyer, who will help claim, the compensation you rightfully deserve.
How are they Different from Car Accidents Cases?
You can sustain much more severe injuries in a motorcycle accident than in a car accident. Besides being fully exposed, a motorcycle rider is prone to severe injuries. While riding in the night, the blinding lights of an oncoming car cause temporary blindness leading to accidents. They often fall on the pavement and sustain head injuries, spinal injuries, or broken bones.
File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
First, you need to establish an accident claim and then focus on the amount you can claim and receive as damages. Damages include the losses suffered due to the accident. You should include all medical treatment bills, damage to the motorcycle, lost wages, and mental trauma caused by the accident. It is advisable to leave it to a motorcycle accident lawyer, who will negotiate on your behalf and get you the compensation you deserve.
Talking to the Insurance Companies
Soon after an accident occurs, the insurance company representative (an adjuster) will contact you to negotiate a settlement. It is not advisable to talk to them before talking to your accident claim lawyer. The insurance people will only try to browbeat you into agreeing to a smaller sum as compensation. Uttering anything prejudicial to you can affect the claim process and also the claim amount. However, you can report the accident to your insurance company; it is crucial to do this, especially if the opposite driver is not insured.
How Soon Should You File the Claim?
In South Dakota, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident injury claims is three years from the accident date. If a claim is filed after the expiry of the mandatory time limit, you get no compensation. However, ideally, you should file the claim immediately after consulting your motorcycle accident claim lawyer, who will guide you on the procedures. There’s evidence to be gathered, the assessment of the injuries, and the time taken for healing, all of which take up precious time. It is advisable to contact your attorney immediately after the accident but before filing the claim.
Is it Important to File the Claim through a Lawyer?
As mentioned earlier, it is futile speaking to the insurance company after a motorcycle accident. Their only interest is in settling the claim as low as possible and as early as possible. However, if you file the claim through your accident claim lawyer, they know what sort of accusations the insurers and the opposite driver will have against you; and prepare the case accordingly. If the insurance company establishes that you were partly to blame for the accident (even if you were not), the compensation amount gets reduced drastically.
Summing it Up
Motorcycle accident injury claims are often tricky as the insurers will try to take advantage of the situation and plead for a lower compensation amount. It is advisable that first, you contact your attorney soon after the accident.