How to File an Insurance Claim for a Motorcycle Accident
Filing an insurance claim following a motor vehicle accident is the primary way to obtain compensation quickly. Injured motorcyclists follow the same steps for filing a claim as the drivers and passengers of cars and trucks who are hurt in a wreck.
But these steps are not necessarily obvious or easy to follow. And some people may put off or fail to file a claim altogether because the process intimidates them. That’s where you can benefit from securing a motorcycle accident lawyer.
There is nothing mysterious about an insurance claim; it is simply a formal demand that the insurance company honor its contractual obligations and pay the compensation it agreed to pay in the event of a wreck. No matter which insurance company you are dealing with, the process of filing a claim remains relatively constant.
Preliminary Steps After an Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and are injured, or if your bike is damaged, file a police report. This report will document the damage to vehicles, injuries to you and others, and the officer’s impressions of how the crash occurred. The officer may also include photographs or diagrams in their report.
If possible, you should photograph any damage to your motorcycle. This helps defeat any insinuation that the motorcycle was harmed during transport after the crash.
Determine the Insurance Company with Which You Are Filing Your Claim
The first step is to decide whether you will file a claim with your own insurance company or that of another. South Carolina is a fault-based state. This means that the at-fault driver in a motorcycle wreck is responsible for paying compensation to those hurt in the accident.
If you are a motorcyclist who was hurt by a negligent driver, you can file a claim. And you can do so with either your insurer or that of the other driver. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
When filling through your own policy, you are likely to have your claim paid more quickly. However, you will have to pay whatever deductible that your policy calls for. In addition, your insurance rates may increase.
Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company saves you from having to pay a deductible. However, if there are questions about who is at fault, your claim may not be until that issue is resolved.
Follow the Company’s Instructions to File a Claim
Once you choose the insurer you want to file your claim with, contact the company and inform them of your decision. They can direct you to the appropriate forms to complete, many of which will likely be available online. Some companies will take your claim over the phone.
When talking with the insurance company, they can also tell you what, if any, supporting documents you should send. Be very careful about what you tell the insurer, though. If you admit fault, even partly, this can be used to justify reducing or denying your claim. It is highly advisable that you speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer first.
Handle the Insurance Adjuster
The insurance adjuster’s job is to inspect your motorcycle and consider your medical records to arrive at an amount to pay for your claim. The adjuster should review the damage to your motorcycle and account for the bike’s age and mileage. They will also look for damage that is inconsistent with the type of crash you were involved in.
Similarly, the adjuster will review your medical records from the accident to determine whether your reported injuries are consistent with the crash. If you did not keep follow-up appointments or failed to follow your doctor’s orders, they would include that information in their report.
If the adjuster asks to review all your medical records or other irrelevant information, you may politely decline to provide it. If you are not certain about how best to handle an insurance adjuster, you should retain a motorcycle accident lawyer’s help.
West Law LLC’s Assistance Can Make the Difference in Your Claim