If you ride a motorcycle, you probably know that motorcycle accidents are all too common — and unfortunately, they are often severe. In 2019, over 5,000 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes, while many more experienced serious property damage and injuries due to accidents.
If you’ve recently been in a motorcycle accident, filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company is essential to receiving adequate compensation. However, the insurance claims process can sometimes get complicated, especially if you are trying to recover from injuries and financial damage at the same time.
We’ve created this guide to help you understand motorcycle accident claims and how to file them. Read on to learn more about the claims process from our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.
Whose Insurance Company Should You File a Claim With?
Filing an insurance claim is one of the first steps you should take following a motorcycle accident. Insurance coverage can provide you with the compensation necessary to repair or replace your vehicle and cover any medical expenses from your crash.
In most motorcycle accidents, the accident claim goes to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. For example, if another driver caused your crash, they should file the accident with their insurance. If no one else was involved in your accident, you’ll need to file the claim on your own insurance.
Even if you were not at fault for the accident, we also recommend calling your own insurance company. If you have collision insurance, filing a claim with your own company can provide you with repair funds faster.
While the at-fault driver’s insurance company should reach out to you within a few days, it doesn’t hurt to contact the company yourself to speed along the compensation process.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Claims
Motorcycle accidents often result in one or both of these types of claims: personal injury claims and property damage claims.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims can provide compensation for the physical injuries you experienced from your motorcycle crash. The following types of injuries are common in motorcycle accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Broken ribs
- Internal bleeding
If you had a passenger during the crash, you can also include their injuries in your claim.
A personal injury claim can help cover the following expenses:
- Medical bills, including from hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, surgeries, and other treatments
- Lost wages from missed work or loss of ability to work in the future
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of companionship (in the case of wrongful death)
Property Damage Claims
If your motorcycle accident was severe, your bike most likely was damaged too. A property damage claim can cover the cost of repairing the damage to your motorcycle or other property.
Property damages can include the money you need to:
- Repair your bike
- Replace your bike
- Replace any items on your person that experienced damage during the crash (cell phone, helmet, watch)
If your bike is unrepairable, the insurance company should provide funds equivalent to the bike’s value at the time of the accident. However, some insurance policies will provide enough compensation to purchase a brand-new motorcycle.
Motorcycle Accident Claims Process
The motorcycle accident claims process may seem confusing or overwhelming, especially if you do not have much experience dealing with insurance companies. Knowing the process ahead of time can help ease your concerns. Here’s the process you will typically need to follow during a motorcycle accident claim:
1. After the Accident
Immediately following your accident, you should seek medical treatment for any injuries you experienced. Even if you do not think you have any severe injuries, receiving medical attention is an important step in the claims process. Your medical documentation can act as evidence of your injuries for the insurance company.
If you are not incapacitated following the crash, you should also try to take photos of the scene and collect the contact information of any bystanders who could act as witnesses. Additionally, always contact the police following a vehicle crash to conduct a police report.
2. File an Insurance Claim
Next, you should plan to file an insurance claim with either your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s company within a few days of the accident. The insurance company will ask for the following information:
- Your name, contact information, and vehicle information
- Your insurance company (if you are filing with the at-fault driver’s company)
- The location of the accident
- The weather conditions and time of day of the accident
- A copy of the accident report from the police
- Photos of vehicle damage
A claims adjuster may also come to your property to assess the motorcycle damage in person and take photos.
3. Prove Negligence
Even if you know beyond a doubt that the other driver was solely at fault for your accident, the driver may not want to admit negligence. As a result, you may need to provide some proof to the at-fault driver’s insurance company to support your claim.
For the suspected at-fault driver to be negligent in an accident claim, the following conditions must be met:
- They were not careful while operating their vehicle
- Their carelessness caused your injuries and damages
- You suffered injuries or other losses as a result of their actions
The most challenging part is proving that the other driver’s carelessness caused your injuries. However, a motorcycle accident attorney can help you gather evidence to support your case.
4. Receive a Settlement Offer
Eventually, you should receive a motorcycle accident settlement offer from the insurance company. If you filed a personal injury claim and property damage claim, you may receive two separate settlements. We recommend reading the settlement offers carefully before you sign anything.
5. Negotiate the Offer, If Necessary
You do not need to accept a settlement offer from the insurer immediately. The initial offer you receive may be lower than you expect or than you believe you need to cover your damages. If so, you can present a counteroffer that includes medical bills or repair estimates to back up your case.
6. File a Lawsuit, If Necessary
If the insurance company refuses to increase its settlement or you feel its offers are unfair, you may want to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, threatening a lawsuit is enough to make the insurance company increase its offer. If not, hiring a motorcycle accident attorney to represent you is essential to winning your case.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve recently filed a motorcycle accident claim or are considering filing one, hiring a Law Tigers motorcycle accident attorney team may be a good idea. Here are just a few of the many ways our team can assist you through the claims process:
- Help prove the other driver was at fault: If the other driver’s insurance company does not believe their customer was at fault for the accident, it will not want to provide you with any compensation. Our law team can help you gather evidence and present a compelling case to prove the other driver’s fault.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: Insurance companies are in the business of making money, so they often low-ball their claimants to minimize their financial loss. If the insurance company gave you a low offer, we can negotiate with the company on your behalf to secure additional compensation.
- Represent you in court: Motorcycle accident claims often end up in court when the insurance company refuses to negotiate. If your case goes to court, we’ll represent you to the judge.
- Take the burden off your shoulders: Altogether, we’ll take the stress and responsibility of your accident off your shoulders, giving you time to heal.
If you’ve recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, our team at Law Tigers Motorcycle Lawyers can help. Contact us today at 1-888-863-7216 to schedule your free case evaluation or learn more about the motorcycle accident claims process.