Most motorcyclists pay a monthly motorcycle insurance premium, but will your motorcycle insurance be there when it’s needed? If it isn’t, or if you’re injured by a negligent driver in a motorcycle accident, discuss your rights at once with a Boston motorcycle accident attorney.
If you aren’t sure how to negotiate an insurance claim for motorcycle repairs, keep reading this brief introduction. Every insurance claim and every motorcycle accident is unique, so a number of factors determine how long it takes to process your claim and what you’ll receive as a payout.
Understanding your insurance coverage is essential if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. When you file a claim after a motorcycle accident, you’re asking the insurer to cover your medical costs (if you were injured) and/or the repairs to or replacement of your motorcycle.
After a motorcycle accident, if the only damage was to your motorcycle, and you were not injured, you can probably deal directly with the insurance company, without an attorney’s help, and recover compensation for your motorcycle’s repairs or replacement.
If You’ve Been Injured by Negligence, Contact an Attorney
However, if a negligent motorist injures you in a motorcycle accident, and before you speak to any insurance company, schedule a consultation – as quickly as possible – with a Boston motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your rights as an injured victim of negligence.
Massachusetts is a no-fault auto insurance state, so each motorist’s PIP insurance covers medical expenses, up to 75 percent of an injury victim’s lost wages, and “replacement” services (a person or persons to help you while you’re injured), but only up to a maximum of $8,000.
In some cases, with an accident lawyer’s help, motorcyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers can recover compensation – beyond their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage – for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other accident-related losses.
How Do You Negotiate a Motorcycle Repair Claim?
But if you are simply negotiating a claim for motorcycle repairs, it is not complicated, and you may find it more expedient to negotiate on your own, without an attorney’s help. Here’s what the process entails:
- After a motorcycle accident, inform your insurance company about the accident, and complete the company’s claim forms.
- Determine how much you will need to repair or replace your motorcycle, and then determine the lowest figure that you will actually accept.
- Expect the first settlement offer from an insurance adjuster to be outrageously low. Tell the adjuster that a low offer is unacceptable, and suggest a more realistic amount.
- You and the adjuster may have to offer and counter-offer several times to reach a satisfactory, final agreement. A negotiation may require several phone calls and one or two brief meetings with the adjuster.
- Do not let anything or anyone hurry, pressure, or intimidate you during the negotiations with the insurance company.
- Confirm the final settlement amount at once in writing. Mail a letter to the adjuster – don’t use email – verifying the amount, what the settlement covers, and the date you expect to receive payment.
When this process is complete, the company should pay you promptly. Be honest throughout the process. Don’t speculate or exaggerate about what happened. If you don’t have the answer to a question, say so. If you’re caught being dishonest, your policy could be canceled.
What Else Should You Know About Negotiating a Repair Claim?
Scrutinize your motorcycle insurance policy before you speak to an insurance adjuster about your accident. Make sure that you fully understand the policy’s “coverage” and “exclusion” provisions.
Take notes whenever you discuss your claim with an insurance adjuster. Jot down the date, the time, the details that were discussed, and the name, phone number, and job title of whomever you speak with.
Are You Dealing With Insurance Bad Faith?
What can you do if a reasonable settlement offer isn’t made in a reasonable period of time? What if an insurance company gives you nothing but excuses, delays, or disrespect? You may be dealing with insurance bad faith, and if you are, you can take legal action.
Most insurance companies in Massachusetts are operated professionally, and most insurance adjusters are ethical and put their policyholders first. Seek a lawyer’s advice if an insurance company appears to be avoiding its obligation to you and operating in bad faith.
Obtaining a lawyer’s services may be all that you need to motivate an insurer to treat you right. If it’s not, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit for insurance bad faith.
What Steps Should You Take at the Accident Scene?
When a motorcycle accident happens, no attorney will be at the scene to advise you, so you must take steps to protect yourself. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Massachusetts, there are several steps that you must take immediately.
If you’re injured, seek or summon medical help at once. If you don’t feel injured, have a medical exam anyway, within 24 hours if you can. That exam can identify any latent injury, link your injury to the accident, and create the records you may need if you take subsequent legal action.
Call the police. You’ll need a copy of their written report, so ask when and how to obtain it. Exchange contact details and insurance information with the car or truck driver, and verify those details. Some victims have been given false information and even fake insurance cards.
Take photographs – or ask someone to take them for you – of the crash scene and the damage to your motorcycle and the other vehicle. If possible, get the names and contact details of any witnesses. Eyewitness statements and photos can be powerful evidence in support of your claim.
What Will It Cost to Learn More?
What you’ve been reading applies to repair claims after motorcycle accidents. However, if you suffer any personal injury more serious than trivial cuts and bruises in a motorcycle accident, don’t speak to an adjuster or sign any insurance document. Refer the company to your attorney.
If you’ve been injured, it costs nothing to learn more. A Boston motorcycle accident attorney provides free initial consultations to injury victims. It’s your opportunity to obtain reliable, personalized legal advice about your case – with no cost or obligation.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver while you were motorcycling in Massachusetts, let a Boston motorcycle accident lawyer handle your personal injury claim, protect your rights, and recover the compensation that you will need and deserve.