Once an accident victim has hired an attorney, the insurance company is not allowed to contact that person or speak to them. Therefore, if they have a motorcycle accident attorney and the insurance company tries to contact them, that person should politely tell them they do not want to make a statement without their attorney.
Refusing to speak to an insurance company is not something that could come into evidence later and it cannot be used against the person, and from that point forward, the insurance company would have to deal through the attorney.
It is never a good idea to give statements to the insurance company, because they may say something that might not be accurate, because at that point they would not have double-checked it. They might also claim they feel pretty good about an injury that could turn out worse for them later on. The insurance company may be able to use any of those types of statements later. After they hire counsel, people should simply let the insurance company know they are represented and say nothing else.
Will My Insurance Skyrocket?
That depends. If the accident is the other party’s fault, motorcycle insurance premiums should not change. On the other hand, if it turns out the motorcyclist was at fault, the insurance company could raise rates if the accident involved serious damage to the other vehicle.
The rates probably won’t increase if the other side was at fault and they recovered all of their money and then made an underinsured motorist claim, because by definition, if the person’s own insurance company paid them money, it would mean they were not at fault so the insurance company would not raise their rates for that. They can buy a separate coverage for it.
Is a Case Doomed if the Other Party’s Insurance Keeps Blaming the Victim?
No, because an independent evaluation has to be done. We don’t always agree with the police officers, because they are sometimes biased against motorcycles and some just don’t conduct a proper investigation.
The fact that an insurance company places the blame on the victim doesn’t make that true. We would talk to witnesses and the parties involved and look at the physical evidence, especially at the scene of the accident and use the evidence gathered to determine who was at fault.
Why Do I Need An Attorney? Doesn’t the Insurance Company Handle Everything?
Insurance companies are not there to protect anyone unless they are the ones being sued. People buy insurance to be covered if they make a mistake, so they won’t have to pay anything out of their own pocket. The idea that the insurance company is on the person’s side is incorrect.
It’s proven, statistically, that attorneys get higher settlements for motorcycle accident victims than if they were unrepresented.
People who have not been through this before don’t know the value of their cases and they don’t know what to ask for. They don’t know how to posture the case, set it up and document everything so that the insurance company pays them a reasonable sum. Therefore, most people need an attorney.
What Happen In an Accident With An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver?
Like the driver of any other vehicle, a motorcycle rider is required to have insurance. If the motorcyclist did not have liability insurance on their motorcycle and somebody ran into them, even if it was 100% other driver’s fault, they could only recover for medical bills and lost wages, and not for general damages like pain and suffering.
If the motorcycle is insured, then we could look at the insurance on the vehicle that was at fault and find out how much they had. In some cases, the value of a major injury could exceed the amount of insurance the negligent party had, so once we won the case, we could then make a claim against the victim’s own policy for underinsured motorist coverage.
For example, if the party at fault had a policy worth only $25,000 and the case was worth $100,000, after the insurance company paid the $25,000, they could make a claim against their own policy, which could cover the other $75,000.
Should Someone Wait To See A Doctor Until They Talk To Their Attorney Or The Pain Subsides?
No one should wait to see a medical professional, for two reasons. Obviously, a person’s health is more important than a lawsuit, so they should see a medical provider and begin the recovery process as soon as possible. But also, if they do decide to sue, they’ll be able to document their injuries, their complaints and the treatment they would be receiving.
The defense or insurance company will invariably argue against paying any money and they will argue that the victim wasn’t hurt very badly, and if they wait to see a doctor, or if there were time gaps between treatments, it makes their case easier.
It’s always a good idea to go see a doctor first, and then speak to an attorney.
For more information on Insurance Companies In Motorcycle Accidents, please call (916) 565-2100 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.