What If I Damaged My Motorcycle during My Accident?
Motorcycle accidents have the potential to inflict serious bodily injury on all parties involved as well as extensive property damage to one’s motorcycle. Oftentimes, a claim for property damage to one’s motorcycle is simpler than a claim for personal injuries. In these cases, many individuals do not retain the services of an attorney since these property damage claims are more likely to be approved quickly. However, there are instances where an individual’s insurance company is not negotiating in good faith or is pressuring an individual to accept a low settlement offer. In these cases, an attorney can handle the negotiations with your insurance company to get you a higher settlement amount or, in more extreme cases, take your case to court to litigate your damages claim before the judge or jury. This blog post will explain how to deal with your insurance company when you are dealing only with a property damage claim from a motorcycle accident.
The first step after a motorcycle accident is to report your property damage to your insurance company. A claims adjuster at your insurance company will likely contact you in a couple of days. They will start collecting very basic details regarding the accident such as the day, date, time, and location of the motorcycle accident as well as more complex details such as where you were going, weather conditions on that day, the color of the traffic lights, the details of the other vehicles or individuals involved in the accident, and the contact details of any witnesses. Some of these questions may seem innocuous but they are all designed to shift responsibility for the accident to you. Be careful at all times when talking with your insurance company. Questions such as the day, date, and time of the accident can be answer without additional worry. However, other questions may require more thought. If you need help speaking with your insurance company, an attorney can guide you through the process and handle negotiations with your insurance company on your behalf.
There is one important thing to keep in mind when negotiating with your insurance company: their main objective is to save money and, as a result, they will try to pressure you to accept an offer that is typically low. Always negotiate for more—it is your property that has been damaged, and it is your right to try to get a more favorable offer. You are not obligated to accept the first offer that your insurance company gives you. Evidence that will help your case when negotiating with your insurance company includes photos of the motorcycle accident and cost estimates from motorcycle repair shops. The reason for saving your receipts and estimates is so you can prove to your insurance company that the extent of the damage to the motorcycle is more severe than the offer currently on the table.
Another important fact to remember is to never admit liability for the accident. This includes in your discussions to the other driver, the police that arrive at the scene of the accident, and, especially, the claims adjusters at your insurance company. Insurance companies will use this information against you to reduce or sometimes eliminate your potential recovery amount.
Not all property damage claims are successful. If your negotiation strategies fail, your insurance company is unwilling to consider your evidence, or is otherwise operating in bad faith, it may be time to retain the services of an attorney experienced in handling property damage claims from motorcycle accidents. An attorney can negotiate with individuals’ insurance companies and, if necessary, litigate your case in court.