If you were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you could suffer catastrophic injuries that require expensive medical treatments, limit your ability to work, and reduce the quality of your life. Fortunately, Missouri and Kansas laws stipulate that you're entitled to compensation for your injuries by the motorist at fault for the accident.
What you do after the collision has a direct impact on the amount you receive in an insurance company settlement. Here are the top seven ways to maximize your financial recovery.
1: Get Prompt Medical Care
You should have a thorough examination by a physician within 48 hours of your accident. This protects your health and limits the ability of an insurance adjuster to argue about the seriousness of your injuries and what caused them. It's also critical to go to all doctor appointments and follow up on all recommended treatments. If you fail to do this, it weakens your case and may force you to accept less in your settlement.
2: Call the Police
You should call the police to the accident scene. The police will conduct an investigation into the cause of your motorcycle crash and provide helpful information in their report, such as:
- Contact information for any drivers and their insurance companies
- Details of the date, time, and place of the crash and how it occurred
- Statements of the drivers
- Contact information and statements of any eyewitnesses
- Officer’s conclusions as to who caused the crash
- Any traffic tickets issued
It's your right to receive a copy of the police report, so make sure to request it.
3: Preserve Evidence
To win the case, you have the burden of proving the other driver’s negligence and the seriousness of your injuries, so start collecting evidence immediately after your motorcycle accident. Essential information includes the police report, photos of the crash scene, damage to the vehicles, and your injuries, witness statements, medical bills, paystubs, and much more.
4: Limit Communications With the Insurance Company
While you'll need to talk with an insurance adjuster to begin the claims process, you don't have to say much. For example, an adjuster might ask you for a recorded statement, but you're under no obligation to agree to this question and answer session about the accident. Be polite, and answer all simple facts, such as name, birthdate, contact information, and so on. This reduces the chance that you'll inadvertently say something that will affect your claim. Leave all communications to your lawyer.
5: Stay Off Social Media
While your motorcycle accident claim is being resolved, stay off social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and don't post on discussion boards. If you must post, make sure not to mention your crash, your injuries, or share photos of yourself or let others tag you. An adjuster could search your social media sites multiple times while your claim is pending in search of posts where you make incriminating statements or are doing activities that you shouldn't be able to do with your injuries.
6: Don’t Settle Your Case Too Quickly
There's no need to settle your case until you know the full extent of your injuries, future medical treatments, and how long you'll be off work. Without a doubt, the carrier will try to offer a quick settlement, and while that immediate payoff might be tempting, it might also be less than you deserve. So don't agree to any compensation or sign any legal documents without first consulting with an attorney.
7: Hire a Skilled Lawyer Immediately
One of the best ways to ensure that you receive proper financial recovery is to hire a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision. They're on your side, ready to aggressively support your case with the proper evidence collection, effective communication between all parties, and skilled negotiations.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Motorcycle Accident?