During the past 10 years, more motorcycle riders have been getting injured or killed on our roadways. Historically, August is one of the worst months for motorcycle riders. Yes, overall there are more motorcycle riders on the roads than there were 10 years ago as more women have purchased motorcycles. A sobering fact is that while motorcycles account for less than 1% of all vehicle miles in Iowa, they make up a much larger percentage of the crashes. A whopping 14% of the fatalities and 16% of severe injuries are sustained by motorcycle riders each year in Iowa.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the roadways as there is very little protection for the rider. After a motorcycle accident, the injured rider needs good advice about how to deal with medical providers, the insurance companies, etc. It is a common misconception that if the other driver is at fault, their car insurance will pay for the medical bill and expenses of the injured rider.
How To Protect My Self And My Claim
1. Seek treatment immediately and tell them everything that hurts. If you are hurt, then you need to go immediately to the emergency room or your doctor. Failing to seek medical treatment can not only result in your injuries being more severe but will also be used against you in your claim. Also, make sure you tell your medical providers about all the areas that are injured including all pain and limitations you are having caused by the motorcycle accident.
2. Don’t rush to settle your claim. Often insurance companies will offer you a few thousand dollars to settle your case which may sound tempting. However, if you sign the release and agree to the settlement you are not only giving up your rights but may have to pay for your medical care and treatment out of your pocket or reimburse your health insurance company.
3. Don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster or sign anything. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask you questions in such a way that later one can be used against you. Giving a recorded statement seldom helps your case and often can hurt it. Signing forms for an insurance company gives them access to information that has nothing to do with the accident and may result in them discovering information that they will use against you when it comes time to try to settle your case.
4. Documentation. Make sure to keep copies of work excuses, verification of time off work, lost pay, medical bills and records, police reports and also you should document in a journal each day how you are feeling.
5. Never exaggerate your injuries. Your medical records should provide the information about your injuries so long as you tell your providers everything that hurts. Please don't try to make your medical condition sound worse than it is. Exaggerating your injuries can severely damage the value of your case.
6. Talk to an experienced injury attorney before you consider settling your case. Insurance adjuster settles claims for a living. You need a professional on your side to defend your rights and to protect you from getting ripped off by an insurance company. Before you even consider a settlement, you should consult with a qualified injury attorney to find out what your rights are, other potential sources of recovery, issues dealing with medical bills and subrogation, etc.