Dos and Don'ts of Motorcycle Accidents
You may have a lot of questions if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident. Carabin Shaw has the answers.
Don't discuss your accident or injuries with anyone, except your doctor and your assigned Property Damage Adjustor. Most importantly, Don't give any written or recorded statements to anyone, especially representatives from the insurance company. Do speak to your assigned Property Damage Adjustor. The insurance company will assign a property damage adjustor to discuss your motorcycle damage, car rental, storage, and towing costs. If they have not already done so, they should be contacting you in the next few days to arrange for the inspection of your motorcycle. When talk to the property damage adjustor, only speak with them regarding your property damage claim. Do Not give a written or recorded statement to anyone, without your interest being protected. If your vehicle has been towed and is being stored, lower the amount of your damages by calling the storage yard to "release" your vehicle to the insurance company. You could also move your vehicle to "fee free" location.
Do follow your doctor's advice. Only by following your doctor's advice can you hope to fully recover from your injuries. Make sure to tell your doctor everything about your injuries. You should not exaggerate your claims but at the same time do not understate the extent of your pain or injuries. Keep in mind that your doctor or nurse will write down everything you tell them regarding your complaints and injuries in your medical chart. If you do not tell them about all your injuries, they will not be noted in your medical records. This may present problems down the road if you or your attorney needs to verify a particular injury but you did not tell your doctor of all your symptoms.
Do keep all your doctor's appointments. Missing appointments may be viewed as a "gap in treatment," which may reduce the value of your case.
Don't sign anything. In some cases, insurance companies may offer a quick settlement and request that you sign a General Release. By signing this you will be giving up your right to seek compensation in the future. Carabin Shaw recommends that you consult with an auto accident attorney for advice before signing any document(s) that might affect your rights.
Do contact an auto accident attorney immediately if the insurance company treats you unfairly. For example:
- The insurance company does not return calls within a reasonable period of time.
- The insurance company has not inspected your motorcycle.
- The insurance company has failed to pay for your motorcycle repairs, rental expenses, aftermarket parts or other damaged personal property.
- Your health insurance company has not paid all of your medical bills.
Do keep track of medical bills and other expenses.Save all bills and ask for receipts. It is important to keep detailed and accurate records of all your accident related expenses. This includes bills from doctors, hospitals, ambulance transportation, physical therapy, drugs, nursing, and household expenses. Also keep track of what you spend on taxi fares, rental cars, estimates of repair, and any other pertinent bills linked with your case. Each of these bills may help to increase the value of your case.
Do make sure your health insurance pays for all your medical bills. You are still personally responsible for the payment of all of your medical bills until your case is settled or resolved, even though someone else may be at fault for your accident. If you have health insurance, be sure to submit all of your medical bills to your health insurance company for payment. If necessary, consult with your doctors or healthcare providers to confirm that they have sent all your medical bills to your health insurance company. Any delay in doing so may affect coverage for the bills and render you personally responsible for paying them.If You Don't Have Health Insurance
If you do not have private or public health insurance, please contact a customer service representative at your hospital or doctor's office. You may be eligible for various Federal, State, or private programs that are available to the public to assist in the paying of hospital charges.Applications for Medi-Cal, MSI, and Healthy Families (for minors only) can be obtained through our office. At the Carabin Shaw Law Firm, we can also refer or recommend doctors or medical specialists that will help.
Do obtain and preserve the following documents and evidence:
- Photographs showing any visible injuries to your body.
- Photographs of damage to your motorcycle.
- Your Motorcycle Repair Estimate showing your deductible.
- Your Health Insurance Card (front and back).
- Your Motorcycle Liability Insurance Declaration Page.
- The names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- All medical, emergency room, hospital and ambulance bills.
- Any collection or late notices related to your case.