Jill Kolodner | December 3, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents
Generally, it is wise to consult a personal injury lawyer after a motorcycle accident. A motorcycle accident can result in catastrophic injuries for riders. Having a strong legal advocate on your side protects you from bad faith insurance practices and insurance company tricks designed to undervalue or deny your motorcycle accident claim.
Dealing with a motorcycle accident claim while you are injured and worried about your future can be overwhelming. Hiring an attorney might not be necessary in all motorcycle accident cases. However, hiring a lawyer to handle your motorcycle accident claim can relieve some of the stress and burden you are experiencing so you can focus on your recovery and other important concerns.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Maryland?
Regardless of whether you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim, you need to take steps to protect your rights after a motorcycle crash. Suggested steps individuals should take after being involved in a motorcycle wreck include:
Report the Accident
Report all motorcycle accidents to the police. Failing to report the crash could hurt your personal injury claim. Official documentation of an accident prevents the other driver from denying that the accident occurred.
Seek Medical Attention
Delays in medical treatment can cause you further injury. They can also hurt your personal injury claim. Report all injuries and symptoms to your physician and follow your physician’s treatment plan.
Avoid Talking to the Insurance Company
Do not allow the insurance company to record a statement. Remember, the insurance company may be recording all conversations, even if it does not disclose this to you at the beginning of each telephone call. The things you say to the insurance company could give the insurance company a reason to deny or undervalue your claim.
Avoid Signing Documents
The insurance claims adjuster might request a medical records authorization. Signing this form could give the company access to your entire medical history. It can be wise to have an attorney review any forms before you sign them to avoid potential problems with your case.
Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible to settle your motorcycle accident claim. They hire trained, skilled adjusters and investigators to handle claims. These individuals can be aggressive.
If you are unsure whether the insurance company is treating you fairly, that is a reason to contact a lawyer.
What Can a Lawyer Do to Help Me With a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Most individuals are not familiar with Maryland’s personal injury laws or insurance laws. They do not know what damages they are entitled to receive for a motorcycle accident claim or how to value pain and suffering damages. Unfortunately, without an experienced lawyer to guide them through the claims process, victims often receive far less than their personal injury claim is worth.
A lawyer always has your best interest as the top priority. Everything the lawyer does is to protect your legal right to receive the compensation you deserve for a motorcycle accident claim.
Services that an attorney provides that can help you with your motorcycle accident claim include:
- Explaining your legal rights and the options available for pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver
- Investigating the accident to gather evidence of fault
- Identifying the liability insurance carriers that provide coverage for the at-fault driver
- Documenting your damages and calculating the maximum value for damages
- Handling all communication with and negotiating settlements with insurance companies
- Filing a lawsuit and fighting for you in court
- Fighting allegations of contributory negligence, which can bar you from receiving any money for your claim
- Calculating and monitoring deadlines to file claims under Maryland’s statute of limitations
When you handle your motorcycle accident claim without a lawyer, you are going up against a large corporation with endless resources and trained professionals. The insurance provider’s goal is to resolve the claim without paying a large sum of money. Without a lawyer to advise you, the insurance company might achieve its goal, and you may receive very little money for your injury claim.
What Damages are Included in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
The types of damages included in a motorcycle accident claim depend on the facts of the case. However, most accident victims are entitled to recover compensation for their:
- Cost of medical treatment
- Loss of income and benefits
- Disabilities and impairments
- Physical pain and suffering
- Decreases in earning potential
- Mental trauma and anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
How much money you might receive depends on the severity of your injuries and other factors. A personal injury lawyer can calculate the maximum value for your damages and fight to recover full compensation for your damages.