No. Not only should you not wait to see what the insurance company offers before contacting a lawyer, you should also be aware that speaking with an insurance adjuster—whether from your own insurance company or that of the at-fault party—without consulting with an attorney can put your insurance claim or potential personal injury lawsuit in serious jeopardy.
While accident victims may technically be capable of handling simple and straightforward insurance claims on their own, in most cases—and particularly in motorcycle accident cases—it isn't the smartest move, and may even result in a smaller settlement. Experienced and reputable motorcycle accident lawyers look out for their clients' interests, and can help them fight for the fair compensation they need and deserve.
Insurance Companies Aren't on Your Side
Like any for-profit business, an insurance company operates to boost its bottom line, not support your best interests. An insurance company is not on your side, even if it's your insurance company. While this is true in any personal injury case, it's particularly true in motorcycle accidents cases, which can be extremely costly for insurance companies.
Unfortunately, even if you have a perfect driving record and are a long-time, model customer, paying your premiums on time, month after month, insurance company adjusters may employee a variety of sneaky tactics to save money and minimize the financial obligation to you.
For example, in an attempt to avoid potentially costly settlements, insurance company representatives may:
- Claim you were partially or completely at fault for the accident, even though nearly two-thirds of motorcycle crashes involving more than one vehicle are caused by the driver violating the motorcyclist's right of way
- Assert that your injuries are the result of your failure to wear the appropriate safety gear
- Use your recorded statement—or statements made at the scene of the accident—against you
After a motorcycle accident, knowing what not to do is almost as important as knowing what to do. The first few minutes following a motorcycle crash are vitally important, and what you do in those minutes can make or break a future personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. To protect yourself and your rights:
- Avoid apologizing or taking responsibility for the accident
- Decline to make a recorded statement
- Refuse to sign any papers without first consulting a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer
Benefits of Legal Representation After a Motorcycle Accident
When dealing with an insurance company after an accident, it can help to think of it as a “Goliath” with its corporate legal team, and of yourself as a “David” who can greatly benefit from the leveled playing field that comes with having your own legal representation. Motorcycle accident lawyers can help clients:
- Investigate and gather evidence to build a strong case
- Understand each step of the insurance claims or civil litigation process
- Prepare for depositions
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Obtain a larger, fairer settlement, according to a 1999 study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC)
- Take their case to trial, if necessary
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver, you may spend the rest of your life dealing with the consequences of that driver's poor decisions. While filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit may not be able to help you turn back the clock, a successful claim or lawsuit can help relieve the financial burdens you may have incurred as the result of the crash.
Contact Sevenish Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident case. For further information, request a copy of our free eBook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.