If you are a motorcyclist here in Georgia, keep reading. If you have been in a motorcycle crash – or if you are involved in a motorcycle collision in the future – you’ll need the help of an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney to file and pursue an insurance claim. Below, you’ll learn about pursuing a claim:
1. if the motorcycle sustained damage, but you are not personally injured
2. if you are injured on the motorcycle because another motorist was negligent
You will also find out what you should do if an auto insurance company rejects your claim, whether it’s your own company or an at-fault driver’s insurance company.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STAY SAFE WHILE MOTORCYCLING?
First things first, however. While most motorcyclists understand and adhere to the rules for safe motorcycling, a reminder never hurts – so here it is:
1. Always wear a certified motorcycle helmet. Georgia law requires all motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers to wear helmets whenever they ride.
2. Always wear proper safety gear. A leather jacket, gloves, and boots are essential.
3. Obey the traffic rules and always operate your motorcycle cautiously.
4. Stay sober and awake when you operate your motorcycle. More than a quarter of the motorcyclists who died in crashes in 2016 were over the legal limit for alcohol, but even over-the-counter and prescription drugs can make riding dangerous.
5. Good motorcycle maintenance is imperative. Tires, lights, brakes, and fluid levels really should be checked every time you ride your motorcycle. Of course, even the safest motorcyclist can’t prevent others from driving recklessly or negligently.
AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT, WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
If you’re injured in a motorcycle crash in the state of Georgia because of another person’s negligence, you instantly have two critical priorities. Seeking medical treatment is the immediate first priority when any traffic crash occurs.
If you don’t think you have been injured, you still should have a medical exam within a day of the accident. An exam’s results may be key evidence if you later file a personal injury claim.
A medical exam may also reveal any hard-to-detect or latent injury you may have sustained.
If you have sustained any injury, your second priority after a motorcycle crash is obtaining an accident attorney’s advice as quickly as possible. If you’ve been injured, do not even try to deal directly with an insurance company, because your health and your future will be at stake.
IF YOU’RE INJURED, HOW SHOULD YOU HANDLE AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
Do not record or otherwise make any statement to an insurance company – and don’t sign anything – until you have an accident attorney’s advice.
Instead, let an experienced motorcycle accident attorney handle your claim and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company.
Your accident attorney is a seasoned negotiator who regularly deals with auto insurance companies on behalf of traffic injury victims.
If you are injured because another motorist was negligent, you’re entitled by law to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
WHAT IF YOU WEREN’T INJURED, BUT YOUR MOTORCYCLE WAS DAMAGED?
However, if you were not injured in any way in a motorcycle accident, but your motorcycle was damaged or destroyed, you probably will not need an attorney’s help.
Most people find it more convenient and expedient in these cases to handle their own claim without an attorney’s assistance, and a property damage claim is less complicated – and more likely to be approved – than an injury claim.
After you file a property damage claim for a motorcycle crash, an auto insurance company claims adjuster will probably contact you within just a few days.
Most claims adjusters in Georgia are service-oriented professionals, so if your claim is strictly for property damage, it may be paid quickly, and you should receive what’s needed to repair or replace your motorcycle.
HOW SHOULD YOU DEAL WITH A CLAIMS ADJUSTER?
But in some cases, you may have to prove that the total amount you’re claiming for property damage is what you will need to repair or replace the motorcycle.
Don’t let an auto insurance company intimidate you. Negotiating a damage settlement is your right, and if the insurance company’s first offer isn’t fair or acceptable, negotiate for more.
When you can back up your claim with receipts, photos, and estimates from certified mechanics, you will be in a good position to negotiate for the compensation you need. Always keep your receipts for any motorcycle repairs and upgrades – for exactly this reason.
WHAT’S IT TAKE TO NEGOTIATE A PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM?
Negotiations usually require three or perhaps four telephone discussions and maybe one or two face-to-face meetings with the insurance adjuster. Understand, of course, that a claims adjuster answers to senior adjusters and is given very little discretion to negotiate.
Still, if you have proof that your motorcycle claim is worth substantially more than the company offers you, the adjuster can share that evidence with a supervisor and increase the company’s offer – provided, of course, that you’re negotiating with honest insurance professionals.
If the auto insurance company denies your damage claim or ultimately fails to make you a reasonable offer, you may have encountered a case of insurance “bad faith,” but that is quite rare in the state of Georgia.
After a motorcycle crash, if the insurance company avoids its obligation to you when you seek compensation for property damages, seek the advice of a skilled Georgia accident attorney.
WHAT INJURIES ARE FREQUENTLY SUSTAINED BY MOTORCYCLISTS?
Remember that if you are injured in a motorcycle accident, everything changes. The injuries suffered in motorcycle collisions are often severe and/or disabling, and may include:
1. broken bones and ribs
2. spinal cord injuries
4. traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head injuries
A motorcyclist who sustains these kinds of injuries due to the negligence of an auto, bus, or truck driver – or even another motorcyclist – will require the maximum available compensation.
WHY IS CHOOSING THE RIGHT LAWYER SO IMPORTANT?
That motorcyclist will also need the services of an accident attorney who knows what it takes to win that amount.
Arrange at once to speak with a qualified Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer if you are injured – now or in the future – by a careless or negligent driver while you are operating your motorcycle.
An attorney’s help is your right if you’ve been injured, and when your health and your future are at stake, the right attorney can make all of the difference.