You might believe that if you’re hit while riding a motorcycle, and the other driver is obviously at fault, that you have a clear liability case that will be easy to settle on your own.
The insurance company of the other driver has different ideas, though. They know that jurors will often have an unfair bias against a motorcycle rider simply because they ride a bike. This can be great for insurance companies – and bad for you. You shouldn’t assume things will work out in your favor simply because the liability is clear (to you).
Here are four ways you can make even a clear liability motorcycle claim in Iowa bomb-proof so you can get the settlement or verdict you deserve.
Treat your motorcycle crash-related injuries.
A lot of my biker clients follow the motto that if you get hurt, you rub a little dirt on it and move on. This means they often don’t get the proper treatment they need for their accident-related injuries.
The insurance company will look at this lack of treatment as proof that you were not hurt as badly as you claim.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, get prompt and appropriate medical care for all of your crash-related injuries. This treatment will be documented in medical records, which is solid evidence that you’ve been hurt. Don’t downplay your injuries – it may result in less compensation.
Don’t dismiss brain injury symptoms.
We’ve learned a lot lately about concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) through the NFL and through the medical treatment of veterans. These same lessons apply to injured motorcycle riders.
Even if you had a helmet on at the time of your crash, you may have suffered a mild concussion – and when you’re talking about the brain, a mild injury is a big deal.
Symptoms of a TBI don’t always develop right away after an accident. It can take days or even weeks before a concussion’s symptoms are apparent. If you experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other symptoms related to a TBI, see your doctor right away.
Get the right type of insurance coverage so your accident-related injuries are covered.
Most people have medical payment coverage on their automobile insurance. Medical payment coverage – or “med pay” – is insurance that covers medical treatment for you or anyone else who is injured in your vehicle.
Oddly enough, most agents don’t sell that type of coverage to motorcycle riders. This doesn’t make much sense when everyone who rides a bike knows it’s not “were you hurt?” but “how badly were you hurt?” in a crash.
Talk to your insurance agent about adding this type of coverage to your policy.
In addition, you need to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits on your bike. Many riders will carry a good amount of liability coverage, but skimp out on UM and UIM coverage by electing for the bare minimum.
This is the coverage that protects you in the event of a crash, so make sure you have enough insurance to cover all of your potential harms and losses. This coverage is usually cheaper than a liability, so there’s no reason not to get the benefits you need.
File your motorcycle crash lawsuit before the statute is up.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle crash, the first and most important thing you need to take care of is your injuries. Making sure your bills are paid even when you’re off work to recover is also important.
But keep in mind that you don’t want to wait too long to speak to an experienced Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer. There is evidence that needs to be collected for your case in a timely manner – or else it can be legally destroyed.
Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after a serious crash is your best bet to see if you need the help of an attorney or can settle your case on your own. The first phone call to us is completely free, and you can have a skilled Iowa personal injury lawyer evaluate your situation and see if we can help you.
If you wait too long, your claim may be barred and you will not be able to file a lawsuit. There is a two-year statute of limitations in Iowa on motorcycle crashes – which may seem like a long time at first. However, an attorney needs time to evaluate your claim and that can take a while.
If you’ve been seriously hurt after a bike crash, it’s likely you’ll need an Iowa personal injury lawyer. We offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call us today at 1-800-433-0283.