If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle accident you need an attorney on your side to help guide you through what can be a tricky and tiring process. Motorcycle accident claims involve assembling large numbers of documents and other evidence and then engaging in negotiations with experienced insurance claims adjusters. Doing all this can be overwhelming for most people, which is why it’s important to turn to a skilled South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney for advice.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligent or careless actions of another person, it’s can be a confusing time. Not only might you be dealing with injuries and mounting medical bills, but you likely won’t be familiar with what steps should be taken to ensure you and your family are compensated for the harm you’ve suffered. To find out more about the motorcycle accident claims process, keep reading.
The first step in the motorcycle accident claims process begins at the scene of the accident itself. Assuming you are in the physical condition to allow for it, you should try and assemble as much information as possible. This includes exchanging contact and insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. Make sure to get his or her name, telephone number and insurance details.
Beyond contact information, try and make notes of any other important details. Where did the accident happen, how are the vehicles positioned, did the other driver say or do anything of interest before or after the crash? Also write down names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Finally, if you’re able, take as many pictures as possible, these can be invaluable later on in the event of a dispute over what happened.
Statements at the scene
When the police arrive to file a report about the accident it’s essential that you cooperate with the investigation fully. However, you should also be mindful of what you say following the accident. Be very careful not to make any statements that could be viewed as an admission of guilt. Avoid apologizing for the accident and do not under any circumstances say that the wreck was your fault, even if you think it might have been. Doing so will only make it harder to backtrack later on if you find out the other driver was actually the one responsible.
Report the crash to the insurance company
After you’ve filed the accident report and sought treatment for any injuries, you will need to report the accident to your insurance company. When reporting the accident, include the name of the other party, information about the vehicles involved and details of when and where the accident occurred. The insurance company will also want your version of events about how and why the accident happened as well as specific details about any injuries you sustained and subsequent medical treatment you’ve received. You should know that you are permitted to talk this through with an attorney before giving such a statement, an important right that can help ensure your case is positioned as strongly as possible.
Given the terrible and costly injuries that can result from a South Carolina motorcycle accident, it is important that you keep track of all expenses related to your crash. Every time you visit a doctor, miss work or make a payment connected to the motorcycle accident you need to save a receipt and file the document away. This evidence will be incredibly important later on when you are negotiating a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The settlement talks begin
Once all the information has been gathered, a formal demand letter will be presented to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. A claims adjuster will then review the letter and accompanying records and make a decision about whether to offer a settlement figure or instead deny the claim. This process may appear to be final, but the reality is that a skilled South Carolina motorcycle attorney understands that there is often plenty of room for negotiation.
If the first settlement offer from the insurance company is too low to cover damages you’ve suffered, you can go back and insist on more money. Facts and figures are important here and these negotiations will depend on having solid evidence of your damages and injuries.
Should you take the deal or file suit?
The back and forth exchange of offers and counteroffers can go on for a while in some cases; it all depends on the specifics of your injury. Once a final offer is reached, you have to make a decision about whether the amount is enough or whether you’d rather press on by filing a civil suit against the responsible party and his or her insurer.
If the offer is enough money to make you whole again and pay for any future treatment, then there’s no harm in accepting it and moving on with your life. However, if the figure is a lowball offer there’s no reason to fear rejecting it and moving forward with a civil lawsuit. Just because you file suit does not mean settlement talks are over; in many cases moving forward with a lawsuit is another step in the negotiation process and a good way of showing that you are serious.
Riders Law Group has assisted countless injured individuals across South Carolina and helped secure damages for the harms they’ve suffered. We understand that motorcycle accidents can be scary, leaving injured bikers and their families with expensive medical bills and confusion over how to move forward. If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle accident and have concerns, feel free to contact the Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Riders Law Group today at (843) 276-7557.