What If I Disagree with a Motorcycle Accident Claim Decision? Knowing Your Legal Rights
Motorcycle riders are at more risk of injuries on the road than car drivers- but there is often dispute over who is to blame.
If an accident happened because of someone else's negligence, the victims could be eligible to file a personal injury case- or at least claim for the costs of the property damage.
Unfortunately, there are often disagreements during the claims process- including denials and refusals to pay damages. Here is some insight into what to do if there is disagreement over a motorcycle accident claim. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also explain the benefits of wearing motorcycle protective gear.
What Is a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Motorcycle accident claims are cases put forward by the victims of an incident against the party who is deemed to be at fault. They usually consist of several claims- including damage to property, the costs of medical bills for injuries sustained, and potentially further damages for suffering.
It is made against the at-fault party and their insurance company- who are liable for the expenses.
A claim is generally put together by the victim's legal counsel, who will attempt to reach a settlement without having to go to court or pursue a lawsuit. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help with other questions such as, "What causes a 18 wheeler to jackknife?"
Who Can Make a Claim After a Motorcycle Crash?
Anyone involved in a motorcycle accident that was not their fault can claim damages. These include property damage and medical expenses.
If a victim is killed in a motorcycle crash, their direct family members (starting with the surviving spouse, children, and parents) can make the claim on their behalf.
What Are the Possible Outcomes of Motorcycle Accident Claims?
When someone makes a motorcycle injury claim, several outcomes are possible.
The insurance company accepts the claim and pays the requested amount.
The insurance company accepts the claim, but wants to negotiate the payable amount.
The insurance company rejects the claim altogether and refuses to pay any amount.
Why Might an Insurance Company Disagree with a Claim?
There are two important things to remember when making a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident:
The claimant must be able to prove fault to have a successful claim.
Insurance companies do not want to pay out- so they will use any possible avenue to avoid doing so.
Just because things seem clear-cut doesn't mean it is easy for an injured motorcyclist to claim damages.
What to Do When a Claim Is Denied?
If someone makes a claim after a motorcycle accident and it is denied, their next move is to file a lawsuit. Again, this can take several routes- settlement negotiations, small claims court, or trial.
The first thing to do- if they haven't already- is contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A specialist motorcycle accident attorney can review the case and claim to ensure all the relevant evidence and documentation is provided- and work to build a stronger case if it is not.
It is important to remember that a denial is not the end of the road. In fact, they are quite common in motorcycle accidents. In many cases, they are simply setbacks- and filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit with the help of an experienced legal professional could help get things over the hurdle.
Anyone who disagrees with the denial of their claim should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Nashville as soon as possible.
What Else Should Motorcycle Accident Victims Do to Secure Their Claim?
The first things any person involved in a motorcycle accident should do are:
Call the police, and stay at the accident scene until they arrive.
Contact their motorcycle insurance carrier to inform them of the accident.
Gather as much evidence as possible- including photos, witness statements, and videos of the accident scene.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Most claim disputes come when there is not sufficient evidence for who or what caused the accident. The more evidence a person has- including vital police reports and hospital records- the less likely they are to have someone disagree with or deny their claim.
What If a Claim Is Made Against Someone, and They Do Not Agree?
Sometimes, victims of a motorcycle accident find themselves facing a claim from the other party. If someone makes a claim for damages from the person who believes they are the victim, they can refuse to pay- and launch a counterclaim of their own.
Again, it all comes down to fault. In an ideal world, there is a clear line between who is liable and who is the victim- but it is not always the case.
What Is Comparative Fault?
Comparative negligence laws (also called comparative fault) make it possible for someone to be the victim and still be liable to pay damages- or some of them. If they are found to be partially responsible for causing the accident, the opposing party can refuse to pay the full amount and push the settlement offer down.
Here is an example of when comparative negligence could impact a motorcycle accident claim.
Rider A is hit by a car when pulling out of an intersection. The car ran a red light, so Driver A is at fault- because their failure to follow road rules caused an accident.
However, during discovery, it is revealed that Rider A was driving faster than the speed limit- so they also broke the rules.
If Driver A had not run the red light, the accident would not have happened, so they are most at fault, but they claim they had no time to correct the mistake because of Rider A's speed.
Although Rider A can claim damages, the fact they were speeding passes part of the blame back to them. The result: Driver A's legal representation and insurance company has made a counterclaim to reduce the settlement they are required to pay.
How to Respond
If a claim is made that someone disagrees with, they should remain calm- and contact a lawyer. It is best not to respond or have any communication with the other insurance companies involved without legal counsel.
Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Today
To learn more about motorcycle accident claims and disputes, speak to the experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys.
They go to war for you to ensure fair compensation and justice for all.