After being involved in a motorcycle accident, your life might be impacted in many ways. Recovery can be a long, painful process. The last thing you may want to do is face stressful negotiations with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve. Thankfully, you can have someone on your side who can do the work for you so you can focus on what matters most – your recovery.
Kiley Law Group has been helping motorcycle accident victims for over 40 years. In that time, we have successfully negotiated over $500 million in settlements for all types of personal injury recoveries. Our goal is to provide compassionate legal services to help our clients get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Call Kiley Law Group today at (888) 435-1321 for a free case evaluation. There is no fee for our services unless you win.
Understanding the Insurance Company’s Tactics
Getting a fair settlement from an insurance company these days is like pulling teeth. You may have seen many insurance commercials on TV bragging about how customer-oriented they are. In reality, they are like any other business – profits trump all. Many insurance companies use vicious tactics to keep from paying road accident victims a fair settlement.
These multimillion-dollar corporations are good at manipulation. They know the challenges you are facing and use that to their advantage. Here are several of the tactics insurance companies use to keep from paying victims a fair settlement.
Calling victims for a statement
This is a case of whatever you say will be held against you. After an accident, you may be disoriented and in shock. The other party’s insurance company knows this and might call to get your side of the story. They do this to get you to say the wrong thing to use it against you later. They may even record your conversation with them.
The best course of action is to decline to talk to anyone. Let your attorney do the talking for you.
Pretending to be compassionate
Along with calling you for a statement, insurance companies will act as if they care. They may make promises to get you as much money as possible. This is how they manipulate you into giving them what they want. If you think the adjuster is on your side, you will be more likely to talk. The insurance company may even use this tactic to convince you that there is no need to call a lawyer. Do not fall for it.
Getting the victim to sign forms
As mentioned, the insurance company knows you are disoriented. They may attempt to get you to sign some forms at this time. Many people do not read the fine print, so they hope you do not fully understand what you are signing. In truth, you may be signing over permission for the insurance company to access your private information, including medical records.
Offer a less than desirable settlement
After a motorcycle accident, your life may be turned upside down. The medical bills will be piling up while you stay home from work to recover. The insurance company knows you are desperate for money and will throw out a lowball offer, hoping you will accept it. The truth is that the money they offer will likely not be enough to cover all your medical bills.
Be aware that accepting an offer means the matter has been settled. You cannot go back later and ask for more money, so do not accept any offer without the guidance of your attorney.
Stalling the process to make you more desperate
Again, the insurance company knows you are desperate for money. They hope that the longer they hold out, the more desperate you will become. The goal is to get you to accept their lowball offer.
Another part of their stalling tactic may be an attempt to bypass the statute of limitations. You only have a certain amount of time to file a claim. If the insurance company gets you to wait to pass that point, you cannot file a claim.
Being dishonest about a client’s insurance information
Insurance companies may provide inaccurate information about their client’s insurance coverage. If you are expecting a certain amount of money, they may claim their coverage is not at that level to get you to settle.
Trying to get a victim’s full medical history
Yes, getting you to sign forms is one way, but the insurance company may outright try to get you to provide your medical history. If you had any previous injuries, they could claim you were not injured in the accident. This would allow them to deny your claim.
Blaming the victim for causing the accident
Winning a compensation case requires evidence. In Massachusetts, you must prove the other party is at least 51 percent at fault for the accident. This gives the insurance company room to blame the road accident victim for causing the accident or injuries.
For example, they can say you were not wearing a helmet. Even if what they claim is not true, it may only delay the process, which makes you more desperate.
Giving motorcycle accident victims an arbitrary deadline
One common tactic of shady insurance companies is to say you must accept their offer within a certain amount of time. That puts the pressure on you to either accept their lowball offer or risk losing out on money altogether. Do not fall for it. Let your attorney handle the negotiations.
If you are worried about dealing with the insurance company, call Kiley Law Group right away. Our team of experienced attorneys is available 24/7 to take care of your legal needs.
How Can a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, the last thing you need is to be manipulated by an insurance company. You deserve to be fairly compensated for damages suffered.
A lawyer’s job is to be that buffer for you and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. The best part is that experienced attorneys, like those at Kiley Law Group, know all the insurance company’s tricks.
Your Massachusetts motorcycle accident lawyer can help you by:
- Giving you the right advice on what steps you should take
- Finding out what your coverage eligibility is for a fair settlement
- Doing all the paperwork for you
- Making sure you meet every deadline
- Filing your claim
- Investigating every detail of the accident
- Gathering witness statements
- Obtaining the police report
- Gathering your medical records
- Calculating how much you should be compensated based upon the severity of your injuries, lost wages, and more
- Contacting the insurance company to begin negotiations
- Continuing to negotiate while using collected evidence to prove your case
If negotiations break down, there is another option for you to take. When neither side is budging, your lawyer may say it is time to settle the matter in court. The process can take more time, but you will be fully represented.
Additional steps your attorney can take include:
- Getting the case scheduled with the court
- Presenting discovery of the evidence
- Hiring professional witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Continue final attempts at negotiating with the insurance company
- Representing you in court
A huge part of the legal process is establishing who was liable for the accident. Massachusetts is a modified no-fault state. In most cases, you will approach your own insurance company to receive compensation for your injuries. If your injuries are severe, then you may be able to pursue additional damages.
Three factors must be met to establish liability:
- Did the defendant owe you a duty of care?
- Did the defendant breach his duty of care?
- Did the defendant’s breach of duty cause your injuries?
For example, if you were hit while riding your motorcycle and you sustained a brain injury, the other driver owed you a duty of care. But instead of paying attention to the road, he got distracted and swerved out of his lane and hit you. As a result, you lost control of your bike and hit a tree, causing brain damage. All three factors, as listed above, are fulfilled in this scenario, which established liability.
Determining what you are owed
There are two types of damages a motorcycle accident victim can recover. These are economic damages and non-economic damages. Your personal injury attorney will be able to calculate what is a fair settlement offer based on what the accident cost you.
Economic damages are any of your financial losses because of your accident, including:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Permanent disability
- Property damage
Non-economic damages can increase your settlement amount and can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
Call Kiley Law Group Right Away
As a motorcycle accident victim, you should be 100-percent focused on recovering from your injuries. That can be difficult to do if you have the stress and anxiety of having to manage this process alone.
The good news is there is a team of experienced attorneys ready to help guide you every step of the way. Kiley Law Group has successfully negotiated over $500 million in settlements over the past 40 years.
Call Kiley Law Group today at (888) 435-1321. Our team is also available 24/7 on your website. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you will not pay us a dime unless you win.