If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, the following weeks might be hectic. You could have injuries to focus on, your bike might need repair, and there are many details to take care of before you get the compensation you deserve.
A diligent motorcycle accident attorney could take some of those burdens off of your shoulders. They could help you manage your motorcycle insurance claim in Jonesboro and walk you through the process of getting reimbursement for your losses.
Starting the Claim Process
Georgia requires all drivers to have liability insurance, and the insurer of the at-fault driver is responsible for reimbursing the costs of the accident. The law also requires drivers to exchange insurance information after a wreck and report accidents to the police.
A motorcyclist should seek legal representation as soon as possible after a crash, especially if someone was injured. Insurers try to minimize their payouts and could take an innocent statement by a plaintiff and use it against them in order to pin liability. An experienced attorney could handle communications with the insurers, making sure that the plaintiff makes a timely claim but is not tricked into admitting liability.
Once the parties’ insurers learn of the local motorcycle accident, they will begin efforts to determine who was at fault. If the police cited one or more parties, the citation could be proof of negligence. In addition to the police report, insurers might consider photographs of the scene, the post-crash condition of the vehicles, witness statements, and other relevant evidence.
Documenting Losses to Insurance Companies
An injured biker should document everything they spent money on while tending to the injury. Records might include:
- Unreimbursed medical expenses like copayments;
- Incidental costs associated with seeking medical treatment, such as transportation, parking, babysitting, et cetera;
- First aid supplies and equipment;
- Costs of hiring people to perform household tasks that the injury prevents the biker from doing; and
- All other expenses the biker would not have incurred if they did not sustain the injury.
An injured motorcyclist should also keep accurate records of the days they were unable to work and the amount of sick time, vacation days, or flex-time they had to use while recovering. A worker whose injury will prevent them from returning to their job should present tax returns or W2 forms to establish the amount of their income loss.
The motorcyclist must demonstrate how the injury impacted their life in less tangible ways. They could present pharmacy records to show how long they had to take pain medications or other pharmaceuticals to cope with the physical and emotional stress of the accident. With this sort of proof, an attorney could seek compensation for subjective losses like pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and disfigurement.
Timeframe for Settlement
Many motorcycle accident claims achieve a settlement fairly quickly, and an injured person might have their settlement check within a few months of the crash. However, when there is a dispute about who was at fault, or when the damages are substantial, the process could take many months or even years.
When an injured biker was partially at-fault, they cannot collect their full damages. Georgia’s comparative negligence law, Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-12-33, reduces a negligent person’s damages by a percentage equivalent to their degree of fault. If someone had 50 percent or more of the responsibility for an accident then they cannot get any damages. This law could spur a defendant’s insurer to try to shift blame onto an injured biker and reduce their own liability.
Consult with a Jonesboro Attorney About Your Motorcycle Insurance Claim
Pursuing a motorcycle insurance claim in Jonesboro can be confusing and intimidating. There is no reason to go through the stress of handling the claim yourself when a capable lawyer stands ready to help. Give us a call now to set up a consultation.