Frequently Asked Questions - How an Attorney Can Help You After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, one of the best things you can do is consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your rights and benefits to you and explain what you can expect moving forward with a personal injury claim. By that point, you should probably have already called and reported the accident to all applicable insurance companies and received claim numbers and adjuster information. If you have not already received this information, your attorneys staff will be able to obtain this information for you and will send out their letters to all applicable insurance companies stating they represent you for your accident and they are no longer to contact you directly unless it is to discuss your property damage claim. You will be able to speak with the adjuster regarding your property damage no matter if you have an attorney or not as it is much easier for you to coordinate appraisals and estimates directly with the adjuster opposed to your attorneys office being the middle man. After obtaining the insurance information, the first thing your attorney will do is verify all applicable coverages. In the State of Florida, the only mandatory insurance coverages the law requires in order to have a valid automobile insurance policy is personal injury protection coverage at $10,000.00 and property damage at a minimum of $10,000.00. A valid minimum motorcycle policy includes $10,000.00 bodily injury coverage for one person, $20,000.00 bodily injury coverage for two people and $10,000.00 for property damage. If you can afford to pay for underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage on your motorcycle policy, you should really do so as bodily injury coverage on automobiles in Florida is not required so there’s a good chance you could be involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you are hit by someone with no bodily injury coverage and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, you will be unable to sue either insurance company for your injury claim. Motorcycle insurance policies in the State of Florida do not consist of personal injury protection like they do on regular automobile insurance policies so all of your medical bills will be outstanding until your case is settled unless you choose to pursue your medical treatment through your health insurance. This is something your attorney will discuss with you once they know how much coverage there is available for you to pursue.
If you have an attorney working on your injury claim, they will monitor your claim and make sure your medical providers are keeping an accurate account of all of your injuries. If you do not mention to your doctor a certain injury and it becomes a bigger issue later on down the road, the insurance company will likely question why you did not mention this injury initially or shortly after your accident and will often deny that injury because of the lack of complaint from the beginning. Even if you are having a slightest of pain, your attorney will advise you to tell your doctor just in case the injury becomes worse. If so, it will be very easy for your attorney or your doctor to find a specialist to treat you for this injury as it will have already been documented in your medical records from the beginning. If you fail to mention a specific injury, it will be extremely hard for your attorney to claim that it is related to your accident. If you have any questions about your injuries or your medical treatment, your attorney will be more than happy to meet with you to discuss these issues.
If you have sustained injuries from your motorcycle accident, you can either find a physician to treat with on your own or your attorney will be able to assist you in finding a doctor who is able to treat you for all of your injuries. Your attorney will monitor your medical treatment and make sure you are treating with the correct providers for all of your injuries. Your medical provider will likely refer you for MRIs or specialized testing depending on what type of injuries you sustain. If your MRI results show any abnormal pathology or spinal damage, your doctor will refer you to a specialist who can further treat you for your injuries.
Once you have completely finished treatment with all of your medical providers and you have been placed at maximum medical improvement, you will notify your attorney who will then request all relevant medical bills and records and any other supporting documents to complete a demand package to send to the insurance adjuster to start the process of obtaining a settlement for your injuries. A demand letter is written by your attorney which outlines how your accident happened, what your injuries were, a detailed account of your medical treatment and how much they are demanding the insurance company pay for your injury claim. This demand letter will be mailed to the insurance company along with your medical bills and records and the insurance company will be given a certain time frame of when they are required to respond to your attorney with their settlement offer.
If the insurance company offers a small settlement offer or not enough money to adequately compensate you for your injuries, your attorney will discuss with you the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the insurance company to obtain the best settlement for your claim. Your attorney will never advise you to file a lawsuit if they did not think you would be able to win or obtain a better settlement as the attorney will pay for all of the litigation costs up front and they are not paid until your case settles. If your attorney believes the settlement offer the insurance company has made, they will discuss the pros and cons with you about filing suit and will inform you why this is in your best interest. If you insist on filing a lawsuit and you lose the lawsuit, you will then be required to pay the at fault party’s attorney fees.