Insurance Companies May Have Different Priorities than Yours
From the minute your motorcycle accident occurs, the insurance companies begin to determine their losses. This includes your own personal insurance company. Soon as they are notified of the accident, an adjustor is assigned to the case, investigators are dispatched, and a defense attorney is selected. All of this is done to limit the amount of money you will receive for your losses. The investigator will photograph your motorcycle and the accident scene, even if it was not your fault. As a victim, you would think you are better protected from this type of behavior.
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The investigation will also include contact from the insurance adjustor. It is the job of the adjustor to minimize the amount of money that the victim is paid in an accident, regardless of how fair this seems. They will begin conducting research on you and the accident and may contact you as soon as the same day as the accident. These adjustors will be pushing for a recorded statement from you. Do not give them a statement. Politely decline to answer their questions until you have spoken with a motorcycle accident attorney. Regardless of what they may say, you have this right and should take it. The purpose of this recorded statement is to use the information to decrease your settlement.
Insurance adjustors will continue to push for a statement of any kind so that they can get “useful” information for determining your case. They will come up with a very low settlement amount, and then use any information that they believe is self-incriminating, and decrease this amount even further. Their whole purpose is not to compensate you for your injuries and loses, rather it is to save the insurance company money.
Sneaky Tactics by Insurance Adjustors
In an effort to settle a case quickly, insurance adjustors are authorized to offer a quick cash settlement within 48 hours of the accident. This is a tactic used by the insurance company to trick you into believing that they have your best interests in mind. However, two days is not nearly enough time to determine what losses you have actually incurred or even the extent of your injuries.
While accepting a cash settlement may seem like the right thing to do right away, it will never be in your best interest. In many cases, you are still in the hospital when this offer is made, or have just come home. You are unaware of any long term effects that the accident has had to your personal being, and you cannot accurately determine any future income losses, medical bills, or other losses that may occur due to this event.
This is a ploy by the insurance company to deny your rights to receive compensation. Always decline this offer and speak to an accident attorney about your case. Your attorney will ensure that your rights are protected as a victim and that you receive a complete and fair settlement offer.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents can often lead to catastrophic injuries. Drivers of the motorcycle do not have the same protections as those traveling inside of a vehicle. Because of this, injury awards are often very high to cover all of the medical costs and financial losses suffered by the victim.
- 3,127 Motorcycle accidents happened in Arizona in 2014
- 129 Motorcycle accidents involved the death of the motorcycle driver or passenger
- 2,472 Motorcycle accidents involved injuries to the motorcyclist
- Over 30 percent of the injury accidents involved life changing catastrophic injuries
- Arizona has the third highest rate of motorcycle accidents in the United States
** Data taken from documents issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Arizona Department of Transportation
What a Settlement Offer Should Really Include
When the insurance company offers a settlement, it should include all of the following areas that are associated with the accident. Unlike their small initial offers, when a settlement is completely created, it is not unusual for it to be several times more than the initial amount offered.
– High Medical Bills
Medical bills are the largest portion of any accident costs. Injuries that require emergency hospitalization can quickly add up and future medical costs can be costly based on their extent. Without knowing how extensive your injuries are, what type of medical care you will need in the future based on these injuries, and any vocational training you may require because of these injuries, it is impossible to determine the value of your case within the first 48 hours.
Many insurance adjustors “guesstimate” the value of your case costs and multiply it by three. This is the amount that they offer you in their quick settlement. While this may seem fair at first, the truth is, this total amount may not even come near what the true value of your case will be for your injury. If the insurer is making an offer, you should decline this offer until you speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer about your case.
– Pain and Suffering
This category for compensation takes into account several factors. The loss of wages and other compensation of the victim, the financial damages to the family, and the loss of enjoyment or capacity for life are all included in this category. Because this is such a serious part of the losses incurred, it is usually the largest amount in the settlement.
Loss of wages and other compensation must be accounted for as well. However, even if the victim can return to work, but has to do so in constant pain, their capacity to enjoy life as they did before is severely diminished. Because of this, the loss of enjoyment must be much higher than that of the lost wages.
In all cases, the losses that the family receives must be compensated. The loss of income, household responsibilities, and the need for medical care for their loved one must all be addressed. Their loss of enjoyment is also considered at this time, but does not weigh as heavily as that of the victim.
– Life Care Costs
One aspect that is often overlooked by the insurance company and is not known to the victim, is that the injured party is entitled to life care costs. While future medical care, therapies, and in home health care will all be considered in the medical part of the compensation, the costs that this long term care has on your family must be considered.
Family members often care for an injured loved one, and despite insurance companies believing that this is a duty of the family member, it is a compensable task. Family members will suffer financially, physically and emotionally while providing this care and should receive compensation for their efforts.
When you work with Cantor Crane, your attorney will make sure that there is expert testimony provided to show how much your family members are providing care and the costs associated with that care. We feel that everyone who is taking part in your recovery deserves their fair share from the insurance company.
– Employment Damage
Determining the actual value of loss of employment earnings requires a skilled attorney, like those at Cantor Crane. All aspects of the motorcycle accident victims employment and future prospects must be taken into account when a settlement offer is made.
For instance, if the victim cannot return to their current employer due to the injuries and must accept a new, lower paying position, the insurance company should account for those losses. If the victim can never return to any type of employment, they must also acknowledge this fact and make an offer that is comparable to what the future earnings would have been for the victim.
Other issues, such as if the victim was a minor, must be able to be fairly compensated for in an accident case. A minor who receives extensive injuries may not be able to attend college in the future or pursue a good career. They should not have to suffer their entire life over this issue.
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The Benefits of Having a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer on Your Side
Even minor injuries can play a significant role on how many years you will remain employed now that you have been injured. You may have been prepared to work for 30 more years, but the doctors predict that your injury will lead to arthritis in 15 that is too severe to work. That is 15 years’ worth of lost wages. The skilled attorneys at Cantor Crane take all of these issues into consideration.
While the actual compensation process can be very confusing, especially when you start using figures from future events and possible outcomes, it all comes down to some very basic principles. Your compensation package should include all of your losses financially for now and in the future, the cost of your family providing home care, and for pain and suffering.
You had your entire life planned out before the accident, and now everything has changed. Your ability to enjoy life, pursue your career and hobbies, provide for your family and be free from pain is all different now that the accident occurred. You have the right, as a victim, to receive compensation for all of these losses.
The attorneys at Cantor Crane understand how different your life is now that you have been injured. They know that your future has changed and that it changed at no fault of your own. We take it very serious that lives are altered at the negligence of another person or entity. We strive to provide aggressive representation for our inured clients so that they can face their future with a little more certainty. We will work diligently to come to a complete and fair settlement for our clients based on the law and on the terms of the insurance policy covering the event. We will not allow insurers to worry about their bottom line, we will make sure that your overall well-being is their priority.