The Pacific Northwest offers some of the most scenic roadways in the country. As the leaves change color and the seasons move from one to the next, traveling by motorcycle provides the opportunity to enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Unfortunately, inattentive or reckless drivers may fail to notice that they share the road with motorcyclists and make sudden movements that cause a collision. Since motorcyclists do not have the added protection of a larger vehicle, they often suffer severe and catastrophic injuries. The physical recovery process may involve surgery or other intensive medical interventions, and some victims may suffer permanent damage from the accident. As the medical bills and lost wages accumulate, motorcycle accident victims naturally wonder how they will be able to afford these unanticipated expenses. Washington state allows accident victims to pursue compensation to assist with these costs, but the process can take time and considerable energy. It’s best to enlist the assistance of a trusted and compassionate Vancouver attorney to guide you through the process and help you recover the compensation you need to support your recovery. Below are just a few of the most common questions about the motorcycle accident claims process to help you get started.
How is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?
Immediately following the collision, someone at the scene should notify local law enforcement about the accident. The responding officer will compile a police report that includes details about the accident (i.e., whether the driver ran a red light, changed lanes without checking for a motorcyclist, etc.) and statements from witnesses. This information can be used to determine which parties were responsible for the accident. If the other driver was entirely to blame for the incident, your insurance company could negotiate with the other party’s insurance company to secure the compensation you need to support your recovery. However, if it’s unclear who was responsible for the accident, both parties will investigate the accident. If they determine you were partially at fault, you can still recover compensation—but the percentage of your negligence will reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
Motorcycle accident injuries tend to require extensive medical interventions and lengthy recoveries. In most cases, you can recover compensation to help cover the medical bills, future medical treatment or therapies, rehabilitation, lost wages, and the long-term damage to your earning potential, if applicable. It’s essential that you take your health and recovery seriously. Be sure to attend all follow-up visits with your doctor, take your medications as prescribed, complete physical therapy sessions or rehabilitation recommendations, and manage your physical recovery as best you can. The more you can show the insurance company that you took your injuries seriously, the more likely it will be for you to maximize your settlement offer. In some cases, your attorney may help you recover damages for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. Talk to your attorney to discuss your specific situation.
How Does the Negotiation Process Work?
Once the insurance companies have investigated the accident and made fault determinations, you can start negotiating with the insurance adjuster to arrive at a settlement offer. Unfortunately, this process can be stressful, as the insurance adjuster’s loyalty lies with the company. This means they are highly motivated to save the company as much money as possible, so they often use tactics to undermine or devalue your claim. However, it’s essential to recognize that you do not have to go through this overwhelming and intimidating process on your own. Your attorney can step in to handle these negotiations on your behalf. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands the negotiating tactics these insurance companies use, and they will work hard to push back for a more fair and favorable settlement offer. Remember, you are not obligated to accept the initial offer; in fact, it’s often to your advantage if you can push for a more equitable settlement offer. Insurance companies typically want to avoid litigation at all costs, so they will usually negotiate further with you to arrive at a more favorable settlement offer.
Compassionate Legal Guidance When You Most Need It
The days, weeks, and months after a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming and stressful. Feeling frustrated, depressed, or anxious about the future is completely natural. The last thing most injured victims want to deal with is engaging in stressful negotiations with insurance companies, so consider working with a trusted and compassionate Vancouver attorney who can advocate on your behalf. Let your lawyer secure the compensation you deserve while you focus on what matters most—your physical, mental, and emotional recovery.
If you need help recovering compensation following a motorcycle accident in Vancouver or Portland, call Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to speak with a caring and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.