Were you injured in a motor vehicle crash in Arizona? Read about the 4 things you need to know about motorcycle accidents, then call us today.
1. Case Timeline
The first thing we’re going to do is the other insurance company for the driver who is at fault in Arizona does not have an obligation to tell us what their insurance limits are. They don’t have to if they don’t want to. We know it’s going to be at least a minimum, which has been raised to $25,000. For a serious accident $25,000 is like a down payment maybe. Even though they don’t have to tell us what the policy limits are, if you’ve got a lot of big medical bills just from the hospital alone, we normally can get the insurance company to say all I’ve got is 25 or 50 or 100. Let’s just take care of it.
In that case we can get your case settled very quickly. The more difficult issue in that case is let’s say your medical bills are $100,000 or $200,000 or something like that. Then we need to negotiate not only with the other driver’s insurance company, but as the attorney explained when they called in, we also need to negotiate with the hospital. The hospital is going to have their hand out. If they can, we won’t let them do it, but they’ll take all your money if they can. We don’t let that happen.
That’s where having a law firm represent you can actually put more money in your pocket even after our fees are deducted than if you handle it on your own. We tell the hospital and the insurance companies no. Here’s the offer we’re going to make you for repayment. We can usually negotiate that amount down significantly. If necessary, our lawyers can actually sue them and say we’ll have a judge tell you you’re not going to get this much money.
All those things can influence how long it takes to resolve your claim. Best case scenario, you have high medical bills, as the attorney explained, and the insurance policy is not $1 million. We can usually settle that pretty quickly. You still need to negotiate with the hospitals and stuff. If there is a million dollars of insurance available, it may take longer to settle your case. If it’s the difference between $10,000 and $500,000 or $1 million, most of our clients are willing to wait a little longer.
2. Case Value
There’s no magic formula to this. We had someone call our office the other day and ask one of our attorneys. The attorney explained there’s not a crystal ball magic formula.
Typically, what happens if you’re seriously injured is there’s going to be very high medical bills. Those medical bills often exceed the amount of insurance of the other driver. In that case, usually the insurance adjuster won’t quibble if it’s clear who’s fault the accident is. Sometimes, it’s not so clear and they’ll try to put the fault on you, if they can.
They’ll say you were speeding, you were doing this, etc. We can have accident reconstruction break that down and critique the officer’s version of what happened. That can be important in getting you more dollars in your pocket or even getting the insurance company to accept responsibility.
Once the insurance company adjuster gives up on these tactics, we can settle your case very quickly. The value usually is whatever the insurance policy limits are. That may not be enough. That’s where we have expertise in looking for additional sources of insurance; underinsured motorist coverage from your other vehicles. Did your own agent mess up because he didn’t give you underinsured motorist coverage on at least one of your vehicles knowing that you had a motorcycle? We can file a claim against your own agent’s insurance policy to get actual money and insurance for you.
Were there other people, relatives in your household, say, who had vehicles with full coverage that includes underinsured motorist coverage? We can use that often without affecting the insurance rates of your relative that you live with, your father or your brother. All those things can increase the value of your case. Anyway, we just want you to know that those factors are reasons why you need to call and have one of our attorneys analyze your case specifically and then we can give you a much more specific answer than we can just an informational video.
3. Common Mistakes
There’s plenty of common mistakes. One of them is just accepting what an insurance adjuster has to say about the accident situation. Let’s say someone was not wearing a helmet and they had some significant head injuries. It’s very common for an insurance adjuster to say no helmet, no pay. Hopefully at least at that point you will call us, if not before.
Another very common thing is they’re always looking for ways to not pay. They’ll say hey, you want your bike fixed? Of course, you want your bike fixed. They’ll say you’ve got to give me a recorded statement. Do you think they’re taking that for their educational benefit? They’re looking for any way that they can blame you totally or partially for what happened.
They’ll ask you about speed, what you saw before whatever, and you can just answer questions that you think are fairly innocent. Then they have their little accident reconstruction and say look at that. You see? He said he was going 53, not 52. They’ll say he actually contributed to this accident or he could have avoided it. That’s one of their favorite ones. Call us first.
For our clients, we don’t ever have them talk to insurance adjusters and get recorded statements. We say, you want some information? You give us the questions in writing. We’ll give you the answers in writing. That allows us to make sure that they’re not trying to trip you up. Then those things don’t happen to our clients.
Other common mistakes are you suffer a concussion. You have the headaches, the memory fog, the short-term memory loss, things like that. Maybe it’s diagnosed in the emergency room and then nobody ever does anything about that or tries to help you afterwards. That’s a huge mistake. It’s a huge mistake physically. It’s a huge mistake to your case.
We’re very sensitive to concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Again, just call us and we can give you a lot of that information for free over the phone. One of our attorneys will analyze your case for free. If you want to avoid those mistakes, and they’ve done statistics and studies, the people that call a lawyer and just talk to them one time end up with a lot more money even if they settle the case on their own.
4. Insurance Investigation
The insurance adjusters have had lots of practice in dealing with people who are in motorcycle accidents. They’ve come up with some pretty clever ways of getting you to talk and give them information.
You’ve heard the phrase, “whatever you say can and will be used against you.” That applies when you’re talking to insurance adjusters. Even if they don’t take a recorded statement, they’re still writing down everything you’re saying. A polite answer to a simple question after your health in their reading becomes that you are on your way to a full recovery even if that’s far from the truth.
By the way, remember, on your social media, if you’ve just got out of the hospital and the next day they’ve got a picture of you climbing Mount Everest, it’s probably not going to help your case. Take it easy. Follow what your physical therapist says, and don’t try to conquer Mount Everest soon until we settle your case.
With regards to insurance adjusters, we never let our clients talk to insurance adjusters about what happened, about their injuries. If they want to ask questions of our clients, we insist that it be in writing. That gives us total control over what the questions are. No surprises. It’s not going to hurt your case.
Again, insurance adjusters, they’ve learned how to get people to talk. They’ll say your bike got smashed up. You put a lot of money into that. You probably want to get it fixed. You’ve got to give me a statement, otherwise I can’t get your bike fixed.
Note, they don’t promise they’re going to do it. They just say you’ve got to do it if you want me to consider it. That’s why call us first. We can avoid you saying something that inadvertently can hurt your case. Talk to us first and then after that if you still want to give a statement, at least you’ll be more informed or have us represent you and then you don’t have to give them a statement. Your bike will still get fixed. We’ll take care of that for you.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash in Arizona and have questions about the 4 things you need to know about motorcycle accidents? Contact experienced Gilbert Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Free Injury Advice today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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