A motorcycle crash can be terrifying for the motorcyclist involved. In 2013 in the state of Ohio, there were 3,870 motorcycle crashes, 141 of which were fatal crashes, and 2,910 of which resulted in injuries. Following a motorcycle accident, the last thing that you want to deal with is a fight with an insurance adjuster over your claim amount.
Unfortunately, challenges to a motorcycle accident claim by an insurance adjuster are all too common. For more information about common challenges you might face and how to address them, refer to the following.
Challenges to a Motorcycle Accident Claim: Your Injuries Aren’t Serious
In order to deny you the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled based on your insurance policy, an insurance adjuster may try to downplay your injuries, or even claim that you injuries aren’t related to your motorcycle accident.
In order to prevent this from happening, it’s important that you do these three things.
- Seek medical attention immediately following the accident
- Keep a thorough record of all accident and injury details
- Avoid posting anything to social media sites that may suggest that your injuries aren’t serious (such as pictures of you golfing or hiking)
Documentation of your injuries from your physician or healthcare provider is another essential part of proving the severity of your injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
Challenges to a Motorcycle Accident Claim: You’re at Fault for the Accident or Injuries
In addition to downplaying your injuries, it’s not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to try to put the blame for the accident on your shoulders, claiming that the accident was the result of your negligent actions.
Some blame the motorcyclist for the severity of injuries, such as arguing that lack of helmet use led to head or neck injuries or that injuries would not be as severe had the biker been wearing a helmet. Ohio only requires motorcycle helmet use by riders 17 and younger, but insurers may argue lack of helmet use (or other safety gear) means the rider is comparatively negligent.
Because Ohio is a comparative negligence state, your damages amount can be reduced by your percentage of negligence. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages, but your insurance adjuster finds you to be 50 percent at fault for the accident, then you may only receive half of your entitled amount, or $5,000. If you’re found to be more than 50 percent at fault, then recovery is not allowed at all.
Taking photos at the accident site, seeking medical evaluation, recording the details of the accident, and seeking legal help are all essential elements of proving you’re not responsible for your motorcycle accident.
Challenges to a Motorcycle Accident Claim: You Waited Too Long to File Your Claim
Another challenge to your motorcycle accident claim that an insurance adjuster may raise is that you waited too long to file your claim. The adjuster may argue that injuries for which you sought treatment a month after the accident are not related to your accident, for example.
There is also a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in the state of Ohio. According to Ohio Laws and Rules statute 2305.10, you only have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim for damages.
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, get help from an attorney. Your lawyer can help you validate your injuries, prove the fault of the other motorist, and file your claim in a timely and efficient manner. A lawyer can also address any challenges to a motorcycle accident claim that might arise throughout the insurance claim or legal process.