Riding a motorcycle can be an incredibly freeing and exciting experience, but it can also be dangerous. If you’re involved in an accident while on your motorcycle, it’s important to know what mistakes to avoid when negotiating a settlement for any injuries you’ve sustained. Here are five common mistakes to avoid in your motorcycle accident injury settlement negotiation and how to handle them more effectively:
Mistake #1: Failing to Document Everything
One of the biggest mistakes people make when negotiating a settlement for their motorcycle accident injuries is failing to document everything. This means keeping track of all medical bills, expenses related to the accident, and any other costs associated with your injuries. If you don’t keep track of all these expenses, you may end up settling for less than you deserve.
To do it better: Keeping a detailed record of all medical expenses and other costs associated with the accident is vital. This includes doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and any other expenses you’ve incurred. Try to keep your notes organized. Keep printed receipts together in a folder so nothing is lost. If something is emailed, make an effort to print out a hard copy so you can keep everything together and easily accessible.
You should also take pictures of your injuries right when they happen and throughout the healing process, the damage to your motorcycle, and any other relevant evidence that can help your case such as the location of the accident, skid marks, time of day (if you remember and are able to safely do so in the chaos of the accident, take a picture of your watch or a screenshot on your phone of the time), and surrounding area.
Mistake #2: Rushing the Settlement Process
Another common mistake is rushing the settlement process. This can happen when you’re eager to get the settlement over with, or when the other party’s insurance company is pressuring you to settle quickly. But settling too quickly can mean that you end up with less money than you deserve.
To do it better: The settlement process should not be rushed. Taking your time is essential for getting the best outcome possible. Make sure that you have completely recovered from your injuries before committing to any decision. This way, you’ll gain a full understanding of all that you’ve lost and the costs incurred due to your injuries. Don’t settle for less than you deserve just to get it over with. It’s worth being patient while negotiating to ensure all your expenses are covered and you receive a fair settlement.
Mistake #3: Not Consulting with an Attorney
Many people make the mistake of not consulting with an attorney, either because they think they can handle it on their own or because they don’t want to pay legal fees. Another misconception is that if the accident is minor and there are no or very minimal injuries, then there is no need for an attorney.
To do it better: If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to consult with an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle accident cases. An attorney can help you navigate the settlement process and ensure that you’re getting a fair settlement. Many attorneys offer a free consultation, so there’s no harm in speaking with one to see if they can help you. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and ensure that you’re getting a fair settlement. Even a minor accident can potentially yield a significant settlement, with the help of an attorney.
Mistake #4: Accepting the First Offer
Another common mistake is accepting the first offer that’s presented to you. Insurance companies will often lowball you with their first offer, hoping that you’ll accept it just to get the settlement over with. But accepting the first offer means that you may be settling for less than you deserve.
To do it better: Don’t accept the first offer that’s presented to you. Instead, negotiate for a higher settlement. This is where having an attorney can be particularly helpful, as they can help you negotiate for a fair settlement and ensure that you’re not settling for less than you deserve. The attorney will take all costs into consideration when negotiating a fair settlement amount; medical costs as well as damages.
Mistake #5: Failing to Consider Future Costs
Finally, many people make the mistake of failing to consider future costs when negotiating a settlement for their motorcycle accident injuries. This means that they may settle for an amount that covers their current expenses but doesn’t take into account future costs, such as ongoing medical treatment or lost wages if they’re unable to work.
To do it better: Consider future costs when negotiating a settlement. This means factoring in ongoing medical treatment such as physical therapy and medications, lost wages, and any other expenses you may incur in the future as a result of your injuries. Again, this is where having an attorney can be particularly helpful, as they can help you anticipate future costs and negotiate a settlement that takes those costs into account. Additionally, an attorney can help you understand the long-term implications of your injuries and ensure that you’re not settling for less than you deserve.