How Do I Claim Insurance After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are notoriously devastating due to the lack of protection afforded to motorcyclists and their passengers. When you consider that a motor vehicle accident happened roughly every minute in 2018, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, the state’s roadways seem particularly dangerous to motorcycle riders. If you are injured in a motorcycle wreck, you may be able to file a claim with either the opposing driver’s insurance company or your own. Dallas Car Accident Lawyers can help.
At Dallas Car Accident Lawyers, our attorneys have worked on many cases involving riders who suffered injuries like broken bones, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), severe “road rash” abrasions, burns, lost limbs, paralysis, and more. Even if your injury is significant and your situation seems desperate, we can assist you in filing a claim and, if necessary, pursuing appropriate compensation for your damages in court.
Filing With the Opposing Driver’s Insurance Company
In many cases, you will seek compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. According to Texas Transportation Code §601.051, drivers must have financial responsibility through liability insurance. Though some drivers break the law by not carrying proper insurance, most will have a policy from which you can recover compensation. There are a few important matters to keep in mind when dealing with any insurance agent.
The Insurance Agent is Not on My Side
First, remember that the insurance agent works for the company. Regardless of how friendly they may seem, their ultimate allegiance is to the company and their job is to make sure that the company pays as little as possible. This makes their goals directly opposed to yours, so you should always get in touch with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer for advice before talking to any insurance agent.
Understanding the Value of My Claim
Your claim to compensation may be more valuable than you think. Most of us think of economic damages like medical bills or lost wages when we imagine the damages for which we are owed compensation. In fact, you also can seek compensation for more subjective harms that result from your motorcycle crash, such as physical pain you experience, mental anguish, and even loss of consortium with your spouse.
Additionally, the issue of fault plays a major role in the value of your claim. Texas uses a system of proportionate responsibility when determining how much compensation you can recover if you take your claim to court. Any amount of blame attributed to you will lower your total compensation. It is crucial to think about how your case might play out in court if a lawsuit becomes necessary. If all or almost all of the blame rests with the opposing driver, you would be likely to get a larger sum in court than if you had a significant amount of fault. Therefore, it is important to stress that to the insurance agent in order to get a better settlement if you choose not to bring the case to court.
Filing With My Own Insurance
In situations in which the opposing driver flees the scene, lacks liability insurance, or has a liability insurance policy with insufficient coverage, you may have to file a claim with your own policy to get the value you need to adjust to life after your injury. The Texas Department of Insurance has a list of policy types, some of which apply to this situation.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
One form of coverage that may be available to you through your own insurance policy is Personal Injury Protection or PIP. This covers your medical bills and some other economic harms that you suffer in an accident if you are having trouble recovering from the other driver’s insurance policy. In Texas, insurance policies must include PIP unless you opt-out of this coverage in writing. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine whether or not your policy includes PIP, as well as how to file for compensation through this coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
In cases in which the opposing driver has no liability insurance or insufficient liability insurance for the value of your injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation through Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) in your own policy. This is also a method of recovery in motorcycle accidents in which the opposing driver flees the scene and is not found. Like PIP, UM/UIM legally must be included in all insurance policies unless you opt-out of it in writing.
I Should Speak With Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
In order to help you discern your options and decide on the best way forward in your claim, Dallas Car Accident Lawyers offers you a FREE consultation with our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys. Also, we do not collect a fee unless we win you the compensation you deserve. Call (214) 305-8277 or fill out the form on our contact page today to schedule your consultation.