What Should I Do After A Bike Accident
Handling a motorcycle accident claim in Maryland is unique and different from handling an automobile accident claim.
My Firm knows and understands the dynamics of motorcycle riding and is well versed in the uniqueness of motorcycle accident injury cases in order to provide the level of expertise that is needed to handle this type of case properly.
The 9 Immediate Steps You Need to Take Following the Accident Are:
Step 1. Obtain Proper Medical Care and Treatment:
The first and foremost concern is tending to the injuries sustained in the accident.
The injuries caused by motorcycle accidents are different than other types of injuries. These injuries require immediate and proper medical diagnosis, care and treatment, usually followed by physical therapy or chiropractic treatment.
Therefore, it is important to have a thorough and comprehensive medical examination by a doctor who specializes in the blunt trauma associated with moving motor vehicle accidents.
More often than not, it is not enough to just be checked out at the Emergency Room following a motor vehicle collision. Medical treatment needs to be combined with physical therapy or chiropractic treatment for proper healing.
This is why, even if my clients have been to the Emergency Room or to their family practitioner following an accident, I still send them to Doctors who specialize in these specific types of injuries for proper care, treatment and therapy, so that they do not risk having future medical problems. (See Types of Injuries Sustained In Car Accidents).
You should receive thorough diagnostic testing, which may include X-rays, CT Scan (Computed Tomography Scan) which takes detailed pictures of the internal structures of the body by using x-rays, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which takes pictures of the body like an x-ray, but uses powerful magnets and radio waves instead of radiation.
Under Maryland law, the driver who caused the accident is liable and is therefore responsible for compensating you for your injuries, damages and losses, and there is no cost to you for receiving medical treatment and legal representation.
Because the Doctors who specialize in bodily injuries sustained from vehicle collisions know that it is the legal and financial responsibility of the at-fault driver, through their insurance company, to make you whole again, the Doctors will wait until you finish treating and your case is resolved, to be paid by the insurance company.
You may be entitled to significant monetary compensation. I assure that my clients receive the compensation they are entitled to receive in these cases and that they are made whole again for the negligence of the driver who caused the injuries and losses.
It is also important for you to know that if you have health insurance coverage and you use it to cover your medical care and treatment for your injuries from the car accident, the health insurer may seek to be reimbursed from the recovery you receive in your case.
This is yet another reason why I refer my clients to Doctors who specialize in these cases and who will wait until you finish treating and your case is resolved to be paid by the insurance company.
For my clients who used their health insurance benefits before coming to me, I will negotiate with the health insurance carrier to reduce the reimbursement the carrier is seeking in order to maximum my clients’ financial recovery in their case.
Furthermore, you should know that you do not have to sign the medical providers’ liens, which ensure that they will be paid, in order for you to receive medical treatment. Some of the liens authorize the payment of interest on the open balance. People sign these liens because they believe they have to, when in actuality, they do not.
Step 2. Apply for Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance which covers medical bills, lost wages, and other accident related expenses resulting from personal injuries and losses sustained in an auto accident.
It is not fault-based, which means that it provides financial compensation and covers for your personal injuries resulting from an automobile accident, regardless of who caused the car accident. And, your Insurance company will not count it against you so that you will not face increased premiums as a result of making a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim.
If you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) specifically for your motorcycle, you should open a PIP claim to pay for medical expenses and/or lost wages due to the accident.
In Maryland, if you have a car, the Insurance coverage on your automobile insurance policy for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) does not apply to motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists must have separate Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for their motorcycles. This is because Insurance companies want to protect themselves from the financial risks they have with motorcycle accidents.
Therefore, as a motorcyclist, make sure that you purchased Personal Injury Protection (PIP) specifically for your motorcycle. I also recommend to my clients that they get additional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, over the standard $2,500.00 coverage.
The Insurance companies do not tell you that the additional coverage does not cost a lot more than the basic $2,500.00 coverage. If you are injured in a motorcycle or automobile accident and suffer personal injuries, the amount of your medical bills alone will most likely exceed $2,500.00. You can elect to get the higher Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of $5,000.00 or more, by paying a little bit more for the insurance premium and it is well worth it.
Furthermore, under Maryland law and the “Collateral Source Rule” you can receive benefits from more than one source. For instance, I will recover your lost wages and medical expenses for you from the other side’s Insurance company, and I will also recover those expenses and lost wages for you up to the amount of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
Under Maryland law, you are allowed to be compensated twice under the “Collateral Source Rule” because you have paid the insurance premiums for the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and therefore the law recognizes that you should not be penalized as an injured victim, and should benefit from that collateral, or other, source.
It is important to know that under Maryland law, a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim resulting from a personal injury automobile accident must be filed within one (1) year of the date of the accident. Otherwise, you are barred from getting the coverage it provides for your medical expenses and lost wages.
I complete and file the PIP application forms for my clients immediately to ensure that they are protected and so that they receive the benefits right away. If the insurance company states that PIP was waived, I will request to see the Waiver that would have to be signed by you in order to waive it. Without that, it is not waived and they must cover you.
If you did in fact waive PIP coverage, I will check the other allowable provisions under the Maryland Insurance Code, Section 19-505(a), such as the car insurance policies of the family members who live with you.
Step 3. Notify Your Insurance Company And The Other Driver’s Insurance Company:
After receiving proper medical care and attention, the next important step is to notify both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company of the accident.
A claim needs to be opened with the other driver’s insurance company. However, do not provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company (Read Should I Provide a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company?). I provide the statement to the insurance Adjuster on behalf of my clients in order to protect them and their claim.
My experience representing victims of motorcycle accident cases has uncovered the defense tactics used by insurance companies and has allowed me to best prepare and present my clients cases and to maximize their financial recovery.
The other driver’s insurance company is not on your side and will protect their own insured, not you. Call me directly at 410-983-3022 before you speak with them in order to protect your interests. You may also contact me by completing the Contact box on the left side of this page, or by email and I will discuss, review and evaluate your case with you at no charge.
You can also protect your case by downloading my Free Motorcycle Accident Fact Book and learn what to do Right Now.
Step 4. Determine the Motorcycle’s Property Damage:
The next issue which needs to be addressed is the property damage resulting from the accident.
The motorcycle driven in the accident must be examined by a body shop for an estimate of the property damage or if it is declared to be a total loss, the market value must be determined (See Property Damage Information Center).
>Step 5. Storage Fees:
If your motorcycle was towed from the scene of the accident, the tow yard will charge a towing fee and daily storage fees until it is removed and taken to a body shop for repairs or declared a total loss and released to the insurance company.
Therefore, the adjuster assigned to handle the claim must act immediately to open the claim, accept liability, and have the bike moved and examined so that it does not sit at the tow yard running up daily storage fees at your expense.
I ensure that I speak immediately with the adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company who is assigned to the case so that a claim is opened and the bike is appraised right away so that my client’s bike will be repaired or replaced quickly and they are not stuck paying the storage fees.
Step 6. Rental Car and Temporary Transportation:
While your bike is being evaluated, you may need alternative transportation. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for providing you with either a rental car or giving you a cash allowance to pay for transportation while your bike is being evaluated and repaired, or if the bike is totaled, for a reasonable period of time to allow you to purchase a substitute motorcycle.
Step 7. Absence From Work While You Recover:
You may be unable to go to work due to your injuries and you may have a Lost Wage claim. I will file a Lost Wage Claim with the insurance company so that you are reimbursed for the time that you lose at work while you are healing and recovering from your injuries.
Even if your employer is paying you while you are out, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will also pay you for the time you missed at work (See number 2 above and the Collateral Source Rule). You may be paid for your lost wages under a PIP claim, if applicable, as well.
Step 8. Evidence and Witnesses:
There is evidence which needs to be obtained and preserved, and witnesses who must be interviewed immediately after the accident in order to prove and to protect your case (Read Evidence In Car Accident Cases). My investigators will immediately conduct a through investigation of the accident scene, the property damage, and the witnesses to protect your claim.
Step 9. Obtain Legal Counsel:
It is important that your primary focus following a motorcycle accident is to properly heal and recover from your injuries so that you can be restored to your condition before the accident.
In order to do this, you need to devote your time and attention to receiving proper and thorough medical care, attention and treatment, and not to dealing with the insurance companies.
It is not possible to devote your time to your medical needs when so many other issues must be addressed right away. The stress and time that these issues can involve end up preventing you from making a healthy and rapid recovery. It is my duty and responsibility to handle all of the issues involved in these cases for you.
Furthermore, I have learned from speaking with my clients that most people are unaware of the full extent of the recoveries available to them in these types of cases. Unfortunately, the insurance companies do not inform them of this either.
I will inform you of all of the types of remedies and financial recoveries that you are entitled to receive, as well as your rights, which far exceed just receiving compensation for your medical expenses and motorcycle repairs (Read What Damages Can I Recover?).
I do this at no cost to you because automobile accident cases in Maryland are handled on a contingency basis, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company is legally and financially responsible for your injuries, damages and losses in the case, and will pay for the medical care and treatment, property damage, related expenses and attorney’s fees in the case.
You will be fully compensated for all of your damages and made whole again for the negligence of the driver who caused your injuries and losses, with no out-of-pocket expenses to you.
For more information about your motorcycle accident case and what you need to do right now, call me directly at: 410-983-3022 and I will discuss, review and evaluate your case with you at no charge. You may also contact me by completing the Contact box on the left side of this page, or by email. You can also protect your case by reading my advice in my Free Bike Accident Fact Book.