How To File a Successful Motorcycle Accident Claim
As a motorcyclist, you have just as much right to the road as any other motor-vehicle operator, yet, when you get into an accident on your motorcycle, all of a sudden you are liable for the simple fact that you were on two wheels instead of four. As a motorcyclist, it is difficult to get the insurance companies to take your side—even if they insure you.
If you operate a motorcycle in Florida, you are not required to have either motorcycle insurance or PIP insurance (Personal Injury Protection insurance). Just because you do opt to receive coverage though does not mean that you will have an easy time filing a motorcycle accident claim. Oftentimes, motorcyclists are denied their accident or personal injury claims, mostly because insurance companies tend to see motorcyclists as “thrill seekers” or “renegades.” If you have recently been involved in a motorcycle accident it may be in your best interests to consult with a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer before filing your claim.
Steps to a Successful Insurance Claim
Like when filing any other insurance claim, you will need to prove that you were not at fault for the accident that caused your motorcycle to crash. The only way to do this is to provide your insurance company with evidence. Here is a list of the type of evidence you will need to present your insurance agency with:
- Your Helmet: Your helmet holds a surprising amount of evidence in your favor. Try to keep your helmet in the exact condition it was in after the accident. If possible, get photographs of it at the scene of the accident.
- Police Reports: A police report is your best friend when you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident. The police will interview witnesses, make diagrams of the scene of the accident, and even include notes about weather conditions. Furthermore, they will be able to tell the insurance companies whether either party failed to adhere to any traffic laws prior to the accident.
- Surveillance Cameras: Surveillance cameras can tell the police and insurance companies almost everything they need to know to make a decision. If you are positive you were not at fault, and if you have access to a copy of the tape, be sure to include this in your claim.
- Photos: Try to take photographs with your cell phone or camera at the scene of the accident, and submit these with your claim. Get photos of the other vehicle, of the entire accident scene from multiple angles, and of the debris from both your motorcycle and the other vehicle. Furthermore, if there were surveillance cameras nearby, ask the owner if you can get copies of the photos that were taken prior to and during the accident.
- Witness Statements: Jot down the names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident. Oftentimes, the police cannot get every witness’s testimony, or people will drive away before the police get there. Do you best to get a thorough account from everyone that you remember having been present.
- Medical Records: Last but not least, you must submit medical records that document your new injuries and that support your claim. You will also need to submit a written diagnosis and prognosis of the emergency room doctor who attended to you after the accident.
Furthermore, the insurance agencies will want a written account, by you, of what happened. If possible, take notes right after the accident occurs, that way there is no doubt that what you reported was as true and accurate as you remember it being.
Consult a Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer
It can be extremely difficult for motorcyclists to file successful personal injury claims after an accident. At The Pendas Law Firm, our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in helping our clients gather the correct evidence and submit it to their insurance companies so that they can receive the compensation they need and deserve. If you have recently suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident, contact our Jacksonville personal injury law firm to ensure a successful outcome to your personal injury claim. Our firm serves clients throughout Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami.