After a motorcycle accident in California, you need to file a claim for damages. You do this with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Notify your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault party of the crash. This will begin the claims process.
Don’t assume that because the other driver caused the accident injured you that your claim will settle quickly. In many instances, it will take months if not a year or two before your case resolves. Here’s what you can expect after filing a claim:
1. The At-Fault Insurance Company Will Contact You
After you file your initial claim, the at-fault person’s insurance company will contact you. They are seeking more detailed information about the facts of the accident. They want to know the facts of the crash, your injuries, and your treatment. Many times, the other person’s insurance company may ask you to give a recorded statement. Before giving any information you should NEVER do without speaking to an attorney first.
2. Investigation to Assess Liability and Damages
The next step in the process is to gather all information to assess liability and damages. Liability is who is at fault for the accident. This is the time to get the traffic collision report and read the officer’s opinion on the crash. In addition, gather photos of the scene and vehicles are important to determine fault. Finally, investigators and experts may write an analysis on the facts of the crash. Both property damage to your motorcycle and bodily injuries need to be addressed during this step. Your motorcycle may need extensive repair. Or, if it is badly damaged it may the company may total it and you pay off. For your injuries, you may need to visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
3. You’ll Make a Demand
Depending upon the extent of the injuries you have suffered, it is a smart idea to work with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney. They can assist you in constructing and sending a demand package. A demand package consists of a letter or brief, and exhibits. The letter or brief is a detailed writing to the insurance company. It addresses negligence and the extent of injuries you have suffered. It also requests an amount of money to compensate you for your losses. Exhibits included are your medical records, bills, loss of earnings verification, photos, and police report.
4. Negotiations Begin
After you make your demand, it is possible that the insurance adjuster will contact you with a settlement offer that meets your demand. Usually, this is the case where your injuries and demand is greater than the at-fault insurance company policy limits. More likely than not, however, they will offer an amount less than what you requested. In response to the settlement offer, you will reject the offer and make a counter offer. This can go back and forth until parties agree on a fair settlement.
5. Settlement Is Not Reached – Going to Court
In the event that a settlement is out of reach, you have the option to file a lawsuit and take the case to court. Filing a lawsuit will help flesh out the facts and damages of the case. However, it will increase your involvement, costs and time before you may receive your compensation. Do not take the filing of a lawsuit lightly. It may be the right decision for the at-fault insurance company to take your case seriously.
Contact Us Today for Assistance During the Motorcycle Claims Process
If another driver causes motorcycle accident in Long Beach while you’re riding, our law firm wants to help. We will navigate the claims process and recover your maximum settlement amount. For a free consultation where you can learn more about the settlement process and what to expect, contact our Long Beach motorcycle accident law firm online today. You can also call our offices at (562) 452-3772.