For California motorcyclists, the risk of an accident always looms. Other drivers don’t always notice or care about bikers. In an instant, a motorcycle crash can cause severe injuries that bring steep medical bills.
There are several ways you can cover the costs that build up after a motorcycle accident. An experienced California motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand your options and get your bills paid.
Start an Insurance Claim for Motorcycle Accident Costs
Depending on your health insurance plan, most or all of the bills for your injuries may be covered. Motorcycle injuries tend to be severe and can include broken bones, lacerations that require surgery, plastic surgery, and treatment for traumatic brain injuries.
Make sure you seek health care treatment from providers who are approved by your insurance plan, or you may end up with a pile of bills they won’t pay. See your doctors regularly and follow their instructions diligently to ensure your insurance accepts the legitimacy of your injuries.
Here’s something many people don’t realize about motorcycle accident claims: A health insurance provider has a lien on the funds you receive for a claim. It’s called a subrogation claim and it gives an insurance company the right to be reimbursed for the costs of your health care.
The subrogation claim is sometimes negotiable. With the help of your lawyer, you may be able to convince the health insurance company to accept a lower amount than they initially wanted.
You May Be Able to Use PIP/Med-pay for a Motorcycle Accident
There may be some level of coverage from Med-pay/personal injury insurance (PIP). While PIP coverage is required in 13 states, it’s optional in California.
Here are a few great reasons to get PIP insurance if you’re a motorcyclist:
- It helps protect you if you’re hit by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver.
- It usually provides coverage regardless of fault.
- It pays out faster than third-party insurance.
- Even if you lose in court, this coverage still applies.
- It may also cover an injured passenger.
If I Use Insurance, Can I Still Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, you can sue after a motorcycle accident even if insurance is covering part of the cost. Under the law, anyone who is the victim of a motorcycle accident is permitted to file a lawsuit against those responsible. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may also be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
However, your objective should not necessarily be to file a lawsuit. Ideally, you will be able to settle your case via the motorcycle insurance claims process to obtain full and fair compensation.
Why Would I Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
There are many reasons to sue after a motorcycle accident, even if you’re also using health insurance. The injuries caused by a motorcycle accident can range from minor to severe and your costs may begin to spiral out of control.
Here are some things to consider:
- Insurance may not be enough to cover all of your treatments and/or losses.
- You may have lost your job or missed paid working hours.
- A disability may reduce your future income.
- If a loved one dies in a motorcycle accident, it causes immense loss.
- You may have lost companionship, support, and/or spousal intimacy.
- You could have non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
When you consult with a personal injury lawyer, they will be able to let you know if your motorcycle accident case can be resolved by simply filing a claim or whether you will have to sue. The vast majority of cases can be solved without going to court.
It’s not usually a good idea to immediately sue someone. You should try to work through the insurance claims process before resorting to a lawsuit. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will jump on building a solid case quickly.
People sometimes sue after a motorcycle accident when:
- The insurance company doesn’t seem to be dealing with you in good faith.
- The other party is denying or disputing liability when they were clearly at fault.
- You have proof of the other party’s fault.
- The insurance money is maxed out AND the person who caused your accident has other assets or money that can pay for your damages.
- The statute of limitations is about to run out.
Before You Say or Sign Anything, Read These Tips
The insurance company may be in a hurry to get you to sign a release of liability for your check.
Before you sign any papers or make any statements to the insurance company, contact a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with representing Californian motorcycle riders.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- In your claim, ask for compensation for future damages and request a reduction of medical and other costs.
- Don’t miss doctors’ appointments or have gaps in your treatment times.
- Keep a diary of all your complaints and accident-related problems.
- Look into other insurance benefits like disability or medical payments coverage.
- Don’t put any information or photos on social media that relate to your case or could negatively affect the outcome of your case.
- Don’t be too eager to settle fast.
When you and your attorney handle your medical bills the right way, it adds a lot of value to your motorcycle accident claim. A good attorney can likely obtain a good amount of money from the at-fault party. A great attorney goes a huge step further.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we leverage our years of experience and knowledge of medical care costs to negotiate down your medical costs and prevent you from coming out worse than you were before. When all is said and done with your motorcycle accident claim, you net more money when you work with us!
Experience a serious motorcycle accident?
Check out our Motorcycle Accident Page to learn more about how the process works.
We Handle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of traffic law, including injuries that arise from motorcycle crashes. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.