If you ride a motorcycle regularly, you should understand the dangers that go along with it. Motorcycles don’t provide the same protection that some other vehicles do. You don’t have a protective shell around you like you do when you’re driving a car or truck.
Aside from the physical injury or death risks motorcycle riders face, there’s also the issue of who pays for the vehicle damage if you’re in a wreck. This can be a tricky area, and we’ll take some time to talk it over today so you’ll better understand the legal process if this happens to you.
Cars Usually Cause More Property Damage than Motorcycles
Over 400 people die each year on motorcycles. Still, that rarely dissuades riders. If you love riding your motorcycle to and from work every day, you’re probably not going to let traffic fatality reports stop you from doing that.
Concerning property damage, it’s generally safe to say that this is one area where cars can do more damage than motorcycles. They’re bigger and heavier.
If a car and motorcycle collide and both veer out of control, the motorcycle rider will often sustain more severe injuries. However, the car will probably cause more damage. A larger vehicle leaving the road and hitting a building, mailbox, traffic sign, or whatever else is probably going to rack up a larger damage bill than a motorcycle.
If this happens, the authorities will need to determine who caused the accident. If you’re on a motorcycle, and you commit an illegal turn or change lanes unexpectedly, that can cause a car to hit something. If the facts indicate that you’re at fault, it’s your insurance that must cover the damage.
Filing an Injury Claim
If you’re riding your motorcycle and collide with a car, you’ll typically need to file two accident claims. One is the assessed property damages claim, and the other is the injury claim.
Let’s start by talking about the injury claim. If the car’s driver caused the crash, their insurance should cover your injuries. You can put the money you recover toward your surgery bills, physical therapy bills, medications you need to take after the crash, etc.
To file an injury claim, you’ll need evidence. That might come in the form of hospital records or any other documentation that proves you sustained the injuries that you’re claiming occurred.
Filing a Damages Claim
As for a damage claim following a motorcycle crash, you’ll need different documentation for that. You’ll require any documentation which shows you were in that accident.
A police report copy is the most inarguable proof that you were in the crash and that the details occurred as you said they did. You can request a police report copy after the collision, and the authorities should provide one for you.
You’ll also need motorcycle damage documentation. If you take your damaged motorcycle to a garage or autobody shop after the crash, you can collect a detailed report from them afterward.
Finally, you’ll need to figure out the motorcycle repair costs. The garage or autobody shop might provide documentation of that as well. You might have to take the motorcycle to a specialist to repair it if the garage you went to at first doesn’t have the necessary replacement parts.
Once you have all of that documentation, you can turn it over to the responsible party’s insurance. If another vehicle caused the crash, they’ll want all the evidence of what took place that you can collect.
What Are Some Ways You Can Collect the Maximum Damage Compensation?
Assuming what happened was the other driver’s fault, your best chance to collect the compensation you’re due is to get as much evidence as possible. All police reports, hospital reports, and motorcycle damage reports make a stronger case for you collecting the maximum.
Aside from that, you can take pictures of the crash site. Most people carry smartphones with them these days, and if you have yours on you following a crash, it can come in handy.
Take pictures of the crash site that show any weather conditions, street signs, skid marks on the ground, or anything else you feel might be relevant later. Take pictures of your injuries, if you can.
The more physical evidence you collect, the better it is for you since some insurance companies might try to claim the accident didn’t happen in the way that you say it did. The other driver might also attempt to tell a different story, and you’ll need physical evidence to back up your claims.
It’s sometimes hard to remember to do all this right after a frightening motorcycle accident. Your adrenaline might be through the roof, and your heart may feel like it’s going a hundred miles per hour. If at all possible, though, collect as much documentation as you’re able to at the crash site because you’ll never be able to reconstruct it again.
Replacing the Motorcycle
Assuming the other driver’s responsibility, you’ll also have to figure out the motorcycle’s condition after the crash. Maybe the other driver totaled it, meaning it will cost more to repair the damage than it will to simply get a new, equivalent vehicle.
To figure that out, you’ll need to provide as much information about the motorcycle as possible. The other driver’s insurance will want to know how old the vehicle is. They’ll want to look at its service records to determine how much it had depreciated if you need to get a replacement one.
This is why it’s always smart to keep meticulous service records for any vehicle you own, whether that’s a motorcycle or something else. You never know when you’ll need to turn all of that information over to an insurance company after a crash.
Motorcycle crashes can be scary, but in time, you can put one behind you. In the meantime, anticipate lots of insurance company negotiations. You might need to find a lawyer to help you navigate the process.
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