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Old 11-05-2012, 04:51 PM   #16
redwing51
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Adjuster should come to your bike.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:31 PM   #17
KingOfFleece
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Get a good lawyer. You never know what will happen. As I type this I'm recovering from neck surgery bike accident related. I waited too long and missed some deadlines to file, etc. Not a bullshit suit-left turn thru a stopsign in front of me.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:59 PM   #18
Recker1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconx84 View Post
Always get a lawyer. The fees look crazy, but most of them won't bill you up front and insurance adjustors actually add 30% to your settlement offer if you have a lawyer.
This is absolutely incorrect. As a former adjuster and current attorney, I can assure you that value of your claim will not be increased because you have an attorney. You may or may not want/need a lawyer, but as someone else said, you usually can get the same amount on your own without paying 1/3 to your atty. Just don't settle until you are better and remember that their first settlement offer is NOT their last.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #19
SxyRdr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbtech View Post
I really appreciate all of the advice. I had my first follow up this morning and begin physical therapy tomorrow and looking at least a few weeks or so out of work. I also got a copy of the police report from the state police. I have made a file so that I can keep track of everything. I have no idea how I am going to get my bike to a shop to have it appraised for damage. It will have to be trailered and I am in no shape to do it at this point.
Keep a log of mileage to/from your doctor and PT appointments. Keep track of exactly how much time you're missing from work. Keep track of every single penny and second that you have to put towards this accident. And make sure whatever gear you were wearing at the time is also included in the adjustment for your vehicular loss.



And most important of all... heal quickly.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:14 PM   #20
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Lots of good advice above. One more thing---don't rush into things. Give any decisions careful thought before you sign anything.

Read your insurance policy. Read all the fine print. If you're not 100% clear on the meaning of something, both research the terminology on the internet and call your agent for the definition and how it applies to you. Understand exactly what you've bought coverage for, and how much, and what you did not buy coverage for. For example, my Safeco policy covers personal protective gear up to $1000, limited to $500 for the helmet, depreciated 10% per year. Yours will be different, buy you need to know your details. (And I can buy more coverage, but what I listed is the standard.) Understand what subrogation is---for example if your insurance pays your medical bill, then the other insurance pays, your insurance company gets their money back out of that payment. It is fair--the bill gets paid once, not twice (once by each insurance company).

If you get a satisfactory settlement offer for your bike and riding gear damage, go ahead and close that claim. Keep the medical claim open until you are sure that you've recovered and all the bills are in--months at best.

About the lawyer--try without, or maybe buy a half-hour of the lawyer's time and see what they say. It greatly depends on how willing the insurance companies are to be fair with you. Yes, they are always in it for themselves, but sometimes they are also fair to the insureds.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:14 PM   #21
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A friend had an accident a year or two ago. The insurance company settlement was in three stages:

1. Your motorcycle. That was NADA value or there about. Even if it is your prize possession. The book says it is worth $XXXX.xx plus accessories and that is close to what you get. It doesn't matter that you changed the oil every 1000 miles and waxed it twice a day.

2. Your riding gear, helmet, boots, jacket, gloves, goggles etc.

3. Medical. My friend had a bruise knot on his leg and that was it so I can't tell you much about that.

Lawyer or no lawyer. Get the yellow pages out and call several or all the lawyers and ask questions and take notes. Most have websites with information you can learn from. Ask your doctor what he knows. He has probably had patients in accidents before and may have tips or information. Lawyers are like tournament fishermen. They'll look at your case, but if it isn't big enough it isn't worth their time.

Typical lawyer scenario. First meeting, you've been wronged I will save the day and get you a lot of money, give me a check for $XXX thousand dollars. Second meeting, well this isn't going well you should plan on getting only this. Third meeting we should settle for squat that's all your going to get.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:36 AM   #22
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First off, get better, that is the most important thing.

One small piece of advice to people that are not being stretchered away after an accident. If you get the chance to swap information with the person that just hit you, try to milk as much data as possible. Adrenalin will be flowing, and people won't be thinking straight, this is your chance to find out their name, address, phone number, license number, registration number, insurance policy number, and IF POSSIBLE, ask them what their insurance limits are. A HUGE deciding factor in these cases is how much their insurance company can afford, and it will make all the difference when you look for a lawyer or try to settle the case yourself.

What I learned from my past experience and wish I had known.

#1 Get a copy of the police report and start the claim process with HIS insurance company. Don't sign anything, just inform them that there was an accident, they are at fault, and you want to start a claim. Just get a claim number, and don't give them anything more than your name and contact info.

#2 Find out the laws in your state about how long you have to make a claim and what the minimum insurance policy limits are.

#3 Document EVERYTHING. Every call you make, every med you take, every visit to your doctor, therapist, etc.

#4 Purchase the book How To Win Your Personal Injury Claim. Read it, develop a strategy, and THEN decide if you want to go it alone or consult with a lawyer. You may be able to invest your own time and energy to get just as much, if not more, than a lawyer.

#5 Their insurance company is out to screw you, and they will. If you're prepared and informed, you can control the negotiations.

#6 The Lawyer can be just about as bad as the insurance company, nobody is in this for your benefit.

#7 Keep close tabs on the bills and don't let things go into collection, this can hammer your credit. DO NOT rely on lawyers or the insurance company to keep tabs on the bills.

#8 As soon as possible, get a copy of all the medical bills at full price. Negotiate with the medical providers for an immediate cash settlement and pay them if you have the funds. Your claim with the insurance company is going to be based on the full price of the bill, and you can base your settlement amount on that instead of the cash discount price you actually paid.

What you get out of this is going to be broken down into four things.
1.) Property damage - Cut and dry case of what you can document.
2.) Medical - The cost of the medical care. Again, what you are charged vs what you pay can be very different, and it's nobody's business but yours if you saved thousands by settling in cash quickly. Medical institutions pad their bills to account for the litigation time it usually takes them to get paid.
3.) Lost wages - Cut and dry case of what you can document. If you're on vacation, do not tell anyone, treat it like you're missing time from work.
----- no lawyer is going to have much of an effect on these first three things -----
4.) Pain and Suffering - This is where it's up to you, or a good lawyer, to effectively make a strong case. Remember, this injury could effect you for the rest of your life, or could have no effect at all in a few months. Once it's on paper, your going to be labeled for life. Get in another accident, or try to change your medical insurance, and you're going to be labeled with a pre-existing condition.

Hope your back on the road soon.

Cheers!
ChinaV
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:14 AM   #23
scooteraug02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaV View Post
First off, get better, that is the most important thing.

One small piece of advice to people that are not being stretchered away after an accident. If you get the chance to swap information with the person that just hit you, try to milk as much data as possible. Adrenalin will be flowing, and people won't be thinking straight, this is your chance to find out their name, address, phone number, license number, registration number, insurance policy number, and IF POSSIBLE, ask them what their insurance limits are

Cheers!
ChinaV
What was weird in my friend's accident is the police came right away and took all the information from each party. We didn't talk to the other driver much. The policeman gave him a web address or phone number for him to call to get her information. No information was available the day of the crash.

Adrenalin! Maybe they have learned from the past, maybe victims have gone to the other persons house and assaulted them or coerced them right after an accident. This method allows a cooling off period before information is available.

Most insurance companies have a checklist on what to do in case of an accident.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:37 AM   #24
pjm204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recker1 View Post
This is absolutely incorrect. As a former adjuster and current attorney, I can assure you that value of your claim will not be increased because you have an attorney. You may or may not want/need a lawyer, but as someone else said, you usually can get the same amount on your own without paying 1/3 to your atty. Just don't settle until you are better and remember that their first settlement offer is NOT their last.
The last line in this is exactly what I wanted to say. I battled with my insurance for a solid month and ended up getting over $2500 more for my bike than their first offer.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:38 AM   #25
borborygmus
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chinav is right! add this to your knowlege base.

I deal with this all the time. I am a Chiropractic Physician specializing in soft tissue injuries, I often see patients after the fractures, lacerations and surgerys. I often am called into court as a professional witness for the injured patient.
First you need to know if you live in a no-fault state, if this is the case my advise will end right here because my knowledge is limited in this area.
1st. you and your bike are seperate. If they did not total the bike make sure you get $ for diminished value. It will show up on car fax.
2nd. take all your medical/treatment bills, add them up then triple them. This the amount you should submit to the adjuster for pain and suffering payment. Keep in mind that diagnostic test such as MRI and CT scans do not add to the pain and sufffering demand as much as treatment and rehab.
3rd. take 2x the bills as payment for pain and suffering. you start out at 3x so you have some room to negotiate.
if the claims adjuster does not agree to this amount then consider an attorney.

Remember, this is pain and suffering money. You have to convince the adjuster that you were in a lot of pain and you still have on going issues, however you feel this is as good as it gets.

If you have long lasting chronic symptoms then do not settle until you have a functional capacity test or the proper physician give you a disability rating. For instance, he or she might give you a partial disability of 40% and a whole body disability off 11%. Depending on your age and what you do for a living will factor in greatly to the pain and suffering payment. DO NOT pursue a disability if the person has minimal liability ins. or is a poor lady with 23 cats. However check your own ins. policy for under/un-insured. mine is 1 million and you would be surprised how cheap it is. This gets into attorney territory.
AND DO contact an attorney if you have a functional disability. This is way over your head to go it alone.
SORRY ABOUT SPELLING ERROR'S. Was on smart phone, bored waiting at airport and all thumbs on a small key pad. Also not so aware of anti-chiropractic sentiment. I am well recieved with my patients, guess I forgot about the real world.

borborygmus screwed with this post 11-09-2012 at 06:24 AM
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:08 AM   #26
reepicheep
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I had a friend whose family was in a car accident, and used a chiropractor for treatment guidance. The chiropractor made FAR more out of the deal than the family did.

I started with a local reputable lawyer to understand my options, a free consult. I was upfront in telling him that I was still deciding if I wanted to do it myself or let him do it. And when I made my decision, I told him that he would be my first pick if the drivers insurance company started jerking me around. I thanked him for his time and I will go to him first in the future if I need legal representation.

From what I could tell, the "they add to your settlement offer when you have an attorney" rule of thumb is bogus. As is the "they will offer 3x what your medical expenses were", that's bogus also. They have a database of common injuries, and know what settlements typically run, and that's what everyone starts off of. And the settlements vary WIDELY by market you are in.

In Ohio, you have two years to settle. So take your time to make sure you really know what your injuries are, but don't take so much time that you can't get a lawyer to resolve it if their insurance starts to stonewall.

The covering insurance company and, frankly, you, are probably also huge factors. I can't speak universally, just in my case. I was beyond reasonable (arguing with the adjustor to take things off the list of damages that he put on but that I knew preceded the accident, and going way out of my way to minimize the medical costs incurred as if I was spending my own money). And I felt like the insurance company I was dealing with (USAA... drivers insurance, not mine) was reasonable as well. They didn't roll over for sure, and they weren't trying to make me happy and rich, but they were, IMHO, fair.

We aren't quite done yet, but we are close, and if they follow through on their last commitment I will be comfortable with the fact that I did not use a lawyer. I had one ready though, and would have pulled the trigger in a heartbeat the second they started treating me unfairly.

YMMV, that was my experience.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #27
Barnone
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I did not get a lawyer.
Got all the medical bills paid, got top dollar for my totaled bike, and got the whole $100,000 from the guilty parties policy.
This was in 1994.
I say talk to the claim adjuster first before getting a lawyer.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:48 PM   #28
Recker1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reepicheep View Post
In Ohio, you have two years to settle. So take your time to make sure you really know what your injuries are, but don't take so much time that you can't get a lawyer to resolve it if their insurance starts to stonewall.
In Ohio, you have two years to file a lawsuit prior to the statute of limitations running. So, while you don't necessarily have to "settle" your claim in two years, if you are still treating and that two year window is approaching, you'll want to get a lawyer to file suit simply to protect the statue of limitations.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:52 PM   #29
kraven
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Make sure your PT takes times to really assess your overall aches and pains, and keep a log of where things hurt before and after you leave PT visits.

Some injuries don't show up until you start poking around and moving things during therapy sessions, and then sometimes only afterward.

Don't stay pilled up. Live with whatever pain you have, as much as you can, so you can record any changes in discomfort, as well as record changes in your state.

The PT is paid by the insurance company, but if you need a surgery or further internal care, it's good to get that going. Injuries to knees can be deceptively painless (relatively) and lead to major problems later on because we tend to medicate the pain and not pay attention to the injury.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #30
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#3 Document EVERYTHING. Every call you make, every med you take, every visit to your doctor, therapist, etc.
Yes! In addition, keep a telephone log. Write down the date, time, and name & job of everyone you talk to about your claim. Ask them to spell their last name for you if needed. Make good notes of just what you talked about.

About diminished value---"Diminished Value is the reduction in a vehicle's market value occurring after a vehicle is damaged and then repaired, otherwise called accelerated depreciation.[1] A reasonable person will not pay the same price for a wrecked, then repaired vehicle, as they will for a vehicle with no prior accident history. Even if the repairs are proper, the vehicle will still lose value." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminished_value Even a well repaired vehicle will sell for less when you sell it if the buyer does their research. The insurance company will not offer this to you--you gott'a demand it.
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