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Old 03-06-2015, 11:02 AM   #1
therivermonster OP
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Rearended: How to Deal With Insurance Co.

Hi friends! I was on the way home from work on Wednesday heading South on I5 from Seattle on my DR 650. I slowed for traffic ahead when all of a sudden WAM, a big red pickup truck rear ends me throwing me off the bike into the adjacent lane. A Stater was right in front of me, so I didn't have to wait long for police to arrive, then a firetruck arrived some seven or eight minutes later.


I am generally OK with a few bumps and bruises (the gear really helped here). I rode the bike home, but went to the emergency room to be looked at just to make sure. Besides the usual soreness, I do have a compression fracture to one of my vertebrae. The bike is in OK condition, however it does need some repair. I have full coverage insurance on the bike, but I have never dealt with an insurance company to get a bike fixed. I should also note that the driver that hit me is uninsured.

Ideally I would like to be paid out for damages, then fix the DR myself seeing as I do all my own wrenching anyhow. Before I begin the process of quotes and such, I wanted to check with you all to see if you had any suggestions, tips, advice, etc. on how to move forward with the process and the insurance company in regards to fixing the bike and dealing with the injury aspect as well as time missed at work.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to any help or suggestions. Thanks again, everyone!
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:45 AM   #2
SilkMoneyLove
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Things done right

You did good getting checked out by the Doctor.

Make sure you get a copy of the police report. I had to pay a small fee for mine, but it was great to know what exactly the officer wrote down.

I went through the other person's insurance company and let my insurance company know that if I had any issues, I would be contacting them to go after the other insurance company (that was their advice). No, my rates did not go up but I have a clean record and this was not my fault.

So, just go through your own insurance company and they will go after the driver for the money. The key to this whole deal is the police report stating it was not your fault.

The insurance company will handle this in 2 parts. 1 part is the bike and the 2nd part is the human. The bike part will move quickly. The human part, not so much.

For the bike - any part damaged in the accident (scratch, scrape, crack...) gets priced out for replacement. I would have the shop do that and make sure they put in shop laber for replacing the parts. I had to argue over shop labor that the insurance wanted to pay, but I said that no way 2 hours would cover replacing all the parts on the list.

Keep track of all expenses. Hospital bills, therapy visits...

heal up well!
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:03 PM   #3
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Lay on the ground, scream in pain and tell them your dick dont work anymore.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:31 PM   #4
gullywasher
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Glad your injuries are minor.

People seem to have different definitions of what "full coverage" is, so I don't know exactly what coverages you have. I am not familiar with regulations concerning insurance in Washington state, but the following is true of the states I have lived in:

If you elected to carry uninsured motorist coverage, damages will be paid through this coverage. If you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage, it behooves you to make sure the insurer files under this coverage.

If you do not have uninsured motorists coverage, then the damages will need to be filed through your collision coverage. Filing though collision will also have the very likely effect of increasing your premiums. Some insurance companies, particularly those that have special motorcycle divisions, cover riding apparel and aftermarket parts (like your tank and racks) either in the base policy or through optional endorsements - sometimes you can set an amount, other times the insurer just has a max payout (e.g. $500 for apparel). If you are with an insurer that requires a special endorsement for those extras and don't have said endorsement, then too bad. (Uninsured motorist coverage covers the apparel and accessories in the states I've live in regardless of whether or not you have the endorsements.)

Get an itemized quote for all parts including labor to replace / fix, including your riding gear. Get a copy of the police report. You will likely have to negotiate the final amount with the insurer. If you are filing your medical care costs through uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage on your motorcycle policy and not your healthcare insurance, then make sure you keep discussions about money for medical and property damage separate. Record all of your conversations with the insurer, and keep all emails, voicemails, and mail from them until you are satisfied that things are settled as they should be. And keep all receipts.

Get pictures of everything.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:04 AM   #5
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Take care of yourself

Quote:
Originally Posted by gullywasher View Post
Get an itemized quote for all parts including labor to replace / fix, including your riding gear.
First, make sure your health is taken care of, now and for the future. Vertebrae can be tricky, and long term. Don't take it lightly. Get good doc's that you trust and make sure you're alright, or gonna be.

The State of Washington (I think it's the State, but I may be wrong) has a limit of $50,000 on uninsured motorist claims. In my case, I had a relatively minor surgery, that with rehab and drugs and ER totaled ~ $30,000. Lost wages, pain and suffering, etc - they wrote me a check for 50 grand and done deal.

Regarding your gear, yes, you banged your head on the ground and saw stars. Your helmet is now in need of replacement. Your jacket and pants were torn when you hit the ground and are now in need of replacement. Gloves and boots - ditto.

They may want to total the bike and you'll have an option to buy it back with the branded title. This can work out in your favor financially if you low-ball them. Trust me, you're insurance company has NO desire to own and or dispose of your motorcycle. Do not take the first offer they throw at you, but negotiate to a number you like. Time is your friend. In my case, after a month of me 'thinking about it', they came to my number and got it off their books.


I'm glad you came out relatively unscathed from a scary situation. Puget Sound drivers, especially there by the airport/405 disaster zone, are a scary bunch.





Charlie
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:17 PM   #6
TylerSC
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I am a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina. You have an uninsured motorist claim, and a pretty serious one at that as it involves a spinal fracture. That injury can cause a very long and painful recovery. The insurance company's job is very simple - to pay you as little money as possible for your damages. It does not matter how long you have been a customer or how faithfully you've paid your premiums, you are now a claimant and will be treated as such. I hope you will at least consult a reputable lawyer (or a couple) in your area and see what they can do to help you.

Quote:
The State of Washington (I think it's the State, but I may be wrong) has a limit of $50,000 on uninsured motorist claims.
This is not correct.

TylerSC screwed with this post 03-07-2015 at 01:26 PM
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Old 03-07-2015, 01:23 PM   #7
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I would also add, a lawyer will investigate the case and may find some applicable insurance which could have a huge impact on your case.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:23 AM   #8
SilkMoneyLove
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Just following up, my injuries were minor so I did not go and get representation but I had a local attorney at the ready should I need him. However, I only had a broken hand and I was amazed at the inconvenience of it. The bone still hurts sometimes when I'm really using it but it has only been 7 months, so still healing.
If it were my back, I would strongly think about representation and at least a consult to know your options.
If nothing else, they might point you in the direction of a good physical therapist.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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Please do the right thing, and pursue getting the idiot that hit you's license jerked. No excuse for driving without insurance.

I do not know about you, but my uninsured motorist has a $1000 deductible. That does not make it easier to swallow when this sort of thing is done, by the irresponsible among us.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
therivermonster OP
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I followed up with my regular doctors office yesterday. He wasn't able to tell me anything new, just confirmed what the ER doctor told me, and asked me what happened. I have had numbness in my right shoulder and elbow, however this wasn't effecting me yesterday. The doctor wrote me a release back to work with a sit/stand desk, however I'm not thinking that I'll be able to make it back to work so soon based on how I feel today. I am supposed to follow up with a spine specialist as well as PT, so more to come on the medical aspect of this whole cluster.

I don't remember hitting my head, however there are some scratches on my helmet that I don't remember being there before, so I'll have to remember to add that to the list of gear to send to the adjuster.

I have requested the accident report, however it may take up to 5 days to get it so we'll have wait to see what it says. I don't recall the Stater giving the guy a ticket, but I wasn't paying too much attention to what they were talking about at the time. I don't see how he wouldn't get a ticket seeing as he rear ended me, and didn't have insurance.

I dropped the bike off at the dealer. The service guy who wrote me up said they just make up a list of all the parts that are scratched, dinged, or scraped, then I pick and choose items from the list to report to the adjuster. They also charge $116 for an estimate. Is this normal?

I will start calling attorneys tomorrow. Any particular questions I should be asking?

By the way, my under insured coverage is:

Bodily Injury: $25,000
Property Damage: $10,000
Deductible: $250
It also says medical payments $25,000, but I'm not sure what this coverage really is. I'll have to call.

Thanks everyone for all the advice so far, and please keep it coming.
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:55 AM   #11
TylerSC
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Medical payments vary by state but the basic idea is that they pay your medical bills no matter whose fault the wreck was. Depending on the state, you can "double dip" and collect medpay as well as your UM coverage. In some states there is an offset. All the more reason to call a lawyer. I would ask about that. Also ask about "stacking" your coverage if you have more than one vehicle.

Good luck!
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:54 AM   #12
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More than pleased you are relatively OK but I have to question the picture! Sunshine?? Seattle???

I hope it all works out well and keep in mind the back injury could come back to haunt you!
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therivermonster View Post
By the way, my under insured coverage is:

Bodily Injury: $25,000
Property Damage: $10,000
Deductible: $250
It also says medical payments $25,000
Your Uninsured/Underinsured coverage is woefully inadequate. Anyone riding a bike these day should carry at least 100,000/300,000. I would suggest you search out the best Personal Injury lawyer you can find ASAP.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerSC View Post
I am a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina. You have an uninsured motorist claim, and a pretty serious one at that as it involves a spinal fracture. That injury can cause a very long and painful recovery. The insurance company's job is very simple - to pay you as little money as possible for your damages. It does not matter how long you have been a customer or how faithfully you've paid your premiums, you are now a claimant and will be treated as such. I hope you will at least consult a reputable lawyer (or a couple) in your area and see what they can do to help you.
^ this guy. Listen to him.

Uninsured motorists, by definition, are usually those with little to lose. However, in addition to sorting out your claim and insurance issues, a good WA attorney can do an asset/employment search on the driver. The consequences of a injury to your spine may manifest themselves later in life. Please don't DIY this.

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Old 03-11-2015, 11:52 AM   #15
davehg
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Agree with the lawyer. If it was just property damage, you could do this yourself. Your injuries may pose complications down the road, and the last thing you should do is settle without counsel. I've referred riders to Jon Christensen at the Messina Law Firm in Tacoma, and they've been happy with his assistance.
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