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Should I Contact a Lawyer Before Reporting a Motorcycle Accident to My Insurance Company?

Posted on: June 29th, 2023

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Colorado, you’re required by law to report the accident to your insurance company in a timely manner. While you need to inform your insurance company promptly, this doesn’t necessarily mean it should be the first call you make. In fact, speaking to your insurance company before hiring a lawyer can potentially have a negative impact on your ability to maximize the value of your compensation in a future motorcycle accident claim.

In situations where no injuries were sustained and you only need to recover compensation for repair costs to your bike, you most likely don’t need to speak to a lawyer. In these instances, you can generally negotiate directly with the insurance company. However, these conversations are much more complicated when you suffer a serious injury. In these situations, it’s critical to speak to a lawyer before contacting your insurance company.

The Dangers of Speaking to Your Insurance Company First

reporting a motorcycle accident to your insurance companyWhile insurance companies air heartwarming ads about how much they are here for you in your time of need, nothing can be farther from the truth. The insurance company isn’t on your side. They’re in business to make money, and they do that by maximizing the amount they get from their customers in premiums and minimizing the amount they pay out on claims. So their goal isn’t really to make you whole again after your accident. Instead, their goal is to do everything they can to minimize the amount of money you recover.

When you talk to the insurance company, they are always looking to find a way to reduce the value of your claim or deny it outright. They accomplish this by asking you to provide information that can potentially be used against you in a future motorcycle accident claim.

In some instances, they may even offer you a settlement right away, but it will most likely be much less than the true value of your case. They know you are facing financial burdens from costly medical bills and lost wages, and they’re hoping you’ll take a low-ball offer if you’re struggling to stay afloat with these expenses.

Without the proper legal guidance, you may say something that potentially damages your claim or accept an offer that doesn’t truly compensate you for your damages.

Ways Your Insurance Company Can Use Your Statement Against You

When you speak with your insurance company, they will most likely record your call. While they should tell you the call is being recorded, they don’t always do this, and you should always assume your conversation is being recorded. Therefore, it’s critical to be careful about what you say, as the insurance company can use this recorded statement against you.

When the insurance company asks for your statement, they are generally going to ask you questions intended to say certain things that will help them justify giving you less money. Some of the tactics they use to accomplish this include:

Admitting Fault

The insurance company may ask you who was at fault for the accident. Even if the other driver was primarily at fault, they’re hoping you’ll admit that your actions at least partially caused the accident.

Under Colorado’s comparative negligence law, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. Therefore, it’s critical not to say anything that indicates who was at fault for the accident when you talk to the insurance company.

Minimizing the Extent of Your Injuries

insurance agent using a motorcycle accident report to minimize the extent of injuriesWhen the insurance company asks you about your injuries, their goal is for you to say you don’t think you were seriously injured. This way, they can claim any serious injury associated with the motorcycle accident occurred at a later date.

Often, motorcycle accident injury symptoms don’t develop right away. It can potentially take days or weeks for you to know the full extent of your injuries. If you speak to the insurance company before seeing your doctor or contacting a lawyer, you may make a statement that downplays the seriousness of your injuries, and this can potentially have devastating consequences for your motorcycle accident case.

Asking for Accident Details

When the insurance company asks about the details associated with your motorcycle accident, they’re really looking for information that demonstrates you were at least partially at fault. Providing these details, even if they seem harmless to you at the time, can potentially damage your ability to recover the full compensation you deserve.

Benefits of Talking to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer First

When you work with a motorcycle accident lawyer, you have an advocate who is dedicated to protecting your best interests. Your lawyer’s goal is to make sure you maximize the compensation you’re entitled to recover for your damages. Therefore, the advice your lawyer gives you and the actions they take will always be intended to help you. This is very different than the insurance company’s goal of minimizing the value of your claim.

When you talk to a lawyer before you contact your insurance company, your lawyer can advise you on how to handle the conversation with your insurance carrier. In many instances, they will be able to talk to your insurance company for you on your behalf.

Most importantly, there’s no risk associated with speaking to a lawyer. Motorcycle accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they don’t charge you any upfront fees. Instead, they take a percentage of the compensation you recover. In other words, you only pay your lawyer if you recover compensation. Therefore, you benefit from having an advocate who will protect your legal rights when dealing with the insurance company without taking on additional financial burdens during a difficult time.

What to Say When Speaking to the Insurance Company

motorcycle accident victim talking to insurance companyIn some instances, the insurance company may contact you before you’ve had a chance to speak with a lawyer. This may happen if the other driver reports the accident to their insurance company right away. In other instances, it may take you a little while to find the right lawyer to work with and you must report the accident to your insurance company before you’ve hired an attorney.

In either situation, your actions should be the same. The only information you should provide to the insurance company is the date, time and location of the accident. If they ask about your injuries, simply tell them you’re currently seeking treatment and you’ll know more about the extent of your injuries after following up with your doctor.

If the insurance company presses you to provide additional information and you’ve already hired a lawyer, tell them to speak with your attorney. If you haven’t hired a lawyer yet, say that it’s not a good time to talk and you’ll call back later. Then, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer such as Mr. Pushchak before speaking to them again.

Pushchak Law Can Help

Due to the high stakes associated with a motorcycle accident claim, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side before you speak with the insurance company. Failure to do so can have devastating consequences for your claim. At Pushchak Law, we can make sure your rights are protected and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

Brian Pushchak has made motorcycle accident cases a primary focus of his practice. He understands the complex issues associated with these claims, and he knows the tactics used by the insurance company to unfairly reduce or deny your claim. When you hire him before speaking to the insurance company, he’ll guide you through the process to ensure all communications are handled properly. This will give you the edge you need to maximize the value of your compensation.

You’ll also benefit from our Informed Decisions™ Approach which keeps you in control of your case at all times. This unique approach to motorcycle accident cases is focused on helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Mr. Pushchak will listen carefully to your story and ask you about your goals for your claim. He’ll present all of your options in a way that is easy to understand and answer any questions you may have. This ensures you’re armed with all the information you need to play an active role in the legal strategy used.

While Mr. Pushchak will recommend the ideal strategy to achieve your desired goals, you will always have the final say on how your case is handled. By educating you about your rights and options and discussing your goals in detail, Mr. Pushchak ensures he is always aligned with your specific needs every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Pushchak Law serves clients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Brian Pushchak | Personal Injury Law Firm Denver, CO

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