Should You Talk to Your Insurance Company After a Motorcycle Accident?
When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, it is often a good rule that you should avoid giving too much information to the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, just talking to them could put your case at risk if they interpret what you said as an admission of fault or consent to a settlement. What most motorcycle riders might not realize is that you probably should also avoid talking to your own insurance company without a lawyer present for many of the same reasons. Trenton motorcycle accident lawyer Jerry Friedman explains why you should avoid talking to insurance companies after a motorcycle crash without a lawyer – even your own insurance company.
Why You Should Avoid Talking to Insurance After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, both sides will be on the lookout for information and evidence that they can use to help prove what happened and show that the accident was the other driver’s fault. If you were hit by a car or another motorcycle, you will want to collect evidence to show that they were the one who caused the crash and that you didn’t do anything wrong, but the other driver will be doing the same thing to you. Insurance companies are often the ones who make big decisions about who can get paid after a crash, so if you give them the information they can use against you, they will be sure to use it.
If you’re filing a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, they might be hesitant to pay you anything, and they will collect statements they can use against you. For example, if you tell them that you swerved or that you had to slam on the breaks, they could interpret this as evidence that you were speeding and use it as an argument to declare you at least partially at fault for the crash.
This kind of manipulation often helps insurance companies shut down claims, so you should avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company without a lawyer present.
Should You Talk to Your Own Insurance Company After a Motorcycle Accident?
Many drivers in New Jersey have insurance that covers them with first-party benefits if they are involved in a crash. Usually, these insurance policies use no-fault coverage, so the insurance company should pay what they are obligated to regardless of who caused the crash. However, if your insurance company thinks that you were the one at fault, they might take it out on you financially. If that happens, they will often increase your insurance premiums and make you pay for any overages in damages or even try to deny coverage entirely.
If your insurance company has to pay for the other driver’s injuries because the accident was your fault, they will often reimburse themselves by increasing your premiums and charging you more for insurance coverage because they now see you as “high risk.” These increased premiums can often be extremely expensive.
If the other driver accuses you of being at fault and your insurance company has evidence to agree with them, then you could also be held responsible for additional damages beyond what your insurance covers. In many cases, you could be the target of a lawsuit or a countersuit where the other driver claims additional damages beyond your insurance coverage, and the court could order you to pay these damages out of pocket if there are statements on record that make it look like you were at fault.
In some cases, your insurance company may go so far as to use your statements as proof that your case fits into some loophole that they do not need to pay for, leaving you on the hook for the full value of your own injuries and the other driver’s injuries.
Hiring a Lawyer to Talk to Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Accident
Insurance companies are shrewd businesses, and they will often use anything you say against you if it benefits them financially. This could even mean that your own insurance company might use your words against you to deny coverage or increase your payments. In many cases, the “admissions” you make could be inaccurate or misconstrued, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the insurance companies can’t use them against you.
It is important to have a lawyer represent you in your motorcycle accident case so that they can control the narrative, limit the flow of unnecessary information, and help position you to win your case. An experienced NJ motorcycle accident lawyer knows what kind of language to use to help avoid mistaken admissions and keep a consistent story. Telling the story the right way is often the key to a successful motorcycle accident case, and non-lawyers might underestimate how difficult it is to keep a story straight and avoid unnecessary admissions. This is why it can often be important to have your lawyer with you when going over information with your insurance company.
Ultimately, filing a claim with the insurance company might not even be the best way to get compensation, and your lawyer might advise you to file a lawsuit instead of trying to get money from an out-of-court claim with an uncooperative insurance company. This is another reason that you should always talk to a lawyer before trying to deal with insurance companies after a motorcycle crash.
Call Our NJ Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Never underestimate the ways that an insurance company can use your statements against you. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, call motorcycle accident lawyer Jerry Friedman for help with your accident case. Jerry can deal with the insurance companies and help argue for damages in court to help you avoid having to worry about your words being used against you. For a free case consultation, call us today at 1-800-LAW-4-HOGS.