Bicyclists and motorcyclists have more in common than you might think. They’re both likely to be overlooked by careless or distracted motorists—and they’re both proceeding without any meaningful protection on the roadway. This is a predictable scenario for personal injury.
If a negligent driver has caused a bicycle or motorcycle accident that left you injured, we’re here to help. Our insider knowledge of the insurance industry has given us an exceptional track record when it comes to helping accident victims obtain fair compensation for their injuries and other losses.
Getting Appropriate Medical Care Should Be Your Top Priority
Since bicycle and motorcycle accidents carry a high risk of permanently disabling injuries, prompt medical treatment is essential for any injury. Symptoms that may seem relatively minor at first can be the sign of a more serious condition, so it’s never a good idea to take a “wait and see” approach to meeting your medical needs. In addition, any delay in treatment can be used by the insurance company to suggest that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.
If you have health insurance, your insurance will cover costs while your personal injury claim is pending. If you do not have health insurance, you may have partial coverage for medical expenses through the portion of your auto insurance referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Additionally, most healthcare providers can provide information on payment options for injury victims without full insurance coverage.
How Contributory Negligence Affects Your Claim
Most states allow victims to collect compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. However, injury victims in Maryland and D.C. are barred from recovering anything if they are found to be even 1% at fault. This harsh law gives the driver’s insurance company a powerful incentive to try to pin the blame for the accident on you.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Right to a Fair Settlement
The steps you take after your accident can significantly improve your odds of receiving fair compensation. We recommend that you:
- Refer the insurance adjuster to your attorney. It’s highly likely that the insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver will try to contact you shortly after the accident. They may seem polite and helpful, but they’re looking for any way to deny your claim. Let your attorney handle all communication on your behalf.
- Avoid posting about the accident on social media. Even if you think your account is private, posts can be used as evidence against you in your case. Ask friends and family to refrain from posting updates as well.
- Take pictures of your injuries as they heal. These photos can be strong evidence to support your claim for pain and suffering damages. It’s also a good idea to jot down notes describing your symptoms, such as headaches or difficulty standing for extended periods of time.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. You may be eager to get back to your normal routine, but it’s important to follow all treatment recommendations. Ignoring medical advice casts doubt on your claim.
- Don’t rush to repair your bike. Keep your damaged bicycle or motorcycle in a safe space. It can prove to be valuable evidence in your claim. It’s also a good idea to keep the clothes you were wearing and your helmet in the same condition.
- Wait to settle until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. In a bicycle or motorcycle accident case, maximum medical improvement (MMI) means you’ve either fully recovered or your injuries have stabilized to the extent that it’s possible to predict your future care needs. Settling before you reach this point can leave you on the hook for any unanticipated future costs.
Request a Free Consultation Today
Sussman & Simcox represents bicycle or motorcycle accident victims and their families in the Maryland and D.C. area. Both Karen Sussman and Howard Simcox have more than 30 years of litigation experience and are so well-respected in the Maryland legal community that they are often asked by other law firms to represent their clients in court.
Insurance companies are in no hurry to pay injury victims what they deserve, which is why we recommend you seek legal representation for your bicycle or motorcycle accident claim as soon as possible. To learn how we can help you protect your right to fair compensation, please schedule a free consultation by calling us at 844-389-6899 or completing our contact form.