If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, then you should know some basic things about your case and the process. Here are 5 things we believe are critical in helping you receive a fair and just settlement for your injuries.
1. TELL YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDERS "EVERYTHING" THAT YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH: Your medical records are one of the most important pieces of evidence in your case. It is important that you tell every medical provider you encounter all of the problems that you are having because of your motorcycle crash. Your medical providers are supposed to keep accurate and detailed records of what you tell them and the care and treatment they provide. This includes a description of your accident and how you were injured, what your complaints are, the diagnosis of your condition, treatment provided and treatment recommendations. To the insurance company and sometimes to the judge or jury, if it is not in your medical records, then it did not happen. This is why it is so important that you tell your medical providers about "everything" that hurts. Also, if you forget to tell your doctors and therapists about problems you are having, then you will not be treated for them.
2. DO WHAT YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDERS TELL YOU TO: If your physical therapist tells you to do exercises every day, but you do not do them, then you will hurt your case and likely cost yourself money. The insurance adjustor and the insurance companies' attorneys will use anything and everything they can against you, so failing to do what your medical providers tell you to do is just giving them ammunition to damage your case. Also, if your doctor refers you onto another doctor then you should go. Failing to follow medical care not only looks bad in your case, but it can be used as evidence of comparative fault on your behalf for failing to "mitigate your damages". If the insurance company finds a doctor (they have many to choose from) who says your condition would have been better if you did your exercises, were treated by a doctor you refused to go to, etc. then chances are that the judge will let them argue and the jury will be instructed that they can find you at fault for not following medical advice.
3. DOCUMENT YOUR INJURIES IN WRITING: With time our memories fade and it is important that you have something to refer to in order to help you remember facts and details about how you were doing during your recovery. Therefore, you should write down how you are feeling as much as you can preferably every day. This includes how your injuries have affected your personal life, employment and hobbies. Keeping this information can help increase the value of your case when it comes time to explain how the motorcycle crash has changed your life.
4. DOCUMENT YOUR LOST WAGES: Along the same lines, you should keep a copy of doctors' excuses taking you off work and the time you actually miss work while you are recovering and attending medical appointments. Many doctors' offices do not keep a copy of the work excuses they give you to take you off work. If you do not keep a copy and your employer cannot locate it, then it could cost you money.
5. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR MEDICAL BILLS: After an accident if you have health insurance then you will likely receive several EOB's- explanation of benefits forms. It is important that you look at these forms because often after an accident it will say the charges have been denied until you provide information about how you were injured. If you do not provide the information, then the bills will remain denied and not paid. This can result in your medical bills being submitted to a collection agency and your credit damaged. Also, medical providers have contracts with your health insurance in which they agree to receive an amount of money less than what they charge for payment in full. This means that if your medical bills are not paid by health insurance, they will be much higher and you will end-up paying the higher amount. If there is not enough insurance coverage to cover your injuries (which is often the case in motorcycle crashes) then this is money coming directly out of your pocket.