Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in Oklahoma City can be overwhelming. From dealing with injuries to addressing property damage, the process involves several critical steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Immediate Steps Following a Motorcycle Wreck
- Navigating the Claims Process: What to Avoid
- Claims Process FAQs
- How long do I have to file a car insurance claim in Oklahoma?
- Can I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault for the accident?
- Should I accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer?
- What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts me for a statement?
- Is it necessary to contact the police after a minor accident?
- How can I prove my damages to the insurance company?
- Can I file a claim if the other driver is uninsured?
- What is the difference between bodily injury protection and property damage liability insurance?
- How does collision coverage differ from comprehensive coverage?
- What should I do if I disagree with the insurance adjuster’s fault determination?
- Commitment to Community Safety and Justice: The Mission of Hasbrook & Hasbrook
Immediate Steps Following a Motorcycle Wreck
Contact the Police
Calling 911 immediately after an accident facilitates emergency medical assistance and ensures the police document the scene. A police report plays a pivotal role in your insurance claim, offering an unbiased account of the incident.
Document Everything at the Scene
Gathering comprehensive information while at the accident scene can significantly bolster your claim. Collect contact details of witnesses and capture photos or videos of the damages and the surrounding area. This evidence can be invaluable during the claim process.
Get the Medical Care You Need
Your number one priority is to get the medical care and treatment you need.
Contact the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
Get your claim started with the at-fault driver’s insurance company by “opening a claim.” You can go ahead and settle the property damage portion of your claim, but wait to make a demand or settle your injury claim, and do not sign any release until you are through with treatment.
Know Your Insurance Coverage
Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy details. Oklahoma mandates that drivers carry both bodily injury protection and property damage liability insurance. Exploring optional coverages, such as collision and uninsured motorist coverage, can provide additional layers of protection. For more insights on selecting the right insurance policy, visit the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s guide and our guide to Oklahoma’s Auto Insurance Laws.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You will want to contact your insurance company if you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage or Medical Payments Coverage.
Preserve All Related Bills and Receipts
Maintaining a meticulous record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills and repair costs, is essential. These documents serve as proof of your financial losses and are key to securing adequate compensation.
Navigating the Claims Process: What to Avoid
Avoid Recorded Statements to the Other Party’s Insurer
Refraining from providing recorded statements to the other driver’s insurance company without legal counsel is advisable. Such statements can be used against you, potentially undermining your claim.
Never Admit Fault Prematurely
Admitting fault at the accident scene or to insurance adjusters can jeopardize your claim. The determination of fault should be left to thorough investigations by professionals. It’s common for people to say, “I’m sorry,” but this is distinguished from “I’m sorry for causing the wreck.”
Reject Initial Lowball Offers
Insurance companies often propose initial settlements quickly, which may not fully cover your losses. Make sure you know the full extent of your damages before you sign a release or accept an offer.
Consult Before Accepting Final Payments
If you receive a check marked as “final payment,” consult with a lawyer before accepting it. This step ensures the amount adequately compensates for all your losses.
Understand Before Signing
Exercise caution when presented with documents from the insurance company. Reviewing any paperwork with an attorney ensures you do not waive any rights unknowingly.
Timely Filing is Key
Oklahoma law stipulates a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Promptly initiating your claim allows your attorney sufficient time to build a strong case. Preserving evidence is easier and more complete shortly after the wreck than waiting until close to the statute of limitations deadline.
Claims Process FAQs
How long do I have to file a car insurance claim in Oklahoma?
You have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim, as outlined in Oklahoma’s statute of limitations.
Can I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Under Oklahoma’s comparative negligence law, you can receive compensation reduced by your percentage of fault, up to 50%.
Should I accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer?
The adjuster’s “first offer” is usually significantly less than what they have the claim evaluated at. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offers, as initial proposals may not fully cover your losses.
What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts me for a statement?
Refrain from giving a recorded statement without consulting an attorney to avoid jeopardizing your claim. An adjuster doesn’t need a recorded statement to evaluate a personal injury claim. The recorded statement is used to build a case against you.
Is it necessary to contact the police after a minor accident?
Yes, calling the police is important for documentation purposes, even in minor accidents.
How can I prove my damages to the insurance company?
Collect and present all related bills, receipts, and documentation of damages and injuries to substantiate your claim.
Can I file a claim if the other driver is uninsured?
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim through your own insurance for compensation.
What is the difference between bodily injury protection and property damage liability insurance?
Bodily injury protection covers medical expenses for injuries you cause to others, while property damage liability insurance covers damages to someone else’s property.
How does collision coverage differ from comprehensive coverage?
Collision coverage applies to damages from vehicle collisions, whereas comprehensive coverage addresses non-collision-related damages. For example, an accident with two vehicles vs. a tree falling over onto your motorcycle.
What should I do if I disagree with the insurance adjuster’s fault determination?
If you disagree with the adjuster’s determination, consult with your attorney to discuss your options and potentially dispute the decision. At the very least, make a counter-demand with the adjuster.
Commitment to Community Safety and Justice: The Mission of Hasbrook & Hasbrook
At Hasbrook & Hasbrook, we are dedicated to ensuring that insurance companies are held accountable for their actions, emphasizing our commitment to community safety and justice. Our firm stands as an advocate for individuals over corporations, focusing on transforming lives affected by negligence through legal advocacy. We believe in enforcing accountability and upholding safety and justice standards, making us a trusted partner in your journey to recovery and compensation after a motorcycle accident. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in handling your Oklahoma motorcycle insurance claim.