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Don't Make These Mistakes
If you've been injured in a motorcycle crash, it is essential to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. Like any business, the insurance company is out to make themselves money, despite what their commercials might signify. They will look for any reason to reject your case or try to get you to take a settlement for as little money as possible.
It is crucial to have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Douglasville on your side to help guide you through the claims process. It is also critical to remember the following tips for dealing with your insurer:
Recognize that the insurance representative is not your friend.
While insurance claims representatives may seem helpful and may act like they are interested in your wellbeing, it is necessary to remember that they have a job to do. That job is to protect the company's bottom line, not to take care of you and your family. There usually is a notable gap between what you deserve and what the company wants to pay you. That's why it is good to approach every conversation with insurance company agents with caution.
Never negotiate alone.
Insurance agents want you to handle settlements without a lawyer. Injured persons are usually desperate for help in their time of need, and the insurance agents know that. The quicker they can get you to settle, the better for them. For this reason, never negotiate alone behind closed doors or sign any legal document without the benefit of advice from your attorney.
Never give recorded statements.
You may be asked to provide a statement recorded by the adjuster or the insurer's attorney. These recorded statements are regularly designed to hurt your case and prove your fault in the accident. Politely refuse, and let your lawyer do the talking for you.
If possible, avoid the insurance company altogether.
You're under no obligation to do anything except report the collision to your insurance company. Retaining a lawyer for every action expected to follow is well within your legal rights. Insurance agents may try to make you believe an attorney is powerless to negotiate your settlement, but that's not true. There is no better supporter an injured person could ask for than an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Douglasville.
Most motorcycle accident victims do not have the required resources, time, or experience to take on an insurance company alone. There's an acquired way to speak to insurance adjusters using legal language they will easily understand. This approach takes years to develop and refine, which is why hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is the most reliable method of defending accident claims.
Motorcycle accident lawyers in Douglasville, like those at The Shelton Law Firm, are thoroughly experienced in insurance law. They know how the insurer's agents and their attorney will address the case. Having this understanding allows discussions to go much smoother than if an insurer calls the motorcycle victim and outright denies their claim or offers them a very low settlement to get them to go away.
Other reasons why motorcycle accident lawyers are skilled at handling these cases more than the average person include:
> Attorneys could subpoena information related to your collision much quicker than non-attorney litigants.
> Lawyers are aware of deadlines, when and why motions need to be filed, what statute of limitations applies to your case, and all motorcycle safety laws.
> They are experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and understand how to get the most compensation.
If those reasons aren't compelling enough, remember that motorcycle accident attorneys and their respective firms foot the entire bill, including paying their staff, filing fees, and any extra bills that may relate to your case — and charge you nothing if you lose. This is reason enough to obtain legal help after a motorcycle accident for many people.
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Motorcycle accident victims in Douglasville, Georgia, usually have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.
If your family member was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to file for loss of consortium. The deadline for this kind of claim is four years from the accident date.
When a motorcycle accident involves another vehicle, the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company are responsible for the damages. Proof of fault is vital in motorcycle accident cases. The Shelton Law Firm is accustomed to investigating motorcycle accidents on our initiative to make your case as strong as possible.
Georgia law states that as long as your share of fault for the accident is less than 50%, you are entitled to recover monetary damages for the following:
> Pain and Suffering
> Medical costs
> Lost wages
> Vehicle repair or replacement costs
Georgia abides by a Modified Comparative Negligence rule. The law says that an injured victim can recover damages as long as they are not more than 50% at fault.
This is different from strict contributory negligence: restricting plaintiffs from recovering any damages if they were even 1% at fault for an accident.