This is the next post in our series on the handling of motorcycle accident cases in Hartford, Connecticut. Our last article discussed how our state’s comparative fault statute impacts the recovery of damages in motorcycle wreck cases. A victim may be able to recover damages for their injuries even if they were partially responsible for the accident. The article also stressed the importance of retaining an attorney who is experienced in comparative fault cases and able to explain complex issues of fact to a jury. This article will discuss what one should expect while their lawyer is dealing with the defendant’s insurance companies. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Very soon after an accident has occurred, the defendant’s insurance company will be notified and begin its investigation. Early in the process, an insurance adjuster will make contact with the victim to collect a statement and other information about the injuries. It is important to understand the adjuster does not represent the victim. The adjuster’s goal is to minimize the exposure to the defendant. We recommend retaining a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident to work directly with the adjuster on the victim’s behalf. The lawyer will provide a letter of representation to the adjuster directing the company to contact the attorney instead.
Once counsel is retained, they will then begin gathering evidence of the defendant’s liability. This evidence can include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the scene, etc. The attorney will also gather information about the injuries and damages sustained by the victim. If the victim has suffered serious injuries, then it is possible that they may be undergoing treatment for some time. If this is the case, then counsel will notify the insurance adjusters of the lengthy treatment period. The case will then be in a “holding pattern” until the victim’s long-term prognosis can be ascertained. The attorney will use this information to ultimately prepare a demand for payment to be sent to the insurance company. This demand will include a breakdown of the compensation requested and evidence supporting the claims of liability and damages. Counsel will then negotiate back and forth with the adjuster. If a settlement cannot be reached then a lawsuit will be filed on the victim’s behalf.
It is important to understand that the process of dealing with an insurance company can take a substantial amount of time. As stated above, if the case involves serious injuries (such as spinal damage, brain trauma, etc.) then a long-term prognosis must be determined before damages can be calculated. Victims and their families are often pressured into accepting a “quick” settlement to expedite the process, however, this can result in a victim not receiving the full amount to which they may be entitled. By retaining a Hartford motorcycle accident lawyer with substantial resources at their disposal, a victim can help to ensure that counsel takes their time and handles their case properly.
Our firm has over 50 years of experience with personal injury cases in Hartford, Connecticut. Call us today. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.