If your husband or wife was recently in a motorcycle accident in Iowa, we’re sorry this has happened to you. We know you have a lot to think about. Foremost on your mind is the injury or even the possible loss of your spouse. But you’re probably also worried about how to pay bills or how the other driver’s insurance company is pushing you to settle your claim.
Here are a few things you need to know about Iowa motorcycle accident claims:
1. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Spouses of those injured in a motorcycle crash suffer their own losses. A husband or wife of an accident victim also has a loss of consortium claim.
“Loss of consortium” is a term that refers to the loss of the relationship. This can include:
- Loss of companionship or emotional support
- Loss of intimacy
- Loss of help with household chores or caring for children
- Loss of the advice of your loved one
2. Do not settle the motorcycle accident claim until you know what it’s worth.
It’s likely your loved one is still healing from their serious injuries. Meanwhile, medical bills are coming in, and your spouse hasn’t been able to work, so money’s tight. You may be tempted to settle the claim so you can pay your bills and move on with your life.
However, that is exactly what the other driver’s insurance company wants you to do – settle before you know how much your case is worth. There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t settle right away.
- You could be on the hook for medical bills. If you settle your case before your spouse is completely healed (or as healed as a doctor says they will get), any medical bills you receive after settlement will need to be paid out of your pocket. This could mean your settlement money is going to bills the insurance company should have covered – but no longer has to because you settled your case.
- You have two years to settle your case or file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident is two years from the date of the crash. That means you have two years to file a lawsuit or settle your case. There is no need to settle your case a month or two after the accident, especially if your loved one is still healing from their injuries.
- You could be getting less than you deserve. Medical bills and lost wages are not the only damages that can be claimed in a personal injury lawsuit. As discussed before, loss of consortium can be factored into a settlement amount. Other damages can include pain and suffering of your loved one or any loss of function that they are now dealing with.
For example, if your spouse can no longer work the same job they did before the accident due to their injuries, this should be factored into any settlement amount you consider.
3. Hiring the right Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer.
Most attorneys in Iowa don’t deal specifically with motorcycle crash cases. It’s important you hire one that is an expert in these types of cases. Motorcycle accident claims are different than a “normal” car accident claims. A motorcycle accident reconstruction expert needs to be hired to analyze the crash site and give their findings to your attorney.
If your husband or wife has died in the crash, you will need to find an attorney who is also experienced in wrongful death cases. Wrongful death claims differ from a regular personal injury claim and need a lawyer who can navigate those differences for you.
What you need to focus on is your long term well-being and that of your family. Let an experienced Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer deal with the other driver’s insurance company. If you would like a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1783 today.