Join Date: May 2015
Location: PNW Longview wa.
Back in the saddle again!
The accident wednesday 4/18/18
I was at a stoplight waiting for it to change when a car impacted the back of my motorcycle.The cars left side front bumper impacted the rear wheel and ended up being raised off the ground allowing for the cars front wheel to spin freely. The driver on realizing that that their wheel was spinning proceeded to let off the gas and the car rested on the right “brake light” and saddle bag. After disengaging the two vehicles I made my way off the street to a business parkinglot with the driver of the car following.
The woman driving said that she was busy trying to steady her grocery bag (s) and looked away from the road. Liability was clearly established by her actions,confession and she was ticketed for the infraction.
I called the police to come oversee the ordeal and the officer that arrived began to take notes for the police report. In his dealings with myself and the other driver I was aware that there was a difference in his attitude towards me and the woman. I got the impression that he looked at me as if I was the offending party or just wasting his time. Sure enough his report listed the damage to mybike as if it was nothing more than a ding in the paint. But the motorcycledealership damage assessment proved otherwise -------- $9000.
That cop’s attitude bothered me and still does; so I tracked him down and made him change the report to reflect the true damage amount.
My emotional state was calm at the scene of the accident but I could also tell that adrenaline was numbing me up. But within an hour I started to have spasms in my mid back. I then called a chiropractor and was able to get in.
My feelings that first day where one of first disappointment that I am hurt. Secondly disappointment that my favorite past time was going to be interrupted for awhile. Little did I know it would be interrupted for a whole year.
Three months of therapy put me back together; although I still experience some phantom shoulder and neck pain at times. The worse part was yet to come; that being dealing with the insurance company. Their motto is “we have the money and we have the power, but if we don’t have the power then we delay, delay, delay. They delayed by sending me through a maze of 13 different agents and stringing out the claim for a whole year. Most every motive when an insurance company has to pay is about leverage; the first time I encountered this side of them was after I got the damage assessment.
They wanted me to leave the bike with the motorcycle dealer; “because that is how they do things”. Yet I wasn’t about to leave the bike with over 2k of custom work and accessories on the bike. This was a smart move on my part, since they never intended to pay for anything other than a stock bike.
An attorney was not an option for me since the accident was considered minor and besides there was no way for me to pay out of pocket fees for hiring one. So I had to find alternative ways of gain legal assistance.
One such avenue was to put in a complaint with the State Insurance Commissioner. Supposedly insurances companies hate to be sitedby the Insurance commissioner because they do keep records of company infractions. However I hate to say this; the impression I got from them is that they function under the color of law and really don’t have any real power. But I still took advantage of their services and frequently sited the insurance company’s infractions as if the commissioner could apply pressure.
A second avenue of support came from my use of online legal services; mainly “ask a lawyer” web sites. Two or three different sites answered a lot of questions for me; plus I had access to their QA forums.
I was also having to adopt a legal frame of mind in the event that my claim ever did end up in court. In this respect I kept two sets of daily records; my physical pain and my emotional pain. These records covered a lot of issues which could be useful in court as well as indetermining a settlement.
Legitimate issues that normally determine the course of a settlement are as follows.
1. Loss of use
2. Loss of joy
3. Physical impairment
4. Emotional impairment
5. Potentially shortened lifespan
6. Mental anguish
7. Loss of companionship (riding buddies)
8. Loss of enjoyment of life
9. Emotional distress ----------- bouts ofdepression, lack of energy
10. Bodily injury Pain and suffering
11. Loss of consortium (Loss of friends)
Another matter that was on my shoulders was my need to read the contracts that the insurance company sent me. Wherever I was being asked to sign a form it required that I scrutinize the legal as I would anyother contract. Insurance companies add language that work against you and can be binding if not detrimental to your claim and future resolve. One such example that I found in a release form went like this;
The form says that they want to be released from liability,but on execution of the release “it does not bar the right of the released parties to pursue legal remedies against me, my heirs, executors, agents and assigns.” “Against me and my heirs? !!!”
I wrote back and I told them that I can’t sign this release unless you allow me to modify the language. In their typical fashion they said; “let us know when you are ready to sign”.
This attitude did delay my settlement simply because I didn’t know what recourse I had and they weren't offering any support. Eventually an “ask the lawyer” suggested that I just modify the release to my own satisfaction and see if they agree. Itworked; from that time on I was modifying every form they were sending me and within short order we were moving towards a finalizing the claim.
The difficulty in this whole process is going through the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual struggles all by my self. Besides the biker withdrawals that hampered me for months there was a lot of psychological stress which hampered my health. To this day I trying to over come IBS. In essence I was being held against my will for a year. Make no mistake an insurance company is a master at manipulation and control when it comes to having to pay out money; they do this for a living.
They're your best friend when you are handing them money, but ask to be compensated for damages and their game sends you down a dark hole of fear, anxiety and depression. It’s a prison I never want to experience again.
But the good news is I’m back in the saddle, I have a new CTX with only 2500 miles on it, the weather is nice and I have a date with150 miles of open road.
Last edited by Gordon; 06-12-2019 at 04:40 PM.