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Auto Insurance Claims/Motorcycle hits cow


About 6 weeks ago i hit a cow in the middle of the road. I was on a motorcycle, it was at night , dark road, black cow...going about 25 mph.  After impact i went down and was pinned under the bike for about 15-20 minutes untill police arrived, i suffered a broken elbow, (which required surgery,pins,) and some deep tissue wounds. I am 54 years old with no pre existing  medical issues or injuries.

My bike damage was around 1800( which has been paid).  The owner of the cow has claimed full responsibility as he admitted to forgetting to lock the pasture gate. I could not find any orthopedic surgeon that takes third party insurance so my out of pocket medical bills are currentlynaround 10,000... And growing since my arm is still in a cast and physical therapy is next. Due to the medications and being limited to the use of one arm has required me to leave my home and stay at my parents house so they can help me with my  every day routine .

I own and operate a motorcycle rental servie in the Dallas,Tx . area. I have been forced to hire a temporary self contract employee as i can not perform 90% of required job duties. My only alternative being to close my doors untill  am completely healed. I am paying my help $700.00 a week . Looking at atleast  another 3 months before i can resume my duties....hopefully, providing i can make a full recovery.
Mentally... its been rough, i am passionate about riding and quite honestly its daily therapy for me.  I hope that this accident has not  taken my peace of mind from me...i wont know untill i can get back on a bike.

I have been in contact with their insurance adjuster and am going to start sendind him pictures of my personal property that was damaged , all medical bills to date, copies of my cancelled checks that were issued to my employee, and a request for home health care compensation for my caregiver( my parents).

Have i left any other areas of compensation other than pain and suffering out?

I know  the adjusters job is to "starve you out" so you will jump at the first offer, i am fortunate to have the means to maintain my lifestyle w/o adding financial burden to my list of worries, but time is limited as to how long this is possible.

I know I am entitlled compensation for all medical, personal property damage( leather jacket, boots, backpack, helmet, and jeans.) the employees salary(i was the only employee prior to accident) , and a home health care allowance... ***

Will i have to wait untill after all my physical therapy is complete before i can write a letter of demand?

What is the average amount paid to the caregivers, does it get lumped into the final settlement?

What financial information will they require besides the cancelled checks written to my temp Help?

Is my personal property loss a seperate claim or will that amount be lumped in with lost wages and medical?

And the biggie...pain and suffering? Physically...What can a 54 year old woman who has required surgery on her elbow joint , now has a 4" scar and is uncertain as to what future problems may develop due to her injury. Ive been told by my surgeon that in 6-12 months this pin may " work itself out" and penetrate my skin, requiring a second surgery, its possible arthritis will develop, and currently undertimined if full motion will be possible. If i not have full motion i can not ride and if i can not ride it will be devastating,and permentaly life changing. Not riding is already taking its toll on my otherwise cherrie personality.

I appreciate any adivise as to how to best handle this w/o a lawyer, of course  if recommended i will retain one.
Thank you, kim

Hi Kim,

I'm sorry you are going through this.

Your situation may be more complex that I can answer in an email, however, I will do my best.

You seem to have mentioned all of the aspects of your claim that need to be addressed. It is generally best to wait until all treatment and therapy has been completed and you are released from the doctors care before you submit a demand. Considering all of the varied aspects of your claim, you may be better served hiring an attorney to handle this for you. But I would say, considering the surgery and potential future surgery, you should add up all of your expenses for medical and therapy and multiply by 6. That total would include your medicals and pain & suffering. If the doctor releases you with a "Permanent Impairment Rating" then that figure would be increased depending on the percentage of impairment given. Then to that total you add your lost wages, the additional employee and your caregivers. I am not sure what to ask for for the caregivers considering they are your parents. Perhaps $50.00 per day would be reasonable. You are also entitled to be paid for mileage to and from each medical appointment. Keep meticulous records. The better your records the more your claim is worth. The claim for property damage is separate and can be concluded now. But if they want you to sign a release form, be sure that it reads only for property damage.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh


Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.


I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

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My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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