How Motorcycle Bias Might Affect Your Claim for Compensation
As it warms up outside, motorcyclists are more likely to hit the road to take advantage of the summer weather. Before you get out on the open road, it is important to remember to take appropriate safety precautions. A crash could result in severe, life-altering injuries, and recovering compensation could be challenging because of motorcycle bias.
Even if you have never been in a crash, you may have experienced some of the preconceived notions about motorcycle riders, such as the assumption that most riders engage in reckless behavior and have little concern for their safety or the safety of others on the road.
Our experienced Minneapolis motorcycle accident lawyers discuss motorcycle bias and how it may impact a compensation claim for crash-related damages.
Motorcycle crash victims should strongly consider seeking legal counsel, as victims represented by attorneys often receive more compensation than those who do not have a lawyer. At TSR, there are no upfront fees, and the initial consultation is free.
What is Motorcycle Bias?
There is no official definition of motorcycle bias. The term was created to describe the types of biases people often hold about motorcycle riders. You could also refer to these biases as stereotypes.
People who are biased against motorcyclists may assume riders are to blame for a crash, even if they did nothing wrong. Perceptions like these are often not based on statistics, but personal experiences. For example, maybe someone once saw a motorcycle rider popping wheelies on the interstate, and this has contributed to his or her perception of motorcycle riders.
People may also allow portrayals of motorcycle riders from TV shows and movies to influence their perceptions about motorcyclists. For example, people may think many riders are in gangs or have criminal records. Movies often show chase scenes with bikers speeding and running lights. People may not like loud pipes and think all bikers are obnoxious.
Unfortunately, at-fault drivers, police officers, insurance companies, judges and juries may all display some level of motorcycle bias against riders who are seeking compensation. This unfair bias can make it harder for riders to recover full compensation for their injuries.
How do I Fight Against Motorcycle Bias?
Some people, particularly those who work for insurance companies, may never change their preconceived ideas about motorcycle riders. Even if an insurance adjuster has a reasonable opinion about motorcyclists, he or she may still manage a motorcycle crash claim in a way that seems biased against the rider. Insurance companies are all looking for a way to deny or devalue a claim. 20 percent fault for being on a bike is the norm.
Despite these biases, there are things you can do to show you are a responsible rider, which may make it harder to dispute the validity of your claim.
Wear a Helmet
Even though you are not required to wear a helmet if you are at least 18 years old, wearing a helmet could reduce your risk of serious or fatal injury in a crash. Wearing a helmet is also the responsible thing to do.
You can be the sure the insurance company will try to use the failure to wear a helmet against you when you are seeking compensation. They argue “the head injury would not have happened if she was wearing a helmet, so we are not responsible for all the damages.”
Get a Helmet Camera
Another step you could take is to install a helmet camera. The footage may go a long way toward establishing what happened in the crash and potentially proving the fault of the driver. It can prove the biker was not speeding or acting in any unreasonable manner.
Be a Safe Driver
Following traffic laws and avoiding reckless driving can help prevent the police from issuing traffic citations. Even though your past driving record should have no bearing on your claim for compensation, the insurance company may try to use it against you.
Seek Treatment Immediately
Getting to the hospital right after the crash is an important step that helps to establish a solid connection between your injuries and the crash. For example, if the crash happened at 5 p.m. and you get to the hospital an hour or two later, it is difficult for the insurance company to argue that something else caused your injuries.
If you wait a day or more to go to the hospital, however, the insurance company may say you suffered an injury somewhere else after the crash. Not seeking treatment right away makes it seem like you are not taking the situation seriously.
Talk to a Lawyer
You may not think you need a lawyer to recover compensation for your injuries, but insurance companies are notorious for denying and undervaluing claims. What if you need treatment after your claim is settled? Do you know how to estimate the cost of future treatment? What if the insurance company denies your claim? What if the insurance company assigns you an unreasonable amount of fault for the crash?
TSR is fully prepared to assist you with your claim, fighting for full compensation for your injuries and other losses. We have recovered fair compensation from insurance companies countless times, and we know how to build a strong case.
Hiring a lawyer often causes insurance companies to take claims more seriously or make a better offer of compensation, particularly if your lawyer has a history of winning cases in court. Insurance companies know attorneys usually do not take cases to court unless they think they have a strong argument that is likely to appeal to a jury.
Are You the Victim of a Motorcycle Crash? Call Today
For more than 20 years, TSR Injury Law has been assisting crash victims seeking compensation for their damages. Our firm has secured more than $150 million in compensation in a variety of cases, many involving motor vehicle crashes.
We are here to answer your questions and assist you during this difficult time. There are no fees to meet with us to discuss the crash, and if you have a case, there are no fees while we work on it.
Call TSR Injury Law today: (612) TSR-TIME.