Heading down the open road, the wind on your face, the sun shining down on your skin, the pure freedom of movement and the adrenaline coursing through your veins: this is what it feels like to ride a motorcycle. Motorcyclists enjoy a relationship with nature that vehicle occupants simply can’t share. They also save money on gas and have less of an impact on the environment.
Unfortunately, the many benefits of motorcycling come at a steep price. When accidents happen, particularly if they involve a car or truck striking a motorcycle, the injuries are serious, often fatal. The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that, in 2015 alone, nearly 5,000 people died and more than 88,000 were injured in motorcycle crashes. Motorcycle riders are more than 29 times more likely to be killed in an accident and five times more likely to be injured than are occupants of passenger vehicles.
Bias against bikers can devastate your case
There is still a stigma attached to riding by many people. They may see motorcyclists as dangerous gang members, adrenaline junkies, “speed freaks” who act recklessly, or people who simply don’t care about their safety. Even the most conscientious bikers, those who obey speed limits, don’t take chances, never act impulsively on the road and who wear proper safety gear, can be the victims of conscious or unconscious bias following an accident.
This bias can lead to delayed insurance payments, being unjustly assigned full or partial blame for the accident, “lowball” settlement offers that don’t even fully cover medical expenses, claim denials and other mistreatment. This is where an attorney’s help can be invaluable. Having someone on your side who understands these biases, and who can work to ensure that you are not discriminated against or treated badly simply because you choose to ride a motorcycle can be crucial to getting a fair settlement or verdict at trial.
Without a trained professional guiding you, you could inadvertently take a settlement offer that doesn’t cover your property damage or medical expenses, sign away your rights to future claims even if your medical condition worsens, be unfairly blamed for the crash, or see your claim denied altogether.