People choose to ride motorcycles for various reasons. For some, it's an economical way to get where they need to go. Others appreciate the fresh air and freedom a bike provides. No matter why choosing to ride a motorcycle appeals to them, it doesn’t mean riders are reckless and irresponsible.
Unfortunately, this assumption is often made by motor vehicle drivers, police officers, juries, and insurance adjusters.
Because of this, bikers don’t get the respect they deserve on the road, and they don’t get fair treatment when hurt in a crash that wasn’t their fault. We take a look at how biased opinions about motorcyclists can affect their ability to get proper injury compensation after an accident.
What Do People Think About Bikers?
Biker bias is probably the result of a few bad apples and a negative image in movies and on TV. The assumption that all bikers are in gangs or are thrill-seekers simply isn’t true. In fact, more retired couples and women are riding motorcycles than ever before. Nevertheless, these negative images remain, and they affect the way riders are treated by others, including:
- Drivers. When they don’t respect bikers, drivers of passenger cars might not keep their eyes open for them or give them the space they need for safe riding. Changing lanes, pulling into traffic, and following too closely are some of the ways negligent drivers cause motorcyclists to crash.
- Police officers. At a collision scene, a police officer might assume the biker contributed to the accident in some way. The report they write about the accident could reflect this bias and affect the rider’s ability to prove the vehicle driver was at fault.
- Insurance adjusters. When a biker is cut off or run off the road by a negligent motorist, they're likely to sustain serious injuries. The insurance company for the at-fault driver doesn't want to be responsible for these medical bills and will do whatever it can to pin some of the blame on the rider, even if it's totally misplaced.
- Judges and juries. If an accident claim can't be settled and ends up in court, bikers and their attorneys have an uphill battle fighting the prejudices of judges and juries to prove a motorcyclist wasn't at fault and deserves full compensation.
Overcoming these biases requires legal experience and determination. When you're injured in a motorcycle crash that wasn't your fault, talk to a personal injury attorney who welcomes motorcycle clients.
How a Sympathetic Attorney Can Help Your Case
An attorney who understands what you’re up against as a motorcycle rider knows how to prepare a case to confront the discrimination you face. They'll do this by:
- Gathering evidence. In any motor vehicle accident, the victim has to gather evidence of the other driver’s fault. It's especially important in a motorcycle crash case to present reliable witnesses, traffic camera footage, the other driver’s record, and more to prove the other driver caused the crash.
- Presenting a record of safe riding. If you have a clean record, have taken rider safety courses, and wear protective gear, your attorney will present this information as proof of your responsibility as a rider.
- Challenging false statements. An experienced attorney confronts bias straight-on, challenging the accident report or statements made by the other driver if they're inaccurate.
- Calling expert witnesses. Accident experts familiar with motorcycles can counter claims of the biker’s fault that are based on unsubstantiated beliefs.
- Carefully selecting jury members. If your personal injury claim becomes a lawsuit that ends up in court, your attorney will do their best to weed out jury members with biases toward motorcycle riders.
Don’t accept promises from just any personal injury attorney. Talk to someone who specializes in motorcycle injuries.
Get Legal Help From Our Experienced Framingham Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, call us or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation meeting and case evaluation. If you can't make it to our office in Framingham, we'll come to you. Find out how we can help get the financial compensation you and your family deserve.