Handling Insurance Biases Against Motorcycle Riders

Published On: January 25, 2024
Categories: Motorcycle Accidents

The occurrence of car-motorcycle accidents is quite common. As a result, this fact poses challenges for motorcyclists. Moreover, car drivers frequently fail to notice bikers or misjudge their speed and distance.

Statistics also reveal that car drivers are often at fault in over two-thirds of these crashes. Factors like drowsy driving, texting, and carelessness contribute to many of these incidents.

In many cases, motorists simply fail to acknowledge the presence of motorcycles in their field of vision. It’s important to consult with a New Port Richey motorcycle accident attorney specializing in insurance claims to ensure that your case is handled effectively and that any biases are addressed appropriately.

Learn to Drive Defensively

Adopting a defensive driving approach is important to protect yourself on the road. Always assume that the other drivers may not see you and maintain optimum space between your motorcycle and other vehicles to improve visibility and reduce blind spots.

Always See A Doctor

Even if you don’t feel any immediate pain or discomfort after an accident, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Injuries like whiplash or head trauma might not appear immediately. They can take hours or even days to emerge.

Apart from ensuring your well-being, seeking medical attention also helps document your condition. This type of evidence will be useful if you decide to pursue legal action at a future date.

Don’t Rush into Accepting an Early Settlement Offer

Handling Insurance Biases Against Motorcycle Riders

It’s common for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to propose a settlement quickly, especially when the offer falls short of covering all of your expenses. Calculating bills, lost income, and claims for pain and suffering takes time.

Before making any decisions along these lines, consult with a personal injury lawyer. They will provide the necessary guidance so you can receive enough compensation to cover your damages.

Understand Your Rights and Assert Yourself if an Accident Occurs

Unfortunately, motorcyclists often face unfair treatment from drivers on the road and insurance companies.

That’s why you must be aware of your rights and adopt safe driving practices as a motorcycle rider. Don’t let anyone push you around if you’re involved in an accident or seeking legal help and representation. You should receive fair treatment, regardless of the vehicle you choose to drive.

Familiarize Yourself with the Causes of Motorcycle-Car Collisions

As someone who rides a motorcycle regularly, you probably already know that car drivers are frequently responsible for motorcycle accidents. Regrettably, though unsurprisingly, insurance companies tend to favor motorists over motorcyclists in these cases. To counteract this bias effectively, it is important to understand the causes behind motorcycle-car collisions and know how to address them when you’re in a crash.

Distracted Driving

Today, distracted driving is a widespread issue. Drivers engage in distractions like texting, eating, or chatting. This behavior often leads to accidents.

Getting Sideswiped

Another typical scenario is when cars turning left fail to notice an approaching motorcyclist, which results in a side collision. In these cases, it is essential for the police report to mention the driver’s failure to yield or that they recklessly changed lanes before the mishap.

Collecting witness statements can help establish fault as well. Visual evidence – such as photos of skid marks, debris, and damage – can vividly demonstrate that you had no time to react or maneuver out of the way of the other vehicle.

Improper Lane Changes

As noted, improper lane changes are another concern. This is where a vehicle may abruptly change lanes – colliding or cutting off a motorcycle. Generally, this is considered the driver’s fault. However, an insurance company might try to shift blame by accusing you of “speeding” or being in the driver’s blind spot.

To counter claims effectively, provide evidence – such as footage to prove that your speed was appropriate for the prevailing conditions. It’s also important to argue that the driver is responsible for checking for blind spots before changing lanes—especially when motorcycles are more vulnerable.

With the right evidence and the assistance of a legal advocate, you can get fair compensation for your claim.

Overcoming Insurance Company Biases Against Motorcyclists

Unfortunately, many insurance companies tend to blame motorcyclists when it is clear that the car driver is at fault. To overcome these prejudices and obtain a settlement, consider the following tips.

Avoid Accepting Offers that Do Not Cover Your Damages

Car insurance companies often present initial offers to motorcyclists, hoping they will accept them to avoid further hassle. Don’t fall into this trap—research to determine a settlement amount for your damages and injuries. Provide supporting documentation to substantiate your claim and be willing to negotiate until you receive what you genuinely deserve.

Talk to a Lawyer About Negotiating Your Claim

Negotiating Claim

If negotiations reach an impasse or the insurance company consistently offers reduced compensation, seeking advice from an injury lawyer specializing in motorcycle cases may be beneficial.

A skilled attorney will assess if you have a case and guide you towards a favorable course of action, be it further negotiation or legal proceedings. The mere mention of a legal action might encourage the insurance company to offer a more reasonable settlement.

Establish Driver Responsibility

To establish the driver’s responsibility in your motorcycle accident claim, you need evidence. The more detailed information you can provide about the incident, the stronger your case will become. Here are some essential steps to take:

Capture the Scene in Photos

Take photographs of anything and everything related to the accident, including:

  • Any damage caused to all vehicles involved, including your motorcycle. Ensure you capture both upshots and wide angles.
  • Skid marks on the road indicate the path taken by each vehicle. Capture any debris on the roadway, such as glass, plastic fragments, or metal parts.
  • Traffic signs or signals at the intersection where the collision occurred.

Also, provide a view of the road or intersection layout.

These photos will play a role in reconstructing how events unfolded when determining liability.

Obtain Statements from Witnesses

Speak with any eyewitnesses promptly—request written accounts of what they saw. Ask for their names and contact information so your lawyer can follow up. Witness statements from observers hold weight in building a strong case.

Check for Surveillance Cams

Make sure to check if there were any surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, or dashcams that might have captured the accident. It’s worth reaching out to businesses, homeowners, or motorists to see if they might be willing to share any footage they may have. Having visual evidence can greatly support your claim. Provide concrete proof.

Get an Accident Report

It’s important to call 911 and report the accident to the police. When the officers arrive at the scene, please provide them with a statement about what happened from your perspective.

The police or accident report features information about the road conditions, statements from the parties involved, diagrams of the scene, and sometimes even an initial determination of fault. Your attorney needs to obtain a copy of the police report for you to submit a claim.

Review the Facts of the Crash

You are likely more familiar with all the details surrounding the accident than anyone else. Take some time to review what led up to the crash. What happened afterward?

Make a note of any actions by the driver that caused the collision, such as failing to signal properly, excessive speeding, or texting while driving.

Having an understanding of these facts gives you more confidence when dealing with insurance representatives. It will also help counter any attempts made by others to shift the blame.

Stay Calm During Discussions

When speaking with insurance company representatives, remaining calm and composed throughout your conversations is important. Firmly yet politely state all the facts regarding the accident.

Explain how it has affected you in terms of your overall lifestyle. Describe how your injuries have impacted your ability to work or enjoy specific activities.

Make sure you gather all the necessary supporting documents, like medical reports, bills, and photos, to back up your claims. Again, don’t be quick to accept the at-fault party’s offer. You deserve to be fully compensated for all your damages and injuries.

Do Your Due Diligence

Take extra time to research and review the settlement amounts for your type of injury. Talk to an injury lawyer so they can scrutinize your claim.

Sometimes, the mere threat of legal action will compel the insurance company to increase their offer to a reasonable level. Don’t hesitate to take your case to court to receive a judgment that adequately compensates your injuries and damages.

Stand Your Ground

Stay persistent. Stand your ground. Once more, the insurance company might try prolonging the process in hopes that you’ll settle for less. Remember, you didn’t choose this situation. So, clearly assert your rights.

Transparently communicate your case’s facts and the compensation required for your suffering.

Remember – the days and weeks following an accident are typically challenging. Being well-prepared and negotiating your claim will increase your chances of receiving the necessary settlement. Refuse any settlement that falls short of your expectations.

Knowing When to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Insurance companies often attempt to shift the blame to the motorcycle rider when an accident occurs. They understand that motorcyclists are vulnerable and frequently assume that you must be responsible. Don’t let them exploit you. If the accident was not your fault, it’s time to assert your legal rights.

Engaging the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer is one of the best ways to overcome biases and secure the fair settlement you deserve.

Below are some indications that it’s time to reach out to an attorney:

The insurance company is rejecting your claim

In this case, the insurance company hopes you’ll accept whatever they propose and disappear quietly. An attorney can assess the value of your claim, so you receive what you need as a settlement amount.

You have sustained injuries

If you feel the burden of expenses, lost income, or face long-term disability, it becomes critical for an attorney to navigate through the complexities of your case.

The other driver was clearly at fault

While you did not cause the accident, the other driver’s insurance company may be trying to place the blame on you. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to wrongfully accuse motorcyclists. They do this because they assume no one will come forward in their defense. An attorney can gather the evidence to prove the other driver was negligent.

You may not have the time or experience required to handle your personal injury claim on your own

Handling an injury claim involves understanding procedures and deadlines, which is why hiring an attorney is beneficial. They have the experience and knowledge needed to handle all aspects of your case while you can focus on recovering.

For example, the police report may wrongly place the fault on you. Some police officers sometimes make assumptions about motorcyclists. An attorney can conduct investigations to correct the police report and properly re-assign the fault.

Police or accident reports also compile data for the country’s Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) under the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is done to improve safety on the roadways and highways. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure the reports are accurate.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to filing insurance claims after a motorcycle accident, many motorcyclists face unfair treatment – the type of treatment that leads an insurance company to take advantage of you. The following questions and answers will provide further insights into the problem.

Why do insurers often show a bias toward motorcycle riders?

Insurers often mistakenly assume that motorcyclists are inherently reckless even when another driver caused the accident. Therefore, they might offer a lower settlement amount while claiming that you were partially to blame.

Don’t be fooled by this ploy. If the other driver didn’t yield or merge into your lane, you probably deserve compensation from the other driver.

What kind of questions might the insurance company ask?

Be prepared for the insurance company to ask you about the following:

  • Your experience and training with motorcycles. Stay calm. Be honest. Remember, lack of experience doesn’t automatically mean it was your fault.
  • Whether you were wearing gear, don’t let an insurance company claim negligence if you weren’t wearing certain clothing or gear. While helmets are typically required legally, other motorcycle gear is protective but optional.
  • Allegations of speeding. Ask for evidence proving you were speeding because an insurance company’s assumptions alone are insufficient. Your speed is likely irrelevant if the other driver caused the accident.
  • Accusations of intoxication. Again, demand proof.

What kind of evidence can I use to support my case?

Collect evidence that demonstrates the driver’s fault in the form of the following:

  •  Police reports that outline any traffic violations or tickets issued to the driver.
  •  Statements from witnesses who saw the motorist cause the accident.
  •  Pictures of both vehicles and their damages, as well as photos of the accident scene and your injuries.
Attorney Hali Marsocci
New Port Richey Motorcycle Accident Attorney Hali Marsocci

Any of the above information can establish the severity of the crash and disprove any exaggerations or lies.

Also, it’s important to gather and provide records and bills that demonstrate your injuries, especially if you require ongoing treatment. You want to ensure that the settlement you receive covers all your injuries and damages costs.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

Suppose you need to file an insurance claim for a collision you had while on your bike; you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney immediately. Doing so can help you overcome any biases the other party’s insurance company may have against you. It will also help you get a fairer and more equitable settlement