Handling Insurance Company Biases Against Motorcyclists

Handling Insurance Company Biases Against Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are more at risk of suffering severe injuries in a motorcycle accident because they do not have the same levels of protection in a collision as other motor vehicle drivers and their passengers. To make matters worse, insurance companies have held long-standing biases against motorcyclists, and many motorcyclists struggle to get the compensation they need after suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident someone else caused.

Despite insurance company biases against motorcyclists, you can recover damages following a motorcycle accident that someone else caused. For a free review of your case and specific advice regarding your rights and options for obtaining compensation, consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Contact A Lawyer

Why Insurance Companies Have Biases Against Motorcyclists

Handling Insurance Company Biases Against Motorcyclists

For the most part, insurance companies have biases against motorcyclists due to economics and reputation. Although the reasons lack legitimacy, they still affect how insurance companies perceive motorcyclists and the costs of the injuries they sustain in motorcycle accidents.

Consider the following:

Motorcyclists Typically Suffer Serious (and Expensive) Injuries

Since motorcycles do not have doors, side panels, or roofs, they offer virtually no protection to riders in a crash. Motorcycles also do not have seat belts or airbags. Accidents can throw riders from the wreckage. They can sustain serious injuries when striking an object or sliding across the ground. Although a helmet and other protective gear can reduce the severity of a motorcyclist's injuries, bikers can still sustain severe, life-threatening injuries no matter how much protective gear they wear.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, around 65 percent of motorcyclists wear helmets, with a strong correlation between not wearing a helmet and other protective gear and the severity of injuries a biker suffers in a crash.

Approximately 80,000 motorcycle riders sustain injuries in motorcycle accidents each year, and more than 5,000 die. The injury and fatality rates of motorcyclists per vehicle miles traveled exceed the rates of occupants of other motor vehicles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the average medical cost of a motorcyclist’s injuries from an accident exceeds $15,000. The total average yearly cost for injured bikers exceeds $81 million.

Motorcyclists Have Bad Reputations 

Along with the sheer cost of injuries motorcyclists suffer, many bikers also have bad reputations, and insurance companies consider motorcycles dangerous vehicles. The issues go back more than 100 years when motorcycle races took place in indoor facilities. In 1912, a motorcycle left the racetrack at high speeds and launched into the stands. Six spectators died in the incident, and the negative press from the event led to bans on motorcycle races.

Added to that was the advent of biker gangs, like the Hells Angels, whose riders often embraced a rebellious and unlawful lifestyle. That further increased society’s distaste and distrust of motorcyclists, giving rise to a stereotype of reckless and dangerous bikers. 

Insurance companies take advantage of society’s negative views of motorcycles and bikers. Although completely unfair, the image of impetuous adrenaline junkies with little regard for the safety of others has stuck in the minds of insurance adjusters who erroneously believe that motorcyclists always cause their injuries when they crash.

How a Lawyer Can Help You Fight Insurance Company Bias Against Motorcyclists

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident someone else caused, the insurance company may have treated you unfairly as you tried to recover damages. Having a lawyer on your side can greatly benefit you in the following ways:

Legal Knowledge

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will have in-depth legal knowledge and know how to apply it to your case. More than helping you gather evidence and file your claim within any required deadlines, an attorney can assess whether the insurance company is acting in bad faith by unjustly denying your valid claim based on bias or perceived issue of you as a motorcycle enthusiast. 

An attorney can assert your rights and get the insurance company to honor your claim and the at-fault party's insurance policy. They can also negotiate with the insurer to get the best possible settlement. A lawyer may also file a lawsuit in civil court and represent you at trial if the insurance company refuses to settle or acts in bad faith regarding your claim.

Relying on Facts, Not Emotion

An attorney's calming presence during the highly emotional process of recovering damages from a traumatic motorcycle accident can force the insurance company to consider just the relevant facts of the accident without allowing any biases or assumptions to cloud their judgment.

Proving a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim

To obtain compensation for your injuries, your lawyer must establish that you suffered injuries the other party caused.

To do that, they will need to show:

  • Duty of care: The party that caused the motorcycle crash owed you a duty of care. All drivers inherently have a duty of care to others. They must drive safely and lawfully to reduce the risks of harm.
  • Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached their duty of care, such as by speeding, driving recklessly, or driving under the influence.
  • Causation: That breach caused the accident and your injuries.
  • Damages: You suffered compensable damages as a result.

Although the legal concept appears simple, your attorney will need to gather evidence to establish the other party’s liability and the extent of your damages.

Some documentation and evidence your attorney will need to gather include:

  • Your medical bills and treatment records
  • Official police and accident reports
  • Photographs or videos of the accident scene
  • Surveillance video from nearby stores or traffic cameras that recorded the accident as it happened
  • Copies of your pay stubs to show lost income and other work-related benefits
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Receipts for any related out-of-pocket expenses you incurred because of your injuries and treatment
  • Bills and estimates of motorcycle repairs or replacement as well as other personal property damaged in the crash

Your attorney may also enlist medical and accident reconstruction experts to prove the severity of your injuries and the actual cause of the motorcycle accident. 

By relying on facts and providing clear and compelling evidence as to the other party’s liability for your injuries, your attorney can hold the insurance company accountable and refute any biases or assumptions they may use to devalue or deny your claim.

What Damages Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?

Fort Lauderdale Swimming Pool Accident

The motorcycle accident left you with serious physical injuries, and it likely severely damaged or destroyed your bike. On top of that, you have also experienced intense emotional and psychological harm due to the trauma of the crash and dealing with your injuries and losses.

To cover the total costs of all you suffered, your attorney can recover both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the financial expenses you incurred because of the accident and your injuries, including:

  • Medical bills and treatment costs, including hospital and emergency room costs, therapy, and mobility devices
  • Future medical expenses for permanent injuries that will require ongoing medical care
  • The costs to repair or replace your motorcycle
  • Lost income, including tips, bonuses, commissions, and other forms of pay
  • Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability
  • Other related out-of-pocket expenses

Non-economic damages refer to the intangible losses and adverse effects your injuries had and will continue to have on your life, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In certain cases, you may also receive punitive damages if the court determines the defendant acted with extreme negligence, unlawfulness, or intentional misconduct. Punitive damages punish the wrongdoer and send a message to others not to engage in that behavior. Although rarely awarded, and only at the court’s discretion, you should discuss with your lawyer whether it makes sense to take your case to court to pursue punitive damages.

Regardless, a lawyer will fully assess your damages and calculate the compensation you need. They can also fight with the insurer and negotiate aggressively to help you obtain the maximum amount allowed under the law.

How Do I Take Legal Action After a Motorcycle Accident?

If a negligent motorist, defective component, unrepaired road hazard, or any other preventable factor caused the motorcycle crash that injured you or someone you love, to bring legal action against those responsible, you must:

  • Seek medical attention: Make your health and well-being your top priority. Get appropriate medical care and properly document your injuries. You will need to provide this documentation to your attorney for them to file an injury claim with the insurance company.
  • Consult with an attorney: As soon as you can, consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney can gather the evidence needed to support your claim and establish the other party’s liability.
  • Insurance claims: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Discuss the accident with the insurance company cautiously and avoid admitting fault. Your attorney can deal with the insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement.
  • Settlement negotiations: During the claims process, the insurer may respond with a low settlement offer that does not fully cover your expenses and losses. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurer to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
  • File a lawsuit: If the insurer unjustly denies your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit and take the insurance company to court. An experienced trial lawyer will understand civil courts and procedures and can present a compelling case at trial to help sway the judge or jury’s decision in your favor.

When thinking about taking legal action after a motorcycle accident:

  • Continue medical treatment: You need to follow your prescribed medical treatment plan to the letter and continue the treatment until your doctor determines you have reached maximum medical recovery. If you stop treatment on your own or do not follow your doctor’s orders, the insurer can use that as evidence against you.
  • Statute of limitations: Your state’s statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, for instance, you must file your lawsuit within two years of your injury. If you wait too long and miss the statute of limitations, you will forfeit your right to pursue compensation. Some circumstances can extend or shorten the statute of limitations, so contact an attorney right away to discuss your case. 

Also, claims against government entities, such as a city or municipality, have different guidelines, deadlines, and requirements for filing claims. Thus, speak with an attorney immediately if you believe a government entity caused the motorcycle accident.

Talk to a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

Gabriel Levin Lawyer for Personal Injury Claim Cases near Philadelphia
Gabriel Levin, Motorcycle Accident Attorney

You and your family suffered greatly because of a motorcycle accident someone else caused. As you sought compensation, you have, unfortunately, experienced unfair treatment due to the biases and preconceived notions of insurers, which has only added to the challenges of getting the compensation you need.

The personal injury attorneys at The Levin Firm are on your side, and we have considerable experience dealing with insurance companies that unjustly deny or reduce injury claims based on assumptions, stereotypes, and biases. We will thoroughly investigate your case and gather hard and clear evidence to support it. We will fight the insurer at every turn to protect your rights and improve your odds of obtaining a favorable outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Gabriel Levin Author Image

Gabriel Levin - Attorney

Gabriel Levin is a highly experienced and credible attorney with over 10 years of practice in Pennsylvania. Known for his tenacity, he has represented clients in a wide range of civil matters, trying hundreds of cases. He prepares each case as if it will go to trial, ensuring meticulous attention to detail.

Unlike many firms that delegate tasks, Levin personally handles every aspect of a case and maintains open communication with clients throughout. He has secured millions in compensation, making him a reliable choice for those seeking legal representation.

Learn More