A motorcycle accident is a traumatic experience. One moment, you're feeling great, without a care in the world, and the next, you're in excruciating pain.
The average motorcycle rider has little to no protection during an accident. Regardless of whether the driver was at fault or not, you're probably dealing with injuries.
Unfortunately, you'll also contend with motorcycle bias from various parties who view motorcycle riders as reckless, anti-social, and traffic rule breakers.
Dealing with this bias, more so alone, can be painstaking. That's why the motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law will fight to overcome this bias for fair damage recovery.
What Exactly Is Motorcycle Bias?
Motorcycle bias is the tendency to underestimate a motorcycle rider's ability or right to be on the road. Motorcyclists are often seen as inexperienced drivers, and their choice of vehicle is often viewed as irresponsible.
Motorcycle bias isn't limited to other drivers on the road. It extends throughout the legal system as well. It's not uncommon for insurance companies to undervalue motorcycle accidents. Judges and jury members might also have the same attitude towards motorcyclists.
Sadly this attitude applies even in damage recovery, jeopardizing your rights to receive just compensation.
Forms of Motorcycle Bias You'll Likely Face.
The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that a motorcyclist is nearly 29 times more likely to sustain severe injuries or die in an accident than victims of motor vehicle accidents.
But does that mean you should be treated or compensated differently from the car occupant, even when you aren't at fault?
Motorcycle bias is real, and it comes in different forms, including:
Motorcycles are dangerous by default
This assumption stems from the fact that there's a higher chance of sustaining severe injuries or fatalities in a motorcycle crash than in a car accident. Also because a motorcycle has limited safety mechanisms as compared to a car.
As such, numerous parties automatically assume the rider caused the accident.
However, basing damage recovery on these assumptions doesn't make sense, and it's unfair. Motor vehicle accidents can be equally if not more destructive when driven dangerously. A vehicle head-on collision or crash happens the same way as a motorcycle's frontal collision and crash.
A motorcycle becomes dangerous if the rider throws caution to the wind and rides dangerously, and crashes.
Motorcycles are challenging to spot.
Many people base this assumption that it's hard for a vehicle driver to spot a motorcycle due to the car's blind spots. They claim that it's challenging to miss a huge object, such as another vehicle, let alone a smaller object such as a motorcycle.
Sure, a motorcycle is smaller, but it's as visible as any other vehicle on the road, blindspot or not! That's why every driver should turn their head to compensate for the blindspots and check for any traffic before turning or changing lanes.
It's no wonder over 65% of accidents involving multiple cars occurred due to one of these cars violating a motorcycle's right of way. In most cases, right-of-way violation accidents occur when another vehicle cuts off or collides with the motorcycle head-on and when the motorcycle swerves off the road to avoid a more severe crash.
Recklessness on the road.
Not all motorcycle riders are careless on the road. Some take road safety seriously and engage in practices that boost their safety and other road users.
This assumption stems from the fact over 50% of motorcycle accidents comprise riders who haven't been riding for more than five months. Additionally, 92% of these riders never received formal training on responsible and safe motorcycle riding.
Most motorcycle riders are young (20-29) and inexperienced. Regardless, stereotyping all motorcycle riders are reckless is baseless.
Motorcycles are noisy
The main reason motorcycles are noisier than cars is because their engines are open to air and atmosphere. There's no casing or shielding to mute the pistons as they pound within. However, engine designs have improved to reduce this sound.
On the other hand, this sound acts as a safety mechanism while on the road. The loud motorcycle noise can warn those reckless drivers or those who blame their car's blindspots. Should an accident occur, then the rider doesn't have any fault.
Motorcycle riders Overspeed
According to NHTSA data, most motorcycle accidents occur when the bike is moving at less than 30 miles per hour (29.8mph, to be precise). This speed drops to 21.5mph at the point of impact.
Further, only 0.1% of motorcycles clock over 85mph before an accident.
Keep in mind the average motorcycle speeds range between 80 - 165 mph. Only a handful of riders–even the experienced ones–come close to such speeds, maybe on racing tracks.
So, how fair is it to stereotype motorcycle riders as overspeeding, yet only one out of 1,000 rides at high speeds?
Motorcyclists bear the risk.
Motor vehicle drivers assume other drivers are careful on the road and mind other road users.
Motorcycle riders aren't any different.
No careful motorcycle rider hits the road knowing they'll cause an accident or be involved in one. Only a careless rider bears the risk of an accident. Sadly, most parties assume the rider was careless and bear the risk of being in the accident.
Outcomes of Motorcycle Bias
Motorcycle bias is present through all the stages of your claim, from the accident scene to the halls of justice.
With that in mind, the following are the negative impacts of motorcycle bias on your claim:
- Insurance companies will undervalue your claim
- Incorrect statements from the authorities, especially if you are unable to provide your statement
- Unfair compensation
- Biased judge and jury who might find you guilty
- Inaccurate reports from witnesses and other road users
Eliminate Unfair Motorcycle Bias With the Help of an Attorney
Eliminating motorcycle bias in your motorcycle accident claim is painstaking, especially if you decide to do it alone without any legal safety net.
With a mentality that motorbike riders are wild and anti-social risk-takers, it can be challenging to convince the masses otherwise. Even when reports indicate that 60% of accidents involving a vehicle and motorbike, the vehicle driver is at fault.
Including a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney in your claim is the best course of action. The attorney will:
- Gather all evidence, such as
- CCTV footage
- Accident scene images
- Correct statements from the authorities, first responders and witnesses
- Relevant medical reports
- Any other relevant documentation
- Handle all paperwork
- Negotiate fair damage recovery with the insurers
- Conduct a thorough case evaluation
- Represent you in court
- Prove the four elements of negligence against the other road user
The most effective way to get rid of motorcycle bias is to base your claim on facts. Your motorcycle accident attorney will do precisely that.
We'll Protect Your Claim From Motorcycle Bias.
A motorcycle accident can change your life permanently. If you or your loved one have been in such an accident, you may be eligible for damage recovery.
At Nicolet Law, our professional motorcycle attorneys are ready to overcome motorcycle bias on your claim. With a long streak of success, we take pride in helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. Don't let motorcycle bias affect your claim and jeopardize your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.