Some motorcyclists have a reputation for being thrill-seeking daredevils. While some motorcyclists fit this mold, most riders are law-abiding citizens who operate their bikes responsibly and enjoy cruising on their motorcycles. Regardless, insurance companies can harbor bias towards motorcycle riders and often treat them differently than other drivers after an accident.
This bias can adversely affect your settlement offers from insurance adjusters during the claim process because they think you’re reckless and dangerous on a motorcycle. However, that does not mean you should give up on your rights as a motorcyclist or settle for less than what you should receive after an injury caused by someone else’s negligence!
Why Insurance Companies Harbor Bias Towards Motorcyclists
The fact that so many people can tell you that they didn’t get treated fairly by their insurance company should speak volumes about how unfair the system is towards motorcycle riders.
If an accident occurs and someone files a claim against your policy, it could cost you more money than if another type of driver had caused the same accident. Insurance companies view motorcyclists as risky investments.
This doesn’t mean all motorcyclists are bad drivers. Still, because many people live by stereotypes rather than facts, they assume all motorcyclists are bad drivers without considering the facts.
Preconceived Notions About Motorcyclists by Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often have a preconceived notion that motorcyclists are reckless drivers more likely to be involved in an accident. This is because insurance companies believe that motorcyclists:
- Are likely to speed
- Are likely to lack experience
- Are less likely to wear protective gear
- Are more likely to be involved in a severe accident
- Are more likely to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Are more likely to have higher rates of injury and death
In reality, these preconceived notions are not valid. Insurance companies make these assumptions based on data from previous years that show motorcyclists were involved in more accidents than drivers of other vehicles. Due to these preconceived notions, insurance companies often charge motorcyclists higher rates than other drivers.
However, despite these preconceived notions, motorcycle accidents are not always the motorcyclist’s fault. They often result from negligent drivers who cause accidents while driving other vehicles like cars and trucks.
The fact is, it is no more dangerous to ride a motorcycle than it is to drive a car. Statistics show that there are fewer fatalities per mile driven by motorcyclists than for drivers of other types of vehicles. In addition, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of fatal head injury by 67 percent and the risk of serious injury by 69 percent in the event of an accident.
Motorcyclists tend to be more experienced than other drivers. For example, many motorcyclists have taken the time to learn how to drive their rides safely and responsibly. They also know how to handle their motorcycles in all types of weather conditions which helps them avoid accidents that may occur due to inclement weather conditions.
How the Motorcycle Bias Adversely Affects Injury Settlement Offers
The insurance companies are well aware of the prejudice against motorcyclists and how it can impact their offers. They’ll use this to try and lowball your case, but if you have an attorney who knows what they’re doing, you’ll be able to counter their offer with a fair one that takes into account the facts of your case.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows how to ensure their client gets the full measure of damages they deserve after being hurt in an accident caused by another person’s negligence on public roads.
How Can Motorcyclists Ride Safely to Overcome Motorcycle Bias?
Motorcyclists can ride safely by following the rules of the road and being aware of their surroundings at all times. Some of the best ways to ride safely are:
Always wear a helmet
Helmets can prevent serious head injuries, which can be life-changing or even fatal. Motorcyclists need to wear helmets every time they hop on their rides to protect them from any potential accidents.
Motorcyclists should never be the aggressors and should always be aware of the potential for danger around them while on their motorcycles. This may not seem like a great way to have fun, but defensive riding is crucial to motorcyclist safety.
Wear protective clothing
It’s easy to imagine how much worse an accident would be if you weren’t wearing appropriate gear or didn’t have proper safety equipment on your motorcycle. You can help ensure this doesn’t happen by wearing a helmet, jacket, boots, and gloves every time you ride—even if it’s just around town for groceries!
Get in shape
Before hopping on your motorcycle, get in shape so that if an accident does occur, it won’t take place because of health problems caused by poor cardiovascular fitness (such as asthma). It’s better safe than sorry when dealing with motorcycles: make sure you’re ready for the worst.
Always keep an eye on the road
Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on around you at all times. When riding, always keep an eye on the road and make sure other drivers see you. If vehicles are ahead of you or behind, don’t tailgate—there’s no reason for it!
Keep distance between yourself and other vehicles
Motorcycles are smaller than cars, and this is why it’s essential to leave room between yourself and the vehicle in front of you; otherwise, collisions could occur from lingering in a vehicle’s blind spot.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Motorcycle Injury Claim
There are steps you can take to protect your rights and claim. If you have been in an accident, it is best to get a copy of the police report, accident report, insurance policy, and business practices of the insurance company. Get all the information about the other driver who caused this crash. You should also ask for a copy of their internal investigation if one was conducted after an accident. This will help your attorney build a strong case.
You may want to work with an experienced attorney who understands how insurance companies try to deny legitimate claims and will fight for what’s right. Because most motorcycle accidents involve two vehicles, protecting yourself from discrimination by an insurer or claim agent is crucial if you want insurance companies to see you as a safe driver.
Therefore, ensure you have a clean record. This includes having no prior convictions, such as drunk/drugged or reckless driving. Such offenses would cause your insurer to view you as a risk and charge higher premiums for coverage.
Let Us Help You Fight the Motorcycle Bias
Motorcyclists are entitled to fair settlements after an accident. However, being a motorcyclist, you must fight for your rights and disprove the insurance companies’ dangerous stereotypes about your driving habits. While these stereotypes are false, insurance companies will use them to their benefit.
An attorney with experience working with motorcyclists understands how to fight against the insurance company’s assumptions.
If you have been injured in an accident while riding your motorcycle or scooter in Florida or Alabama, and need help with medical bills and lost wages, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys of Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers at (850) 444-0000. You can also fill out our online contact form to get started.
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
How do I know if my injuries are severe enough to file a motorcycle accident claim?
If you were in an accident, the most important thing to do is seek medical attention. Ensure that a trusted mechanic examines your motorcycle to determine if there is any damage to either vehicle. If there is physical evidence of the accident and you have medical bills, it will be easier for an attorney to determine if you have a case.
What are the consequences of motorcycle bias?
The motorcycle bias can lead to higher insurance premiums, which may make it difficult for some motorcyclists to afford insurance. It may also cause you to lose coverage if your insurer decides that riding a motorcycle is too risky and cancels your policy.