As we get closer to summer, we wanted to review some of the differences between motorcycle accidents and how they are different from a legal perspective compared to an automobile accident.
The fact is that motorcyclists while following the same laws of the road as automobile drivers, must also possess certain safety equipment and licensing which varies by state. Personal injury claims require an entirely new set of criteria and a timeline for proving a motorcyclist is entitled to compensation. Anything from bias to a failure to gather enough evidence could be the reason behind a failed injury claim for motorcycle drivers.
Motorcycles, unlike automobiles, leave their drivers completely exposed. As a result, the associated injuries tend to be much more physically devastating than automobile injuries. Brain trauma for example is common. So are serious burns, muscle damage, and broken bones. The cost of treating these injuries is likely to be higher than automobile accident injuries, which can influence the way insurance companies behave toward claims.
To receive any sort of compensation, motorcycle drivers must prove without a doubt that they were not at fault for an accident. This can be much harder for motorcyclists than automobile drivers. Riders are subject to specific laws while using the roads and often must prove themselves to be completely in compliance with state safety laws before the fault can be given to another party.
In order for a motorcycle injury claim to be granted, the driver must prove that he or she was not guilty of any negligence and that a defective motorcycle was not the cause of the accident. Evidence of this must be collected, whether through witness observation, the helmet worn at the time of impact or surveillance camera footage. However, motorcycles react differently in accidents than automobiles do, and it can be difficult even for witnesses to truly tell which party is guilty.
Finally, insurance companies may hold preconceived biases about motorcycle drivers. They are assumed to be reckless, unsafe drivers with little to no regard for other motorists. This attitude frequently carries over into important decisions regarding a motorcyclist’s injury claim. For example, an insurance company may try to lower compensation or issue none at all based on the biker stereotype.
Because of the requirements for proving guilt and the existence of unfair biases, it often pays to hire an attorney who is familiar with motorcycle injury cases and aware of the different obstacles that exist in comparison with automobile accidents. They can be extremely complex. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, or know someone who has, contact me to learn about your options.
There’s nothing like getting out on the road to ride your motorcycle when the weather is ideal. Stay safe and call or email us with any questions.