What to Know Before Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Unfortunately, the general public is often biased against motorcyclists, and many people have preconceived negative connotations about motorcycles. While negative stereotypes shouldn’t make their way into a court of law, they often do. If jury members project their negative opinions about motorcycles onto your personal injury case, you may end up not getting the compensation you’re entitled to. It’s important to account for this bias even if your claim doesn’t make its way into the courtroom, as insurance adjusters know about prevailing negative attitudes against motorcyclists, and will often adjust your claim to reflect the money you might be missing out on because of a biased jury if your case goes to court.
There are a few ways you can go about combatting the prevalent bias against motorcycles, whether you choose to settle outside of court or take your case before a jury. A trusted personal injury attorney will be able to tell you which of the following are relevant to your particular case.
If you’ve completed any formal safety or training courses, it’s important to let both your insurance adjuster and personal injury attorney know, as this may be used in conjunction with other facts that can ultimately be used to prove that you care about and are skilled at practicing safe riding techniques. If you haven’t taken any courses, there a few other ways you can prove that you’re a safe rider.
If you’re a seasoned rider, let your attorney and insurance claims adjuster know. A motorcyclist with decades of safe riding under their belt will often be assumed to be a safer rider than a motorcyclist who’s been riding off and on for a few years. If you regularly travel the same route that you were on when you had your accident, it’s important to note this too, as you can make the case that you’re familiar with the safest lanes and any quirks of the route. If you’ve been riding the same motorcycle you were on in the accident for some time, note this too – it will show that you’re accustomed to your vehicle. You’re encouraged to mention your riding history even if you’ve recently switched bikes but they’re of similar styles and sizes, as this can still show that you’re an experienced rider.
A clean driving record will help make the case to your insurance company and/or jury that you’re a safe driver. Even though you were involved in an accident while you were driving a motorcycle, your four-wheeled vehicle driving record may also be used to strengthen your case if it’s free of any incidents that point to driver error or negligence.
You Are What You Wear
Wearing protective clothing like gloves, long pants or chaps, boots, and especially a helmet are another way you can show that you’re a safe, responsible rider. If you were wearing protective clothing at the time of your accident, it’s important to note this – even if your clothing didn’t prevent you from getting injured.
Getting injured in an accident can leave you with a lot of questions, and getting injured in an accident while riding a motorcycle presents its own set of variables that an experienced, licensed attorney can help you navigate. Robert Meissner has over 20 years of experience in getting personal injury cases settled fairly. Give our offices a call at 916.863.2900 and schedule your free consultation today!