Motorcyclists are common victims of injuries in car accidents, partly due to the smaller relative size of their vehicle and the lack of protection it provides compared to a car or truck. Unfortunately, even though motorcyclists often struggle with more severe injuries after crashes, they are also more likely to be the victims of bias when dealing with an insurance company to get compensation for their injuries.
While handling insurance company biases against motorcyclists isn't easy, it is certainly possible. If you are a motorcyclist struggling with injuries from an accident, talk to a lawyer right away. A motorcycle accident lawyer can handle the biases your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company may have against you to get the compensation you need.
The Problem of Insurance Company Bias
The problem of insurance company bias against motorcyclists is not too hard to understand. Various factors influence their bias, but those reasons aren't good reasons. If you are the victim of bias, you need someone who can help you fight a legal battle against the insurance company to get what you deserve. However, it can be helpful to understand why insurance companies may be biased against motorcyclists.
Motorcyclist Injuries Cost A Lot
According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 65 percent of motorcyclists use helmets, while around 5,000 motorcyclists die and over 80,000 sustain injuries in any given year. The high cost of motorcyclist injuries and deaths is often correlated to not wearing helmets or driving safely. While this may be true for a few motorcyclists, it is hardly true for everyone who rides a motorcycle.
Unfortunately, though, the injuries that motorcyclists suffer usually cost a lot more than the injuries that drivers of other vehicles suffer. The average cost to treat a single motorcyclist after an accident is at least $15,321, which adds up to over $81 million per year in total costs paid to motorcyclists—and that's just medical costs. The cost of paying for personal and value of life losses is closer to $10 million per person.
Insurance companies make their money in a very simple and specific way. They earn money from insurance premiums their customers pay to them. They aim to pay less in settlement costs than they earn each year.
So, if they earn, for example, $10 million a year from their customers' premiums, they want to pay less than that in settlement costs. Ideally, they probably don't want to pay more than $8 million or so to ensure that they earn at least a couple million dollars each year.
Because motorcyclist injuries cost a lot, insurance companies try to pay as little as possible to help them cover those injuries and losses.
Motorcyclists Get a Bad Reputation
Motorcyclists often get a bad reputation among insurance companies, police officers, and car drivers.
In addition, a lot of motorcyclists are young and inexperienced.
Even if this isn't true of you, you may find that insurance companies, policemen, and others assume that you don't have a lot of experience on your motorcycle and probably did something wrong that led to the crash.
This isn't true. Suppose you drive your motorcycle with care and respect. The insurance company shouldn't group you with those who don't drive as safely. However, this is often what insurance companies will do, which may make it harder for you to get the compensation you deserve after an accident that wasn't your fault.
The High Cost of Damages After a Motorcycle Crash
It's probably already obvious to you that there are many, many damages that motorcyclists have to deal with after a crash. Because motorcycle crashes can take so much away from you, you must get enough compensation to help pay for your losses. If you don't, you may end up bankrupt or deeply in debt for the rest of your life.
You may find yourself suffering from:
- Medical expenses include emergency room visits, surgeries, operations, ongoing therapy, medication prescriptions, equipment like wheelchairs, etc.
- Property damage costs to pay for the repair or replacement of a motorcycle and any other property like your phone damaged in the crash.
- Loss of income during the days and weeks you had to take off to recover.
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries render you unable to return to work in the same job or capacity as before.
- Pain and suffering.
- Scarring, disfigurement, and humiliation.
- Emotional trauma and distress.
- Loss of life enjoyment.
- Loss of consortium.
Economic and non-economic damages figure into the total settlement amount you should get after an accident. You need compensation to get on the road to recovery as soon as possible. However, suppose a biased insurance company doesn't want to offer you the compensation you need.
In that case, you may find that your recovery is taking a lot longer because of the stress you endure while trying to get a settlement and pay for your costs.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Fight Insurance Company Bias
If you're the victim of insurance company bias, you cannot fight against that bias to get what you need without a lawyer's support. Thankfully, many motorcycle accident lawyers can guide you through the insurance claims process and negotiate an appropriate and fair settlement with the insurance company.
There are several ways that a lawyer can help you fight insurance company bias to get the settlement you deserve.
Lawyers Know the Law
Many people don't think about this when trying to negotiate a settlement after an accident. While you can look up insurance laws and coverage options to learn more, you can't learn all you need to know about the legal requirements of insurance companies in time to fight them if they want to get around a certain law.
Personal injury lawyers know a lot about insurance and the laws surrounding it. They can help you learn the laws you and the insurance company must follow in a settlement negotiation. If they notice that an insurance company is disobeying the law or trying to get around a legal requirement, they can stop that at once and help you get things back on track.
Lawyers Can Prove Your Claim
You know how an accident has caused you suffering. You probably don't know how to convey that to an insurance company so that they'll listen to you when you claim that you need more compensation. Lawyers can help you with that.
To prove that you have a strong claim, you must show four things:
- Prove that the person who caused the accident, also known as the defendant, owed you a duty of care that any reasonable person could expect.
- Prove that the defendant's lack of care and negligence caused the accident.
- Prove that the accident is the cause of your injuries (i.e., you can't claim compensation for pre-existing injuries).
- Prove that the injuries that the accident caused are severe and have negatively impacted your life.
To prove these things, you'll need a variety of evidence, including things like:
- Medical bills and records
- Receipts for repairs or the replacement of various property
- Documentation of lost work and lost wages
- Any photos or video footage available from the accident scene
- The applicable police report
- A journal with details of your personal, physical, financial, and emotional sufferings
- Testimony from medical experts who can speak to the future impact your injuries will have on your life
Gathering the evidence and proving those four criteria should not be difficult. Still, insurance companies can put up a pretty good fight if they don't want to pay the amount of compensation you're requesting.
A lawyer knows how to present the evidence they gather convincingly and compellingly so that the insurance company can't help but believe that you suffered significantly and deserve all the compensation you can get.
Lawyers Know the Facts
Insurance companies may be easily led astray into bias when they don't stop to consider the evidence in an accident claim. However, this bias doesn't reflect reality. If you want to ensure that the insurance company you're working with sees how things are, you want a lawyer to show them the facts of the case.
Lawyers can easily distinguish fact from fiction and choose which facts are relevant and which are not. They can present the evidence they gather so that insurance companies see how things happened, not how they might have expected things to happen based on preconceived notions about motorcyclists.
If you want the facts and evidence in your case to see the light they deserve and use them appropriately to get you compensation, speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you.
How to Get Started With an Insurance Claim After an Accident
Of course, you must call your insurance company as soon as you're in an accident. They may help you with many things while you wait for your case to settle. However, ultimately, you will want the insurance party of the at-fault party to pay for most of the costs and damages you'll incur.
To make this process go more quickly and easily for you and your lawyers, you can:
- Call a personal injury lawyer right away so that they can start gathering evidence.
- Call your insurance company but never apologize or admit to anything that you may think you did wrong.
- Seek out the medical treatment you need no matter how expensive it is getting well again is your main priority.
- Keep medical records and bills.
- Keep receipts, documentation of lost wages, and any other relevant paperwork.
- Start keeping a journal of how your injuries are impacting your life.
- Stay quiet about the details of the accident don't discuss it extensively with family and friends or post about it on social media.
If you follow these steps, your lawyer can more easily help you overcome the obstacles to your claim, defeat insurance company bias, and get the compensation you deserve.
Hiring a Lawyer to Overcome Insurance Company Bias Is Easy
Don't be afraid that hiring a lawyer is too difficult to do. It isn't hard.
All you have to do is find a lawyer who has:
- Experience fighting claims against insurance companies and helping motorcyclists.
- Empathy for you and your family in your situation.
- Education in the law in your state and the facts you'll need to successfully fight your claim.
Find a lawyer dedicated to justice and helping clients get the absolute best possible settlements after their accidents. Once you've found a lawyer, it's easy to hand over evidence and work with them to win your claim.
In addition, motorcycle accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, so if you don't win your claim with them, you don't have to pay them anything. They will take a percentage of any winnings you get as compensation so that you don't have to pay a single penny out of pocket.
Don't be afraid to get a lawyer to help you fight and win your claim against an insurance company. Reach out to an experienced lawyer today to get started on your claim.