Being in a motorcycle accident can be quite a bit different than being in a car accident. While motorcycles and cars both serve as forms of transportation, the accident claims for both vehicles can be very different because of the expected payouts, any biases from insurance companies against motorcycles in general, and the inability of some lawyers to recognize the difference between the two claim types.
Bigger Damages Means Bigger Payouts
First, consider the difference between a motorcycle and an automobile. For starters, most automobiles provide greater protection for their drivers. A car driver and passengers enjoy the protection of being encased in a metal frame with doors, seatbelts, and airbags to help limit injuries during an accident.
Compare that to a motorcycle, which has none of those options. A motorcycle driver operates their vehicle with only the protection of the helmet and safety gear they’ve opted to wear. And depending on the state in question, that protective gear may not even be a requirement to operate a motorcycle. In Texas, the “helmet requirements and exemptions are you must wear a helmet if you are under 21 and you should always wear a helmet for safety, but you may ride without one if you are over 21 and meet an eligible helmet exemption.”
For those reasons, the danger posed to a motorcycle driver is exponentially greater than an automobile driver. And because of that greater chance of injury, any insurance payouts for motorcycle injuries tend to be higher because the injury to the driver tends to be so much worse.
As can often be the case, the perception of motorcyclists as daredevils and risky drivers has been formed by the media and this has led to a bias when it comes to determining the person at fault for an accident. This false bad reputation can lead to wrong assumptions about an accident.
For example, if you associate the idea of motorcyclists with a few irresponsible motorcyclists who speed, ignore the rules of the road, and zip between cars in traffic congestion, then you will likely believe that a motorcyclist is often the one at fault. This bias may result in unfair treatment of drivers of motorcycles.
However, it’s dangerous for anyone to assume that an accident involving a motorcycle was the fault of the motorcyclist. It is particularly problematic if that bias is exhibited by the insurance company processing your claim. It can often be the fault of the automobile driver if they were not paying attention and were unaware of the motorcyclist because of its smaller size. Assuming that the motorcyclist must have been doing something risky to cause the accident is an incorrect belief that can lead to the wrong driver being blamed.
Like all accidents, motorcyclists need, if they are able, to gather information about the accident, witness names, the other driver’s information, and the police officer’s information. Bias has been known to exist in the insurance profession when dealing with motorcycle accident claims so the insurance company may not fairly compensate the motorcyclist. More information about the accident’s cause that can be gathered is important to make a claim for compensation.
Inexperienced Personal Injury Lawyers
When you see that your insurance company is lowballing you with their settlement offer, sometimes you will need to get a good personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Unfortunately, not all lawyers have the same expertise regarding personal injury claims involving a motorcycle accident. You will want to look for a personal injury attorney familiar with motorcycle accidents and who has the know-how to negotiate strongly with the insurance company or file a lawsuit if necessary. In addition to the medical care immediately after the accident, you may need long-term physical therapy after the accident or may have permanent injuries.
You may have lost income from being unable to work. Your motorcycle could be a total loss from the damage. All these things need to be considered if you are to be fairly compensated. Sugar Land Personal Injury Attorney, Adam Capetillo, and the staff of the Capetillo Law firm have the experience and compassion to help you in your time of need.