Handling Insurance Company Biases Against Motorcyclists

Handling Insurance Company Biases Against Motorcyclists

When it comes to insurance claims involving motorcycles, it's not uncommon for insurance companies to have biases against motorcyclists, which can sometimes lead to unfair treatment, lower settlement offers, or even claim denials. As a motorcyclist, it's essential to understand these biases and know how to handle them to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Insurance companies have a financial motivation to have a bias against motorcyclists. They do little to nothing that does not stem from their economic self-interest. These companies know that the amount of money they need to pay is directly related to the extent of injuries that the motorcyclist has suffered. If they follow the law and pay total compensation when their driver is to blame, it can cost them considerable money.

Thus, insurance companies use any trick to try to hamstring an injured motorcyclist's claim. One of their favorite tactics is to minimize the scope and extent of your injuries. They will claim you are not as badly hurt as you say and offer you less money. Insurance companies can also drag out the claims process to increase your sense of desperation.

To handle insurance companies effectively, it's essential to seek a qualified Vero Beach motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney can help gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and fight for your rights. They can also ensure the insurance company does not undervalue or wrongfully deny your claim.

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Insurance Companies Like to Reflexively Blame the Motorcyclist

Businessman shaking hands to seal a deal in legal consultation with male judges and lawyers discussing contracts and case planning for court.

Insurance companies may assume that motorcyclists are reckless or irresponsible. They may argue that motorcyclists are more prone to accidents due to their smaller size and lack of protection. However, this stereotype is not only unfair but also unfounded. In reality, other drivers cause most motorcycle accidents, not the motorcyclist themselves.

When accidents involve a motorcyclist, insurance companies like to finger-point and shift blame away from their driver. They know that the laws of whatever state where you file your lawsuit allow them to reduce your settlement check by the percentage of the blame you bear. Depending on the state, they might even get out of paying you entirely.

Either way, insurance companies will try to gain an edge in settlement negotiations by arguing that you bear at least some blame for the accident. At this point, your claim can become complicated. Although you suffered an injury and are dealing with a challenging period in your life, you will still need to defend yourself.

For example, insurance companies may claim you were speeding or driving aggressively or argue that you are the one who caused the accident by making an illegal lane change. The insurance company's mentality is that you take the risk the second you choose to get on the motorcycle because that is not what safe people do in society. This attitude overlooks the law and your legal rights.

Hiring a Lawyer May Keep You from Being Unfairly Blamed

Without an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, you may be at a distinct loss in justifying your actions. Insurance companies will never take your word for anything and will not act out of any charitable motivation. No matter how much you deny their allegations, they will not believe you because doing so can cost them a lot of money.

Insurance companies will be far less likely to cause issues for someone who has already hired a lawyer. They know that there will be consequences for them if they have made any unfounded allegations against you. However, if you do not hire a lawyer promptly after your accident, it may be too late to defend yourself against these accusations. 

You may have already taken the first step towards handling insurance companies' biases by ensuring that they are afraid to use them in the first place. Getting a lawyer early in the legal process can provide you with the maximum possible protection of your legal rights. Then, there is a potential safeguard that can keep the insurance company from overreaching.

You Will Have to Counter False Allegations and Fight Back

You may still have to deal with allegations, such as that you were speeding or biking recklessly. In reality, insurance companies do not know you or your level of caution. They seek to paint all motorcyclists with a broad brush. You may be paying the price for a biker’s careless actions that have nothing to do with you.

While the initial focus is on the driver's negligence, you must defend your actions at some point. Just like your lawyer brought evidence to the table that shows what the driver did, they may also need to present proof that shows what you may have done under the circumstances. If the insurance company has given some evidence that backs its claims, the burden of proof may shift to you to show that you did not bear any part of the blame for the accident.

How Your Lawyer Gathers Evidence to Defend You

Word Evidence written through a magnifying glass on a notebook

Your lawyer can do the following to demonstrate and prove your actions surrounding the accident:

  • Review the police report of the accident for any leads to further track down 
  • Interview witnesses who saw the accident and can give their recollections of what they saw
  • Work with an accident reconstruction expert who will give their opinion of what you may have done 
  • Obtain and review pictures of the scene of the accident and any video camera footage of the accident 

Insurance adjusters may try to downplay your injuries or argue that they are not as severe as you claim. Your lawyer will ensure you have thorough medical documentation and expert testimony to counter these biases.

Your Attorney Can Force Insurance Companies to Back Down

The hope is that your lawyer can get insurance companies to back down or change their position in the claims negotiation process. As much as insurance companies like to present themselves as having some power, they actually have none. Their only power comes from their size and bureaucracy; they think you will unquestioningly accept whatever they say.

Do not ever sign a settlement agreement that reflects the wrongful viewpoint that you were partially to blame when you were not. Then, the insurance company wins, and you end up with less money. You may be partially at fault, but the insurance company is overstating your share of the blame. You must continue to negotiate until the final agreement reflects reality better.

You Can Go Around the Insurance Company By Suing in Court

Remember that the actual claims process is optional, and you do not have to settle your claim informally with the insurance company. Many claimants opt for the claims process because it can lead to a quicker case resolution. Still, there is no requirement to deal with insurance companies, especially when they are being unreasonable in the claims process.

Law and Legal services concept.

You can always file a lawsuit against the responsible driver at the outset of the legal process or if you cannot settle your claim with the insurance company. To be clear, insurance companies are still part of the legal process because they must defend their driver. Still, you will take any decision-making power out of their hands and put it into the hands of the jury.

You can take your case to court, and you will need to present your evidence from scratch to a jury. You will have to prove that the driver was negligent in the accident, giving them a financial obligation to pay you. At the same time, you will have to overcome the efforts to blame you for the crash by presenting proof of what you may have done.

There is always a risk when you take your case to court. Insurance companies may have offered you a settlement based on the blame they thought you bear. When the jury decides, it may side with you and find that you were either blameless or less at fault than the insurance company says. However, it can also determine that you were even more to blame than the insurance company said. You can end up with nothing from a trial when you may have gotten money from a settlement. Your lawyer will advise you whether this is a risk that is in your best interests to take.

Insurance Companies Never Imposes a Settlement on You

Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney empowers you in the legal process when the insurance company acts as if you have no power. Insurance companies cannot just magically select the amount of your settlement check and make you sign it. There is a reason why they call it a settlement negotiation: both parties have a say in the process.

Always hire an attorney for a motorcycle accident case. There is no upside in trying to represent yourself. You will not save any money, even if you must pay a lawyer their percentage of your settlement or jury award. If the insurance company gets away with blaming you, there may be no money at all for you. Remember that the entirety of zero is much less than two-thirds of something, meaning that it is better to pay a lawyer than to risk getting nothing at all in compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries.

Then, if an attorney can save you from unfair accusations, it will preserve the size of your settlement. People who have lawyers do better financially time after time in the claims process for these exact reasons. If the insurance company gets away with reducing your compensation, there is less money in your pocket. You may run out of money when you need all the proceeds to pay your medical bills and keep a roof over your head.

You Need to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Right After the Crash

Crashed motorcycle after road accident with a car on a city street

Because of what the insurance company may do, you must hire a lawyer soon after your accident. You may get a call from the adjuster fishing for more information they can use against you when convenient. They can ask you to give a statement, or they may ask seemingly innocuous questions with obvious intent, although you may not know it then.

When you hire an attorney, insurance companies lose the ability to try to contact you directly to pressure you. They will have to go through your lawyer to get to you. An attorney will keep you from making mistakes that can cost you money or even sink your case entirely. A lawyer will get paid the same no matter when you hire them, so it makes sense to reach out immediately to get counsel. If you cannot make the phone call on your own because of your injuries, have a family member do it for you.

There Is No Financial Risk to You in Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

One of the best things about hiring a personal injury lawyer is that you do not take on any financial risk or burden and do not have to pay anything from your bank account. Your attorney will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully settle your case or win a judgment in court. In other words, you don't need to pay anything out of pocket.

Instead, your lawyer will take a percentage of the settlement or judgment you receive as their fee. This arrangement allows you to access the legal representation you need without adding extra financial strain during an already challenging time. Your personal injury lawyer in Vero Beach will work diligently on your case, as their payment depends on the outcome. It ensures that your attorney will put in the necessary time and effort to build a strong case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Remember, if you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, seeking legal representation can significantly change the outcome of your case. The insurance claims process can be complex and intimidating, especially when there are biases against you as a motorcyclist. By retaining an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you can level the playing field and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Don't let insurance companies stand in the way of your rightful recovery.

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