When it comes to great fuel efficiency, fast acceleration, responsive handling, and overall “cool” factor, it’s hard to beat a motorcycle. But riding a motorcycle is fraught with danger. Unlike passenger vehicles, motorcycles have no safety features, and it’s up to riders to protect themselves with helmets, jackets, pants, gloves, and boots.
To make matters worse, motorcyclists face dangers not just on the road, but also after crashes. That’s because insurance companies are notorious for reducing or denying their claims. As soon as they find out that a claimant was riding a motorcycle, whether they represent the rider or the other driver, their biases kick in, and that means riders rarely get a fair shake.
In this blog, we discuss why insurance companies give unfair treatment to motorcyclists and what their options are after accidents.
Insurance Companies Believe the Stereotypes about Riders
Most motorcyclists are safe, responsible people. But for decades, the outliers have created an image that fills popular consciousness and unfortunately follows all riders, regardless of their behavior on the road. From leather jackets and bar fights to “crotch rockets” and wheelies, the reckless side of motorcycle culture means that ALL riders face consequences when they get injured.
Insurance companies also know that judges and juries may believe the same stereotypes. That means they’re more likely to treat injured motorcyclists poorly without fear of their claims going to trial. They believe that the “court of public opinion” is against riders, which means that juries will be more likely to rule against injured motorcyclists or side with insurance companies who say riders are at fault for their injuries.
These Stereotypes Mean Insurers Are More Skeptical About Motorcycle Claims
People aren’t always driven solely by facts. Emotions and preconceived notions come into play when processing information, and insurance adjusters are no exception to this rule. So, when insurance adjusters are assigned to motorcycle accident claims, they often make up their minds right away that the motorcyclists were either fully or partially at fault—even when evidence shows otherwise.
Assigning fault is the most important part of personal injury claims. Oklahoma is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that riders can still get compensation for crashes provided they’re less than 51% at fault. But every percentage of fault that riders are assigned means less money in their pockets for medical bills and lost wages.
And while the fault for the crash is typically assigned via the responding police officer’s accident report, insurance companies are free to make up their minds about who is at fault after a crash. That means that even if a motorcyclist is found to be free from all fault, or only slightly at fault, the insurance company and adjuster can claim they are fully at fault by refusing to pay their claim.
An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic and painful enough as-is. And it can be a slap in the face to find out that an insurance company that’s supposed to help you is reducing or denying your claim because they believe you’re reckless. When this happens, many injured motorcyclists are tempted to give up.
At Parrish DeVaughn, our Oklahoma City motorcycle accident lawyers can take your claim and protect your rights to full compensation. We won’t let the insurance company’s biases deny you the money you’re owed. We’ll collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault for the crash, and we’ll ensure that they know what the evidence says—especially when it flies in the face of their biases.
Contact us today for a free consultation. You’ve been through enough already, and you need an experienced legal advocate who can take the stress of the crash and your injury claim off your shoulders.