Many insurance companies allege in their advertisements, including on radio and television, that they are on the side of an accident victim. However, nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, as big businesses, insurance companies are interested only in safeguarding their own interests — which means their bottom line.
To accomplish this goal, insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid making a monetary payout to an accident victim or at least significantly reduce the compensation they offer. By taking this course, insurance companies hope to keep as much of their money in-house as possible for themselves.
In addition, many insurance companies are biased against certain individuals who file personal injury claims. This is especially true when it comes to operators of motorcycles. Insurance companies are sometimes biased against motorcyclists because they incorrectly feel that all motorcyclists drive carelessly and recklessly.
They also tend to believe that all motorcyclists speed and violate traffic laws. Therefore, some insurance companies will try to hold a motorcyclist liable for the resulting accident and their injuries.
When dealing with insurance companies and their adjusters, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer advancing your legal interests and aggressively advocating for you.
A Chicago motorcycle accident attorney can handle all settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives and pursue the full monetary damages you need and deserve for your injuries.
Additionally, if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for the injuries that you suffered, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf and, if necessary, litigate your case at a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.
At every stage of the proceedings, your lawyer will aggressively advocate for you and your legal interests in pursuing the maximum monetary compensation you deserve for your accident-related losses.
What Are the Biases That Some Insurance Companies Have Against Motorcycle Operators?
Many insurance companies tend to hold biases toward motorcycle operators. For example, some insurance companies may assume that an injured motorcyclist will require high monetary compensation upon suffering injuries in an accident.
Motorcyclist injuries are often severe and costly, as they are directly exposed to their environment and have extremely limited protection in an accident scenario, unlike riders in enclosed motor vehicles. Insurers might approach motorcycle injury claims with immediate skepticism and bias because they know that significant monetary compensation can be on the line.
Additionally, insurance companies sometimes automatically blame motorcycle operators for accidents. They may believe that all cyclists speed or drive carelessly and recklessly while on the road. However, most of the time, other individuals drive negligently.
The insurance company may also believe that all motorcyclists are inexperienced and young drivers and do not have the proper knowledge or skills to ride carefully and safely. However, before getting on a motorcycle, many individuals spend numerous miles on the road and complete safety courses.
Unfortunately, an insurance company's bias against motorcyclists may translate into fewer settlement dollars in the context of an accident. Therefore, if you suffered injuries while riding a motorcycle and another driver is to blame, you need to consult a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can review and investigate the circumstances of your accident, file a claim on your behalf, and aggressively negotiate for favorable settlement compensation in your case.
Why Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Actually Happen?
Contrary to what some insurance companies and their adjusters believe, most motorcycle accidents result from other drivers' negligence.
Driver negligence can take many forms, and when a driver engages in reckless behavior, they may cause an accident that results in a motorcyclist falling off their bike and onto the ground, suffering severe injuries as a result.
Road rage is a common form of driver negligence that leads to motorcycle accidents. In general, road rage is just another term for egregious or reckless driving.
A driver may exhibit road rage by tailgating another vehicle, speeding around them, cutting them off in traffic, or failing to use a turn signal when switching lanes. Unfortunately, these maneuvers may cause the driver to inadvertently bring about a crash with a nearby motorcyclist, resulting in serious injuries.
Other drivers may also cause motorcycle accidents when they speed, fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists at the proper times, fail to use their mirrors, and disobey other standard traffic laws and regulations. Additionally, drivers who do not use their vehicle lane change warnings, backup cameras, and other technological devices may negligently cause a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle accidents may also occur when people drive while distracted. Because a motorcycle is low to the ground, a driver who is not paying attention to the road can easily miss seeing one, negligently bringing about a collision.
Some of the most common types of distracted driving include making a cellular phone call without using a Bluetooth device, reading a text message on a phone or watch, roughhousing with vehicle passengers, listening to loud music or adjusting the volume on a stereo system, personal grooming, and eating or drinking while driving.
All these activities may cause a driver to take their eyes off the road and negligently cause a collision with a nearby motorcyclist.
Finally, when other people drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may negligently cause an accident with a motorcyclist. Drivers are legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the posted limit.
In the case of passenger vehicle operators, that limit is typically a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.
A legally intoxicated driver may not see a motorcyclist in the vicinity and bring about a serious accident. Alternatively, an intoxicated driver may experience impaired vision, limited concentration, and lack of coordination, all of which may prevent a driver from operating their vehicle carefully and safely.
If you sustained injuries that a negligent driver caused in a motorcycle accident, you should speak to a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in your area as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can obtain a copy of the police report and investigate your accident's circumstances.
If necessary, your attorney might also retain an accident reconstructionist who can speak with witnesses, review police investigation reports, visit the accident scene, and draft a report about how, in their opinion, the motorcycle crash occurred. An expert accident reconstructionist may also testify on your behalf at a deposition or civil jury trial in your case.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim with the Responsible Driver's Insurer
In motorcycle accident cases where another driver is negligent, the injured accident victim may file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. These are called third-party claims.
To begin a third-party claim for monetary damages, your lawyer will need to gather relevant documents and assemble them into a settlement demand package.
Those documents may include copies of police investigation reports, medical bills, medical records, lost-wage documents from your employer, photographs of your injuries, property damage photographs, X-rays and imaging studies, and written witness statements.
The insurance company will use these documents to evaluate your claim, and the adjuster handling your case may send a settlement offer to your attorney.
Even in serious injury cases, initial settlement offers from insurance companies are usually very low. Because many adjusters view motorcycle accident claims with skepticism, they are not likely to give you a favorable monetary award, at least from the onset.
However, your motorcycle accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate on your behalf by highlighting the strength of your case and downplaying any weaknesses. Moreover, if it appears that the insurance company will not make you a reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer can promptly threaten the insurance company with in-court litigation.
If litigation becomes necessary in your case, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court all the way to a jury trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding, such as mediation or binding arbitration.
Recovering Damages for Injuries in a Motorcycle Crash
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident resulting from another driver's negligence, your attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf or litigate your case in the court system.
The monetary damages that an accident victim will recover usually depend upon the severity of their injuries, whether they suffered a permanent injury, and the specific circumstances of their accident.
First, accident victims may pursue compensation for their medical expenses, including the cost of doctor visits, medical procedures, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Additionally, if the motorcycle accident victim had to take time off work to attend medical appointments and recover from their injuries, they may bring a lost-wage claim. If they had to switch to a lower-paying job due to the severity of their injuries, they may pursue a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition to these monetary damages, motorcycle crash victims may recover compensation for their intangible losses, including loss of spousal consortium and companionship, loss of life enjoyment, loss of use of a body part, pain and suffering, mental distress, permanent disfigurement or disability, inconvenience, and lifetime or long-term care costs after the accident.
Your attorney will do everything they can to maximize the monetary compensation you receive for the injuries you sustained in a negligence-related motorcycle accident.
Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
Upon suffering injuries in a local motorcycle accident, time is of the essence. This time constraint is due, in part, to the state statute of limitations, which specifies that motorcycle accident victims have only two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking monetary recovery for their injuries.
If they fail to file their lawsuit within that time frame, then absent a few limited circumstances, they may no longer file a claim for monetary damages in the future.
To preserve your right to recover the financial compensation you deserve, you need to retain a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in your case as soon as possible.
Your attorney can enter an appearance on your behalf and start advocating for you by filing a claim or personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney will then aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives or litigate your case in civil court.
As an injured motorcyclist, never assume the insurance company will help you. They have inherent biases against motorcyclists and tend to automatically blame you or undervalue your injuries. You should hire legal representation for any type of injury claim, but it is especially important following a motorcycle crash.
Seek your free consultation and case assessment from a motorcycle accident attorney near you as soon as possible.