If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, you may think that filing an insurance claim will be just like any other claim. However, there are a few key differences between filing an insurance claim for a motorcycle and car.
Motorcycle accident claims are a little trickier to handle than car accident claims, so having a motorcycle accident lawyer in San Jose can help ensure that you receive everything you’re entitled to especially when an insurance company is involved.
What Is the Difference Between Motorcycle and Car Crashes?
Motorcyclists often experience more traumatic and severe injuries and have a higher fatality rate in collisions than car or truck drivers. In fact, over 5,400 motorcycle accident deaths were reported in 2020.
Unlike motor vehicle drivers of passenger cars, motorcyclists are not shielded and are more exposed to harm during an auto accident. A motorcycle offers minimal shielding and no airbags or seat belts.
How Motorcycle Lawsuits Differ From Other Vehicle Lawsuits
Motorcycle lawsuits follow a similar structure to car accident suits: you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent your case and follow their instructions, just as you would hire a car accident lawyer if you were in a car. You compile your documents, the lawyer negotiates with the other party, and hopefully, you come to a settlement.
However, the similarities often stop there. First, there’s often a bias against motorcycle riders in general, and juries don’t know as much about the nature of motorcycle accidents as they do about car accidents.
In addition, motorcyclists often sustain far more complicated and serious injuries, which means longer hospital stays, higher medical bills, and longer aftercare and treatment to recover. These accumulated costs can equate to a bigger settlement. However, recovering that settlement from the insurers will be a challenge. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a skilled personal injury attorney in San Jose.
What Is the Bias Against Motorcycle Riders?
Stereotypes and social taboos have created a negative connotation surrounding motorcyclists. Although unfair, some jurors may conjure an image of a reckless, dangerous biker gang when looking at the plaintiff instead of an everyday person like themselves. That bias may affect your case.
However, an experienced attorney in San Jose should recognize if there is a bias against you and mitigate it in court.
Attorneys Help Juries Understand Motorcycle Accident Cases Better
Most of the people in the jury drive cars, but few have ever been on a bike. They may not understand exactly how your accident happened. For example, speed often creates greater stability for a biker. Unfortunately, speed also equals recklessness in the minds of many car drivers, and they may assume a motorcycle rider was careless.
A good attorney will be able to explain the mechanics of operating a bike so that a jury understands, giving them greater insight into your situation.
Who Is Responsible for a Wreck Between a Car and a Motorcycle?
Ultimately, it’s the job of the police on the scene to establish fault after crashes between motor vehicles. Sometimes the road conditions can be more perilous to motorcycle riders than car drivers, and the biker may spin out of control.
Other times, cars may not even notice that there’s a motorcycle in the other lane. Many accidents are caused by a driver not checking their blind spot thoroughly. When the car changes lanes, the motorcyclist simply can’t get out of the way fast enough.
Another common cause of bike accidents is “lane splitting,” where the driver maneuvers in between two slowed or stopped lanes of traffic. Lane splitting is legal in California, and other vehicles may not deliberately block or impede these drivers.
Even so, motorcyclists may be especially vulnerable when splitting lanes. In fact, the California Highway Patrol advises that only very experienced motorcycle riders should attempt it due to the risk. Even though bikers are within their rights on the road by lane splitting, it can still be hard for juries to see this.
Let an Experienced Lawyer Handle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? Get the compensation you deserve with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Many insurance companies may be aware of the biases against motorcycle riders and try to settle for a pittance. A personal injury lawyer familiar with motorcycle cases can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Valley Accident Attorneys knows how to handle even the most complicated personal injury claims that deal with motorcycle injury cases. Call us today to schedule a free consultation for your case.