As a motorcycle rider, do you often travel in other motorists’ blind spots for entertainment? Do you lane split, erratically weave around other vehicles, and speed at every opportunity? Probably not, since you value your life and well-being, and know that you put your safety at risk. Unfortunately, this isn’t how other drivers and the general public see you. There’s an inherent bias against riders, which can have a profound effect on your claim if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. Even when you properly obtained your license according to the requirements of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and comply with all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendation s regarding Motorcycle Safety, the prejudice may still remain.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome preconceived notions and biases that surround motorcycle riders. A Virginia motorcycle accident attorney is prepared to tackle the challenges, but you may find some general information useful.
Three Common Sources of Anti-Motorcycle Bias: Bias is a key issue in motorcycle accidents, whether you’re dealing with the insurance company’s claims adjuster or presenting your case to the jury in a courtroom. There are two areas where prejudice tends to follow riders:
- Visibility: Motorcycles are lower profile, narrower, and smaller, making them harder to see.
- Speeding: Motorcycles are generally louder than passenger cars, leading witnesses to make the assumption that the rider is driving too fast.
- Rider Recklessness: The stereotype persists that people who ride motorcycles are daredevils that take too many risks and don’t obey rules of the Virginia Driver’s Manual, thus causing their own injuries.
Strategies for Reducing Bias in Motorcycle Accidents: Traffic-related crashes are usually based upon negligence, which means you must prove that the incident was directly caused by the other driver’s failure to exercise reasonable caution. However, in a motorcycle accident, you also need to go beyond these basic elements to present evidence that contradicts the bias. The best way to fight prejudice is to stick to the facts that an insurer or the jury cannot ignore. Examples include:
- Pictures that show the length and direction of skid marks, both the motorcycle and the other vehicle;
- Images showing the location and extent of the damage to both vehicles;
- Video footage from security cameras that have been installed by businesses in the vicinity;
- Traffic signals and the distance between them, which could be used to demonstrate speed;
- Witness testimony from individuals who were not involved in the crash;
- Your own medical records related to treatment, immediately after the accident and in the time period that follows;
- Your helmet, clothing, boots, gloves, and other equipment that may have been damaged, which can demonstrate that you’re dedicated to safety while riding.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Virginia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Legal representation is critical after you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash. Personal injury attorneys who focus on motorcycle collisions have in-depth knowledge of the various ways to overcome popular – usually incorrect – assumptions about riders. For more information, please contact our office in Buckingham, VA. Herbert E. Maxey Jr. can meet with you at a free consultation to discuss your case.