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Insurance companies spend a lot of money on advertising campaigns that are designed to convince the public that they care about their well-being and happiness. But in reality, insurance companies want to make as much money as possible. And unfortunately, paying victims fair settlements doesn’t align with that goal.
Insurers are biased against anyone who files claims, whether it’s their own policyholders or people who were hurt by their policyholders. But one group of claimants stands out for getting especially poor treatment from insurance companies: motorcyclists. Almost all injured victims face uphill battles when they go to insurers for settlements, but riders have it worst of all.
Almost any injured motorcyclist who filed a compensation claim can tell you that the insurance company didn’t treat them fairly, but what’s the reason for such a clear and strong bias?
The actions of a few can change the perception of the rest. That’s the unfortunate case for motorcyclists, especially in the eyes of insurance companies. Although most riders in Ohio are safe, attentive, and respectful, some aren’t.
Riders who speed, weave in and out of traffic, follow too closely, or are even associated with gang activity create a bad name and image for all motorcyclists. That means that even the most safety-conscious riders can get lumped in with their poorly behaving counterparts. When responsible riders are hurt in crashes that weren’t their fault and they need compensation, insurance adjusters often believe they MUST have been the true at-fault parties.
Another reason that insurance companies are biased against motorcyclists is the amount of money they often need after crashes. Motorcycles have no built-in safety features to protect riders. It’s up to motorcyclists to protect themselves by wearing safety gear like helmets, jackets, pants, gloves, and boots. But even the most well-equipped riders are still likely to suffer severe injuries during crashes.
Insurance companies want to pay claimants as little as possible to protect their profits. When injured motorcyclists file claims, they know they’re likely to be on the hook for big settlements. That means they often treat motorcyclists poorly and with extreme skepticism from the moment they report their crashes or file their compensation claims.
Insurance companies and their adjusters aren’t the only ones who have preconceived notions and biases against riders. Police officers, other drivers, and even witnesses also may be biased against motorcyclists—often without realizing it.
For example, the responding police officer at a crash involving a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle may already assume the motorcyclist was at fault. The driver of the passenger vehicle may also believe the motorcyclist was at fault, and witnesses may wrongly report that the motorcyclist was speeding or riding recklessly. If the police officer doesn’t collect evidence or do more digging, he may quickly assign full or partial blame to the riders, making it difficult or impossible for them to get compensation.
Riding a motorcycle safely requires great skill. For most riders, that skill comes through completing safety courses and accumulating years and thousands of miles of experience. When young and inexperienced riders are involved in crashes, insurance companies are quick to believe that they are the at-fault parties, even when evidence suggests otherwise.
On the flip side, insurance companies are also biased against older, veteran riders. And while it’s true that safely riding a motorcycle requires fast reflexes and excellent fine motor skills, those traits can be compensated for by years of experience in older riders. However, insurance adjusters often believe that older riders are a danger to themselves and others, regardless of how many years and miles of safe riding they have under their belts.
After a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you need two things:
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, it’s our goal to provide you with both. We know the uphill battles that motorcyclists face after negligent drivers hurt them, and we’ll work hard to get you maximum compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
Contact us today for a free consultation with our Ohio motorcycle accident lawyers. You’ve been through enough already— let us take on your claim, so that you can rest and focus on getting better.
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