5 Things Motorcycle Lawyers Want Riders to Know

Motorcycle rider

The last thing you’re probably thinking about as you enjoy the freedom of the open road is what could potentially go wrong. Even if you’re the most careful rider on the planet, accidents can happen due to another driver’s negligence or other factors beyond your control.

Whether you’re an experienced rider or just getting started, there are so many things that we want you to know! We’ve distilled our list down to the top five nuggets of valuable information for all riders.

1. Witness Testimony May be Flawed

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, the first thing an insurance company will do is gather evidence to confirm who is at fault. In addition to reviewing police reports, forensic evidence, and traffic cameras, insurance companies may also rely on witness testimony.

The problem with witness testimony from someone who’s never ridden a motorcycle is that they will have ideas and beliefs that are different from what may be based on the everyday reality of a motorcycle rider.

For example, if a witness says you didn’t apply the brakes, it could hurt your case even though braking would not have been a proper maneuver in those circumstances. Motorcycle accident lawyers have knowledge in this area to argue on your behalf.

2. Societal Prejudice Against Motorcycle Riders Is Real

Thanks to pop culture, a lot of the world still sees motorcycle riders as reckless rebels speeding around town without a care in the world,

–   Always wear proper safety gear. If you are in an accident without having protective items, your injuries are bound to be more severe, making it more likely that the insurance company will fight your claim due to the increased costs of medical bills and the concept of comparative negligence.

–   Consider taking supplemental safety courses to demonstrate your knowledge and keep yourself up to date on changing safety standards.

–   If you’re an inexperienced rider, avoid taking on passengers until you’re more confident on the road. It takes skill to adjust to how the additional weight of another person affects your bike’s handling. Plus, it can be seen as irresponsible to put someone’s life in your hands if you’re not equipped with the ability to keep them as safe as possible. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you could even find yourself a defendant in a lawsuit.

–   Hire an attorney who understands the negative bias you face and can navigate around it.

3. Be Wary of a Quick Settlement Offer

Always remember that insurance companies are in the business of making money. That typically means that if you are offered a settlement, it is likely going to be less than adequate. This is especially true if the settlement offer is issued quickly because it could indicate that the insurance company wants to resolve a claim without too much scrutiny.

Before accepting an offer from an insurance company, we recommend speaking with a Law Tigers motorcycle accident attorney to determine if the offer is a fair representation of your injuries.  

4. Don’t Negotiate During the Healing Process

Again, an insurance company might be quick to offer you a check to avoid further scrutiny into what your actual compensation should be. Though you might be tempted to settle quickly to put the matter behind you or avoid accumulating medical debt, negotiating during the healing process poses two dangers:

1. While you’re healing, you may not be thinking clearly. If you’re on medication or in pain, it’s tough to be rational.

2. It can be difficult to estimate the total of a claim before the healing process is complete. Will you need ongoing treatments or therapies? Are additional surgeries required? If you settle while you’re still healing, those additional expenses may not be covered.

5. Never Ride Your Motorcycle While You’re Intoxicated or Tired

Sure. This last one is a no-brainer, but you might be surprised by the number of accidents caused when a rider has had a “couple of beers.” Drunk driving carries serious consequences, and, depending on the other circumstances, you could be held liable for the accident.

Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you’d still face penalties such as hefty fines, license revocation, and even jail time. Ultimately, driving under the influence is not worth it.

Intoxication is not the only mental impairment that should make you avoid saddling up. If you’re feeling tired, the last thing you should be doing is riding a motorcycle. It’s estimated that drowsy drivers cause 9.5% of all crashes.

If you’re tired or intoxicated, your reflexes will be compromised, which could lead to you being at fault for an accident or in a situation where you cannot react quickly enough to another driver’s mistake.

With Great Freedom Comes Great Responsibility

There’s a lot to know about motorcycle riding beyond the mechanics. We are a passionate team of motorcycle riding enthusiasts here at Law Tigers, and we’ve put together a library of helpful information to answer all your questions about motorcycle law, safety, motorcycle community events, and more. Check out our resources here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, give us a call at 1-888-863-7216.