Ask any victim of a motorcycle accident how quickly these events occur, and they will likely attest that it just takes seconds for their lives to be dramatically changed. Many motorcycle accident victims face serious injuries that require long-term and painful recovery. This recovery usually leads to high medical debt and lost wages and benefits from being unable to work for the months it takes to recover. In some cases, the victim is left with permanent disabilities that leave them unable to return to their occupation or even able to work at all.
Because of the high cost of compensation in motorcycle crashes, the insurance companies of the at-fault drivers will often try to do all they can to reduce the claim or deny it completely, even though the majority of accidents are caused by other vehicle drivers and not the motorcyclists. This is why any motorcycle accident victim should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Ames, IA to advocate for them.
Some of the more common defense tactics that insurance companies will use to try to get out of paying the victim the damages they deserve include the following:
- The at-fault driver did not see the motorcycle is a common excuse that an at-fault driver may try to use. However, all drivers have a duty of care to watch out for other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company will express doubts about the experience that a motorcyclist has and will try to raise questions about whether the motorcyclist’s “inexperience” was the cause of the crash. The company may also try to blame any lack of protective gear as the reason for the injuries.
- The insurance company will try to blame the crash on motorcyclist error. They may try to cast doubt on the rider’s speed, whether or not they were visible, or whether they were practicing defensive driving skills. They may even try to claim that the position or the rider’s mirrors caused the crash.
- Another tactic used by insurance companies is to try to claim that the motorcycle itself caused the crash and resulting injuries. If there are loud mufflers, aftermarket equipment that has been installed, or any other issues they can find, they will often use this as a defense.
- If the case ends up in litigation and there is a jury trial instead of a settlement, the insurance company lawyers will often try to use bias that some people have against motorcyclists against them. Many people who do not have any experience with motorcyclists may think that anyone who rides are risk-taking “biker gang” riders, causing menace on the roads. This stereotype could not be further from the truth in describing the majority of people who ride.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and why you need a motorcycle attorney.