Is Motorcycle Bias in California Crash Claims a Real Thing?

image of a fallen motorcycle and the legs of first responders to a crash.Motorcycle bias is a real thing, but many motorists are unaware of it or the impact it has on bikers. What may surprise you is that most crashes involving motorcycles and other vehicles are not caused by bikers.

In today’s article, Arnold Law Firm discusses motorcycle bias and how it can prevent riders from being fairly compensated after a crash.

Were you injured in a California motorcycle crash you did not cause? If so, you need experienced legal help on your side. Our trusted Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyers are strong advocates for victims injured by the negligence of others. During the four-plus decades we have been in business, our firm has recovered millions in compensation for our clients. These results include a $10.2 million jury-awarded verdict for a biker. The insurance company in this case originally offered just $350 thousand.

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What Is Motorcycle Bias?

Motorcycle bias is the very real social stigma people place on riders. Those who are biased have assumptions about the people who ride motorcycles and the type of life they live.

Cognitive Bias Is Not Based on Reality

Cognitive bias affects the way people think about motorcyclists long before any crash occurs. People have a preformed opinion about motorcycle riders, often fed by how the media presents bikers in movies and advertisements. EMTs and police officers responding to the scene may assume the rider was to blame in some way.

Emotional Bias Is Based on How Someone Feels

Emotional bias is not based on reality any more than cognitive bias. The preconceived feelings, however, have a similar impact on how people view bikers injured in a crash. Many people, for instance, feel intimidated by riders.

What Does Motorcycle Bias Look Like?

The way people feel or think about motorcycles may include these and other preconceived ideas:

  • Bikers Live and Ride Dangerously: Of course, there will always be some riders who fit this description, just as some motorists do.
  • Riders Assume the Inherent Risks: There are inherent risks to riding a motorcycle, because of the obvious lack of protection. That vulnerability, however, does not mean a motorcyclist is automatically to blame if a crash occurs.
  • Motorcycle Riders Drive Too Fast: Again, this bias is unfair and untrue. Statistics show that most motorcycle crashes happen when riders are traveling at 30 mph or less. These incidents are most often caused by motor vehicle drivers who did not properly check their blind spots.
  • Motorcycles Are Hard To See: This statement is true, but so are pedestrians and bicyclists. Drivers have a legal duty to check their blind spots, look and look again, for motorcyclists and other vehicles.
  • Motorcycles Are Annoyingly Loud: That can be true if you live in a small town or a quiet street. But the loudness of a vehicle does not make riders more dangerous than any motorists they may encounter.
  • Bikers Are Always At Fault: This is the main problem with bias. It comes down to people assuming that when a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, he or she is always to blame.

How Could Motorcycle Bias Impact an Injured Biker’s Injury Claim?

Motorcycle bias can have a negative impact on your injury claim from day one because:

Bias Muddies Objectivity in the Police Report

First responders who document the crash may take what they see and apply a slanted perspective to it. This bias may impact how an officer documents the crash in the official police report.

Witnesses May Inject Bias Into Their Statements

Regardless of what a witness did or did not see, preconceived thoughts about bikers may result in leading statements. In other words, a witness may report what they believe happened rather than what they actually saw.

Insurer Bias May Result in an Unfair Settlement or Denied Claim

This outcome is highly likely in “he said, she said” types of cases, especially when fault is hard to prove. If you are unable to establish the other party’s negligence, you may not have any case at all.

The Judge and Jury May Share Bias Against Motorcycle Riders

Many injury cases never go to court, but if yours does, you may not be able to count on objectivity from the judge and jury hearing your case.

How Can Riders Overcome Motorcycle Bias After a Crash?

Overcoming motorcycle bias may seem impossible, but there are some things you can do to strengthen your credibility.

Wear Protective Gear and Supercharge Your Riding Skills

For instance, wear protective gear and be sure to properly maintain your motorcycle. Get your license before you get out on any public roads. Consider getting additional training too, as this can supercharge your riding skills. All of these things also paint a picture of a biker who is interested in safety.

Adhere to Traffic Laws

When you are out on the road, following traffic laws will help to keep you safer while adding to your credibility. Use some high-tech gear to further protect yourself, such as a helmet-mounted camera. Having video footage of how a crash happened is difficult to dispute.

Protect Yourself – Seek Legal Help

As a biker, you can only control your own behavior; you cannot mandate how others drive. If you get into a crash despite your best efforts, we strongly recommend seeking legal help right away.

Our attorneys are prepared to fight for the justice you deserve. If we represent you, we will also work diligently to get you fairly compensated for your medical costs and other losses.

Need Legal Help for a Motorcycle vs Negligent Driver Crash?

At Arnold Law Firm, we fight for injured victims every day. Our legal team has in-depth knowledge of the complex laws that may impact your motorcycle crash case. We also know how to dispute bias, protecting both your legal rights and financial interests.

Deadlines apply, and your attorney needs time to build a strong case on your behalf. It is better to call sooner than later, and there is no financial risk in doing this. We take motorcycle crash cases on contingency, so you pay nothing out of pocket to hire our services. We only get paid if we win your case through a negotiated settlement or jury-awarded verdict.

Arnold Law Firm. We fight for justice for you. (916) 777-7777