When a negligent driver causes a crash with your motorcycle, you'll need to be careful about the personal injury attorney you choose to represent you.
While car and motorcycle crashes may seem like similar types of injury claims, motorcycle crashes actually present some unique situations that should be handled by an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Key Differences Between Car and Motorcycle Accidents
All motor vehicle accidents involving injuries will follow a similar pattern when one driver is primarily at fault. The injured party makes a claim against the negligent party’s insurance policy for payment of costs associated with his injury.
With strong legal representation, the victim may be rewarded a substantial sum to cover his medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
However, these steps are often less straightforward with a motorcycle claim for the following reasons:
- Seriousness of injuries. Because of the lack of protection a biker has, he's likely to be seriously injured in a collision with a car. Catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, limb amputation, and severe burns require expensive treatments and long-term recovery and rehabilitation. Insurance companies are much more resistant to settling these high-cost claims, and you'll need a lawyer on your side with experience negotiating and litigating catastrophic injury claims.
- Bias against motorcyclists. Motorcyclists have unfair reputations among the general population as daredevils and risk-takers. Some people even believe that bikers are criminals and members of gangs. This bias often works against bikers when they pursue compensation. Insurance adjusters may try to place blame on the biker’s actions, and jury prejudice often works in the insurance company’s favor. An experienced motorcycle attorney will know how to overcome these biases to protect the rights of an injured biker.
- Proving negligence. Even if a biker was completely blindsided by a careless driver and was injured through no fault of his own, it can be difficult to prove his innocence. On top of fighting bias, a biker’s attorney may have to explain the biker’s actions to an adjuster or jury who does not understand safe motorcycle riding. A lawyer who is himself a biker is uniquely qualified to explain safety basics—such as why a biker may intentionally lay down his bike—and defend the biker’s right to not wear a helmet, at least in the state of Kansas.
- State motorcycle laws. Many states, including Kansas and Missouri, have laws that are specific to motorcyclists. An insurance adjuster or lawyer representing an insurance company may try to discredit a victim by accusing him of breaking one of these laws, even if it couldn’t have possibly contributed to the crash. For example, Kansas requires bikers to use daytime headlights. A biker may be accused of contributing to an accident if it can be proved that he didn't have a working headlight, even if he was rear-ended or sideswiped. Missouri doesn't allow motorcycles to share lanes, so an insurance adjuster may accuse a biker of breaking that law despite it having no bearing on the cause of the crash. An attorney with knowledge of state laws will be prepared to defend against these claims.
Most of these problems are easily defended against in court or in negotiation by a lawyer with the right kind of experience, so why would you risk being represented by a car or truck accident attorney instead of a motorcycle crash attorney?
Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.
You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."