Motorcycle crash injuries can require extensive medical care and time off work, entitling victims to substantial compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance company lawyers will fight against costly claims with everything they’ve got.
So how can you even the playing field? If you know the defenses insurance companies use in these cases, you’ll be able to anticipate their claims and have evidence ready to refute them.
Common Motorcycle Accident Defenses
The most common excuse drivers use after a motorcycle crash is that they didn’t “see” the biker. The driver may be telling the truth, but it’s a flimsy argument—and the driver’s insurance company knows it. A driver who admits to not seeing you could actually strengthen your case since the driver had a duty of care to watch for motorcyclists as well as other automobiles and should have taken reasonable care to avoid the collision.
The defenses you need to worry about are the ones raised by the insurance company (or the insurance company’s lawyer). Insurers have found many ways to blame the victim or deny compensation, including:
- Claiming the motorcyclist made an error. If there’s even a slight chance you made a mistake that could have contributed to the accident, the insurance company will be quick to pounce on it. They could blame you for not being visible enough, failing to signal, or even the position of your mirrors. If the defense can convince a judge that you were partially to blame for your crash, the amount you receive could be reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Looking for bike flaws. The insurance company may go over every inch of your motorcycle looking for aftermarket parts, bald tires, failed maintenance, broken taillights, or other factors that could be used to question your liability or your character.
- Questioning a rider’s health. The defense may attempt to get full access to your medical history to determine if they could pin the blame on a physical impairment, such as a disability, vision problems, or hearing loss. If they find evidence of a pre-existing condition, they may claim that the accident wasn’t the real cause of your injuries—even if the crash made a prior condition worse.
- Questioning the biker’s riding record. If your bike, your health, and your actions during the crash show no signs of negligence, the defense may bring up concerns about your previous rides. This includes questioning the number of hours you spend riding, your experience with the type of bike you were riding at the time of the accident, and whether you’ve been involved in an accident in the past.
- Relying on the bias against motorcyclists. Some defense attorneys capitalize on the notion that motorcycle riders are careless rebels, riding without concern for other road users. Your crash history and maintenance records can help fight against the accusation that you’re a reckless rider.
- Blaming someone else. There could be any number of people whose actions or inaction played a role in your accident. An insurer may claim that the real cause of the crash wasn’t their driver but another vehicle, poor road conditions, an auto parts manufacturer, your mechanic, or other victims of the accident.
- Accusing you of making your injuries worse. All injury victims must make a good faith effort to recover after a crash. If you failed to see a doctor right after the crash, didn’t follow your recommended treatment plan, or missed any appointments, the insurer might try to reduce your compensation because you didn’t do enough to prevent your injuries from getting worse.
The best way to fight against bogus defenses is to have an experienced motorcycle crash attorney by your side. The legal team at GriffithLaw will use every available resource to show what really happened on the day of the crash—and you won’t have to pay us anything unless we get you the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us today using our online form, or give us a call to schedule a free case evaluation.