When it comes to Texas drivers on the road involved in automobile accidents, these drivers probably dread the impending “red tape” that they are about to endure as they attempt to “prove” the validity of their claim.
For motorcyclists involved in accidents, however, they not only have to contend with this bureaucratic reality, but they also have to contend with the reality that they may be the victim of an anti-biker bias as they attempt to navigate their insurance claim. What form does this anti-biker bias take, and how can you protect yourself if you have been in an accident?
Let us explore this hidden anti-biker bias that might lurk in your insurance company’s corridors, and how anti-biker bias may affect your insurance claim.
What is Anti-Biker Bias?
An anti-biker bias is an attitude that many may have regarding bikers for an array of reasons. First, popular culture, beginning with Easy Rider and ending with Sons of Anarchy, portrays the lives of bikers that do not even come close to the reality of those riders on the road. Even disregarding the pernicious effects of television and motion pictures, many people may harbor ill feelings about bikers based on personal experience.
As an example, drivers may have noticed motorcyclists without helmets while riders cut in and out of traffic or may have once seen a motorcyclist “pop a wheelie” while moving down the road. As a result, many people might believe that the rider is to blame for an accident even though they may have played no role in an accident. Additionally, this bias may permeate itself throughout the process from the police officer who arrived on the scene to the members of the court, as well as people working in your own insurance company.
How Can You Fight Motorcycle Bias?
Unfortunately, whether right or wrong, the onus for fighting bias against motorcyclists is on the motorcyclist themselves. Even if your insurance adjuster “gets” riding a motorcycle and does not appear to be overtly biased against riders, it is important to remember that insurance companies are dedicated to limiting claim payouts as a matter of course. In a state that assigns fault when determining insurance settlements, assigning a 20% fault for simply riding a bike is an industry norm.
With these realities in place, motorcyclists must go out of their way to help battle these biases.
Helmets and Cameras Tell a Story
When an attorney goes into court, they are essentially telling a story, and the hurt motorcyclist has a role in providing the background to that story in the form of positive evidence. As an example, even though wearing a helmet is not mandated by law, any insurance company adjuster will point to the lack of such protection as a sign that the rider was not committed to being a responsible rider.
Based on this bias, the insurance adjuster will point out that any injuries would have been lessened if the motorcyclist had taken only some basic precautions. Further, consider mounting a helmet camera to record any proof that the rider was not to blame for the accident. Wearing a helmet and providing video proof that will provide your attorney with the talking points to present your case before the judge.
Drive Safely and Responsibly
Helping break down anti-biker bias may never happen based on people’s preconceived biases, but consistently operating your bike in a safe and responsible manner will not only help keep you safe but will hopefully help ameliorate these falsely held beliefs that all motorcyclists are dangerous hazards on the road. Observing all traffic laws will stop police from ticketing you, which will in turn keep your driving record clean. While your past driving record should not impact your current claim, an insurance company might use your driving record against you to limit your claim.
Call the Legal Team You Can Trust at Terry Bryant in Houston
If you or a loved one has been in an accident while riding your bike, you should seek out the services of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston for representation. Here at the office of Terry Bryant, we have a great deal of experience when it comes to representing riders in Houston who have been involved in a motorcycle accident. Terry Bryant has been working for victims of motorcycle accidents for more than three decades. Contact our office to ensure that you are not deprived of the resources you need in the aftermath of an accident.