There were 92,000 motorcyclists injured in crashes in 2014, and 4,586 killed. In this same year, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle mile driven than passenger car occupants. The motorcyclist has very little protection in the event of an accident, and can be severely injured. Unfortunately, on top of the injuries sustained, the motorcyclist may have to deal with additional issues in the aftermath of their accident.
The police report in any accident is a very important component of your eventual settlement, and should you receive an obviously biased report it can significantly complicate efforts to get what you deserve. Quite often, police officers may have stereotypes in their mind regarding the “typical” motorcyclist. Should the case go to trial, juries can also have their own personal biases toward motorcyclists, preventing the injured cyclist from getting a fair legal shake. Even today, far too many people still see the motorcyclist as a character from Easy Rider—a rebellious person who lives on the edge, driving too fast and too recklessly.
The policeman may assume the motorcyclist is to blame when the crash involves a car and a motorcycle simply because many people assume those who ride cruisers, such as Harley-Davidsons or Victories, must be part of a biker gang. This preconceived—and usually untrue—notion is completely unfair to the motorcyclist and can get in the way of the officer compiling an accurate and fair report of your motorcycle accident. Even in cases where speed had absolutely nothing to do with the accident, the reporting officer may find you responsible, even if you were exceeding the speed limit only marginally.
Perhaps you were lane splitting—which is completely legal in some states—and was hit by a careless automobile driver. Many times the officer will rely on the auto driver to estimate your speed, and usually the driver will overestimate. Unless the officer conducts a thorough investigation of the accident, even measuring skid marks to calculate speed and reaction time, he is likely to rely heavily on the statements from the automobile driver rather than the motorcyclist. In some cases, the driver of the automobile hits a motorcyclist through negligence or failure to properly look prior to making a left-hand turn or backing out, then simply leaves the scene of the accident, making it even more difficult to definitively prove the case and receive a fair settlement for injuries and other damages.
If you are on the receiving end of a biased police report, or are facing a jury who feels all bikers are gang members or reckless stereotypes, you definitely need the services of a highly experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney must have a solid background in motorcycle accidents, in particular. Your attorney can challenge an obviously biased police report, and will understand how best to deal with jury stereotypes as well.
You likely have an incredible amount of medical expenses to deal with, and these expenses may have even exceeded your policy limits, meaning you are on the hook for huge amounts of money. You may have been unable to return to work for a period of time following your accident, which means you have been without your normal income while the regular bills keep coming in. Finally, you may have suffered both physical and mental pain as a result of an accident you were not responsible for.
Biases against motorcyclists can affect your ability to receive fair compensation following your collision and additionally many insurance policies fail to allow sufficient benefits to cover injuries of the catastrophic nature—which many motorcycle injuries are. Claims adjusters may also exhibit bias against the injured motorcyclist, making the assumption the motorcycle rider was at fault. Such blatantly biased assumptions can lead to unfair settlements. You need and deserve an attorney who will fight aggressively for compensation following your accident. Don’t suffer on your own—let an experienced Longmont motorcycle accident attorney advocate on your behalf to get you the settlement you are entitled to.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to know that you are not alone. Motorcyclists need a Longmont motorcycle accident attorney on their side who can defend against police bias and insurance bias and help injured bikers obtain the money they rightfully deserve. Contact the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.
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The high settlement was no accident. I watched how hard Keith worked to get us to that point. Because of Keith’s hard work, I am now in a position to concentrate on fixing my pain with continued treatment.
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Mr. Fuicelli is very accessible which is extremely important just in case you have a question or important information to pass along to him. He stays on top of your case with complete dedication and always updates you with information pertinent to your case.