What’s the difference? Tampa motorcycle and car accident legal experts at Lorenzo & Lorenzo weigh in.
All too often, motorists, insurance companies and attorneys alike fail to recognize the differences between motorcycle accident claims and automobile accident claims.
The fact is that motorcyclists, while following the same laws of the road as automobile drivers, must also possess certain safety equipment and licensing which varies by state. Personal injury claims require an entirely new set of criteria and timeline for proving a motorcyclist is entitled to compensation. Anything from bias to a failure to gather enough evidence could be the reason behind a failed injury claim for motorcycle drivers.
Here are some major differences to consider between automobile and motorcycle accident claims.
Nature of Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycles, unlike automobiles, leave their drivers completely exposed. Because of this, motorcycle injuries tend to be much more physically devastating than automobile injures, with brain trauma, second or third degree burns and muscle damage being very real possibilities. In turn, the cost of managing these injuries is likely to be higher than automobile accident injuries, which can influence the way insurance companies behave toward claims.
Compliance with State Safety Laws
To receive any sort of compensation, motorcycle drivers must prove without doubt that they were not at fault for an accident. This can be much harder for motorcyclists than automobile drivers. Motorcycle drivers are subject to specific laws while using the roads and drivers must prove themselves to be completely in compliance with state safety laws before fault can be given to another party.
For example, in the state of Florida, motorcyclists are required to wear eye protection and cannot alter the bike’s muffler noise level or handlebar height above regulation. If you are injured while driving a motorcycle that doesn’t comply with every law, it’s possible to receive blame for an accident even if it wasn’t your fault.
When it comes to an injury case, the laws of negligence often decide who was involved. Negligence refers to an accident being caused by one party failing to use common sense while driving or neglecting traffic laws and regulations.
In order for a motorcycle injury claim to be granted, the driver must prove that he or she was not guilty of any negligence and that a defective motorcycle was not the cause of the accident. Evidence of this must be collected, whether through witness observation, the helmet worn at the time of impact or surveillance camera footage. However, motorcycles react differently in accidents than automobiles do, and it can be difficult even for witnesses to truly tell which party is guilty.
Judges, police officers and insurance companies often hold preconceived biases about motorcycle drivers. They are assumed to be reckless, unsafe drivers who hold little to no regard for other motorists. This attitude frequently carries over into important decisions regarding a motorcyclist’s injury claim.
For example, police officers responding to the scene may make a claim of guilt based on bias, or an insurance company may try to lower compensation or issue none at all based on the biker stereotype.
Because of the requirements for proving guilt and the existence of unfair biases, it often pays to hire an attorney who is familiar with motorcycle injury cases and aware of the different obstacles that exist in comparison with automobile accidents.
At Lorenzo & Lorenzo, we understand the nature of motorcycle injury cases. Visit our website to learn more about motorcycle injury cases or contact us for a free case review to see how our Tampa attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.