Public Perception of Bikers Leads to Unfair Blame for Accidents

As a motorcycle rider, you are probably used to being stereotyped. You see it in how strangers, and even friends and family, react when they see you in your leathers next to your bike. While this treatment can be merely annoying in daily life, it becomes a significant detriment in the wake of a crash when police, insurance agents, and potentially a court use it to jump to conclusions about fault. Motorcyclist reputations rank high on the list of reasons you need to consult an attorney to safeguard your rights following an accident.

An unfair rush to judgment can cost motorcycle riders dearly

Although the circumstances of every accident are unique, too often motorcyclists face automatic assumptions of responsibility for theirs. The primary reason is the public’s association of motorcycle riding to risky and wild behavior and motorcyclists being perceived as reckless and dangerous. This usually false, negative reputation has been promoted by the entertainment industry, and has dogged riders since the earliest days of film. The very first documented portrayal of riding, A Motorcycle Adventure (1895), was a short feature that ends with a motorcycle crash. Later movies, and then television shows, regularly portrayed motorcycle riders as either hard drinking and drug using wild men, threatening gang members, or doomed victims of their high-risk lifestyles.

These fictional portrayals have influenced the public making it difficult for riders to receive fair treatment following a motorcycle accident. Even though motorcyclists most often suffer the worst injuries and material losses after being struck by a larger vehicle, the media and investigators are still quick to blame the victim. This persists despite studies having revealed that when it comes to motorcycle collisions with cars, it is usually the automobile driver who was at fault. The typical causes of these accidents are the motorist’s failure to see the motorcycle rider or to yield right-of-way.

What does this mean for you as a motorcyclist? You are likely to face an uphill battle post-accident in convincing those in charge of the investigation of your innocence. This includes the police, who might not take as much time and care as they should in determining who caused the accident. It also includes the insurance investigators – particularly those representing the motorist who hit you – who will leverage the negative perception of bikers to shift blame to you as much as possible. And ultimately, if you do pursue damages against the driver and the case makes it to court, the biases of the judge and jury could result in you not receiving the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

You need a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer on your side

Don’t let the unjust assumptions about motorcycle riders deprive you of coverage for your medical bills, loss of your motorcycle, and other damages. Contact Los Angeles motorcycle attorney Scott  J. Corwin to help you prove your case and see to it that fault is fairly and accurately assigned. You can arrange to speak to Scott during a free, no-obligation initial consultation by calling (310) 683-2300.