South Carolina motorcycle accident victims face a steep climb to a fair settlement due to unjust "biker bias". Insurance companies like Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, and State Farm can use it to devalue or even deny claims for injured riders who don’t know any better.

Simply put, biker bias is prejudice against riders from “cage drivers” —car, truck, and semi-truck drivers—who hold an unjustified image of riders. It’s often based on either urban legends created by TV and movies of threatening, criminal biker gangs or an unfortunate experience with a bad apple screaming down the interstate weaving through traffic at 95 MPH without a helmet on a “crotch rocket” (not our word). Regardless of where it came from, it can be boiled down to a single image: they believe all motorcycle riders are renegade daredevils.

At Holland & Usry, we don’t lose sight of the word I injected before biker bias—unjustified. Because it is—and a recent study proves that. Most importantly, the study proves that while unjustified biker bias is real, it can be overcome—if it’s skillfully addressed and handled.

The Biker Bias Study

The study, called “Comparing Car Drivers’ and Motorcyclists’ Opinions About Junction Crashes,” appears in the August 2018 scientific journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. It’s based on responses to an online questionnaire by 103 car drivers and 579 motorcyclists.

Here are the primary conclusions from it:

  1. Biker bias is real. The study states car drivers show bias against motorcycle riders in assigning blame for crashes. In accidents, drivers generally blame riders.
  2. Biker bias is unjustified. It labels the notion that “motorcyclists are risk takers” as “a misconception which many car drivers hold.”
  3. Biker bias can be overcome if your case is skillfully presented. The study concluded that when drivers were presented with specific scenarios and clear facts to help them visualize the accident, biker bias was reduced.

You’re right to be concerned about unjustified biker bias in your South Carolina motorcycle accident.

Contact a Spartanburg motorcycle accident attorney immediately to jump-start the investigation to minimize unjustified biker bias in your case. To find out how we can help, you can call toll-free at 888-230-1841, fill out a Get Help Now form, or contact us with a live chat.

How Biker Bias was Overcome  in Two Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents

The study showed biker bias could be overcome if presented properly in two of the most common types of motorcycle accidents, which involve who had the right-of-way between a car or truck and motorcycle. Significantly, the study points out these crashes are “the most prevalent motorcycle crash in the U.S.”

Here’s how the study tested for it. They asked car drivers and motorcycle riders who was at fault in two specific scenarios:

  • Right-of-way with a motorcycle approaching from the right. A car driver waits at an intersection to turn right. A motorcycle approaches from the right.
  • Right-of-way with a motorcycle approaching from the left. A car driver waits at an intersection to turn left. A motorcycle approaches from the left.

Surprising results. When confronted with these specific scenarios, which included a color diagram, the study yielded a surprising result: Car drivers blamed car drivers for the crash.  

Not surprisingly, motorcycle riders described in the best terms why the car driver was at fault:

  • Failure to observe the rider
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Poor judgment
  • Car drivers should make sure the road is clear
  • Impatience
  • Our favorite—“the law”  

Why You Need Legal Help Now to Stop Biker Bias in its Tracks

Here’s what the study means for you: Biker bias is real, and to beat it for a fair settlement in your motorcycle accident case, you need someone trained in the law and presenting evidence.

That’s why you need a Spartanburg motorcycle accident attorney. For motorcyclists injured in South Carolina accidents, the deck is already stacked against you. There are many good reasons why you need an attorney. Defeating biker bias is chief among them.

When we take your case, our top job becomes proving biker bias is unjust. Here’s how we do that:

  1. We know how to use the law. Did you catch that the last point used by motorcyclists to blame a driver was “the law”? While a car driver’s excuses for why a crash happened can be vague, the law is often black and white. We can use our knowledge of complex traffic rules and laws to prove it was the car driver who violated the law and caused the crash.
  2. We get the facts from you, other witnesses, and police investigators. And if you got faulted for the accident, don’t think that’s the end of your case—police are human too, and they can make mistakes in assessing fault. We can point out and overcome it, as we did in this case involving a small child on a bike.
  3. We use pictures of crashed vehicles and the scene. Those can tell the point of impact both on the road and on the vehicles that can help us put the blame on the driver.
  4. If needed, we hire an expert. They’re called accident reconstructionists. They can help us prove you weren’t at fault by compiling crash evidence and other data like the length of skid marks to help us win your case.
  5. We make a compelling production of evidence to prove the driver’s fault. Using the evidence we’ve compiled, we make a clear, powerful presentation of how the driver caused your crash—based on evidence that’s admissible in court. If an insurance company knows you know how to get evidence in court, they’re less likely to deny your claim.

To get us started on winning a proper settlement for you, call us toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. You can also schedule a FREE, EASY strategy session to get your questions answered, where we won’t pressure you to hire us.

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Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.