When motorcyclists set out into the hills, mountains, and national forests surrounding Boise, they seek both the thrill of a good ride and the solace of nature. Unfortunately, they’re also put at risk by the inattentive driving of others. And as riders know, the consequences of any accident are almost always severe.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at Litster Frost are ready to fight for you. As one of the largest personal injury law firms in Idaho, our experienced attorneys have the resources necessary to make a strong case for your recovery. To find out how much compensation you may be entitled to or to ask any questions about how the legal process works in your case, give us a call today.
Fighting The Bias Against Motorcyclists
Every person injured in a motorcycle accident faces an uphill battle to overcome the inherent biases against motorcyclists. Police officers, insurance adjusters, judges, and juries frequently associate motorcyclists with dangerous behaviors and start with the assumption that the rider must have done something wrong to cause the accident. This isn’t how the law is supposed to work, but human nature doesn’t always match idealism, so it’s necessary to anticipate that these kinds of arguments will be made against you and to prepare to rebut them.
You should also know that even if you did make a small mistake that partially contributed to the accident, you are not barred from recovering compensation. Idaho is a comparative negligence state and assigns fault proportionally. If the other driver had a majority of the blame for causing the accident, you are still entitled to a majority of the compensation for your losses.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists face all the usual risks of any other drivers including the following:
- Aggressive driving
- Texting while driving
- Failing to obey stop signs, yield signs, and traffic signals
- Failing to look before turning or changing lanes
- Following too closely
Motorcyclists also face a unique set of risks that increase their danger:
- Small objects in the road that a car would never notice could take down a bike or force the rider to take evasive action
- Motorcycles are less visible than other cars and drivers lack awareness of them even after Idaho’s “Look Twice” campaign
- Drivers who believe motorcyclists behave recklessly may act more aggressively around them to keep them from passing or to â€˜teach them a lessonâ€™
How Can You Protect Yourself From Being Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?
If you haven’t been involved in an accident yet and are simply interested in safety, you’re already one step ahead. While you can never control the actions of other drivers, there are steps you can take to reduce your odds of an accident as well as your potential injuries if you’re involved in one.:
- Always wear a helmet and protective clothing no matter where you’re going or how short the ride is. This includes eye protection if your helmet doesn’t have a built-in visor
- Avoid being in a driver’s blind spots. You’re already hard enough to see, and many modern cars have poor visibility even when a driver does look to the rear before changing lanes due to the way safety beams are installed in cars
- Learn to identify distracted drivers and keep your distance. Look for their head looking down at a phone, lane drifting, and unusually slow or fast speeds
- Keep a safe following distance in front of you and behind you. Never brake check, but also make sure you won’t be run over if you have to stop suddenly
Keep in mind that these are solid defensive driving practices to help you avoid accidents. However, your failure to take extra safety precautions is not an excuse for another driver’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness that caused an accident.
What Rights Do You Have If You’re Injured In A Motorcycle Accident in Boise?
An injured motorcyclist has the same general rights as anyone injured in an auto accident.
- You have the right to full compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, other costs, and any long-term disabilities
- You have the right to have the insurance company honor their policy and pay covered claims
- You have the right to refuse to accept any settlement offer by the insurance company unless you are fully satisfied with it
- You have the right to pursue legal action to recover any damages not covered by insurance
These rights are easy to explain but are not always easy to uphold in the real world. Drivers rarely admit fault in accidents both to avoid liability and out of their ego preventing them from accepting blame. Insurance companies focused on their profit margins have an incentive to resolve claims as quickly as possible for as little as possible. While the majority of cases settle before trial, you often need to show that you’re willing to fight as hard as it takes, including being willing to go to trial, before you receive a fair offer.
Why You Need An Attorney That Understands Motorcycle Accidents
Even though motorcycle accidents follow the general auto accident laws, by now you should see that motorcycle accidents are different. The added risks of an accident, the more extensive injuries, and the bias against motorcyclists raise the stakes of your claim and make your case more difficult to prove. Having an attorney who can comfortably explain motorcycle-specific driving techniques and convincingly respond to any attacks on your safe riding will often be a benefit when you’re in front of a judge or jury.
Our personal injury lawyers regularly represent motorcyclists against insurance companies and unsafe drivers. We have a thorough understanding of what motorcycle cases are worth and can help you decide whether to take the insurance company’s offer or to negotiate it. When necessary, we’ll aggressively pursue your claim all the way to a jury trial. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.