Most of us, at one point or another, experience stereotypes. Whether they are based on truth or misconceptions, if you represent an entrenched stereotype yourself, you might find that people try and take advantage or perpetuate their perception of you. While the eyes of justice and the law should be blind to race, religion, and stereotypes, many individuals are not. A common misconception might cause you to ask, What is the "reckless biker" stereotype? If you are a motorcyclist, you may know the answer to that question, and motorcycle accident victims can sue just like motor vehicle accident victims can.
The Reckless Biker Stereotype
We've all seen the movies and stories of motorcycle gangs and reckless bikers. While there are reckless bikers on the road, just as there are reckless vehicle drivers, there is a wide variety of motorcyclists, and not all drive in a reckless fashion. In fact, in an effort to reduce high insurance rates for driving motorcycles, many bikers take specific motorbike-safety courses which make them better and safer drivers. While licensing requirements vary from state to state, there are locations where extra training is a necessity of obtaining a motorcycle license.
Motorcyclists and Blame
In many accidents involving a single motorcyclist and an automobile, the motorcyclist is blamed, often out of a belief in the reckless-biker stereotype. The unfair thing is that juries and insurance companies often feed into this stereotype by assigning blame to the biker without hearing the facts of the accident.
In fact, statistics show that the majority of crashes involving a motorcycle and an automobile are caused by the driver of the car, rather than the motorcycle. Further statistics indicate that the majority of these motorcycle/vehicular accidents are caused by the distracted-driving habits of automobile drivers. Just ask yourself how often you've seen a biker texting while driving, as opposed to how often you've seen automobile drivers engaging in this dangerous activity.
The cold, hard truth is that stereotypes color how people are perceived, and while we like to think of the law as blind to these human failings, it is still regulated, carried out, and represented by everyday people. If you were driving a motorcycle and were involved in an accident with an automobile driver and were injured, you too have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. With each personal injury claim filed by a motorcycle driver against an automobile driver, that reckless biker stereotype gains less and less credence in the legal system.