BikerDown.org, a nonprofit organization that supports injured motorcyclists and their families, has partnered with the O’Sullivan Law Firm to offer Aflac scholarships to select new members.
“If you have a family or anybody depending on you, you owe it to them to be proactive in your riding,” says Biker Down Founder and President Laurie Easton. “You have a duty to make sure that they can pay for your care!”
For $35 a month, members of Biker Down receive Aflac insurance, roadside assistance and many other services in the event of an accident.
Scott O’Sullivan of the O’Sullivan Law Firm is offering three $10 scholarships each month, bringing the membership fee down to just $25. Scott is also joining the organization’s board of directors to help with marketing and fundraising for the endowment.
Laurie says Scott will bring much-needed skills to her two-year-old organization.
“Scott showed me that he has a tremendous amount of compassion for injured riders,” says Laurie. “He feels, as I do, that it is our humanitarian responsibility to help one another.”
Scott says he has a deep respect for the Biker Down mission.
“Biker Down is seriously concerned about helping bikers and making sure that they are properly insured,” says Scott. He echoes Laurie when he says, “What happens if you are permanently hurt or even temporarily injured? It doesn’t matter if it’s your fault. Even something as simple as road rash can take days or weeks to heal and, depending on your line of work, that could be devastating to your financial situation. You need disability insurance.”
Laurie founded Biker Down (also known as the Colorado Motorcycle Accident Victims Fund) after she witnessed an accident in 2011 when several of her fellow riders went down.
“We had 12 bikes on the road and none of us had a first aid kit,” she recalls with frustration. “Our cell phones didn’t work and even if they had, I realized that I didn’t know which family members these riders would want me to call. And some of the riders didn’t have any insurance! It was crazy!”
Ultimately, one of the riders lost her job and, because she didn’t have health insurance, her life was changed forever.
Laurie thought, “I can’t believe we don’t have an organization to help with this. We as bikers do fundraising rides for every dog, cat and cancer patient, but where is the organization that is about bikers helping bikers?”
So, she created BikerDown.
Laurie admits a level of frustration when she thinks about how easy it would be for bikers to protect themselves before a motorcycle accident.
“As bikers, it feels like we are constantly doing fundraising rides for each other to help with medical expenses. Bikers are the most generous people in the world! But we wouldn’t have to do this if we all had disability insurance like Aflac.”
In addition to the insurance and roadside assistance, BikerDown provides emotional support to family members of injured or killed riders, medical equipment and even financial advice to help victims keep creditors happy as they recover.
But the biggest plea Laurie makes to prospective members is to get the right insurance.
With her typical honesty and straight talk, Laurie says,” We bikers have a culture of ‘It’s not going to happen to me.’ They don’t want me to be Debbie Downer or jinx them by talking about accidents. But I’m getting more and more calls from people who may not have listened to me a year ago and, after an accident, they’re calling me up. We’re changing the culture to proactive riding.”