How does the Traditional Car Accident Legal Process Differ from Motorcycle Accidents?
From a purely procedural standpoint there is no real difference between a motorcycle accident trial and a car accident trial. There are, however, some significant differences in how a lawyer should approach a motorcycle accident case. The distinction fundamentally boils down to juror bias against motorcyclists, and how the insurance company may treat settlement negotiations with those biases in mind.
Overcoming Juror Bias Against Riders
Humans tend to make assumptions and hold on to biases, including those unfairly held against motorcycle riders. There’s an unjustifiable assumption in many jurors’ minds that riders are reckless and irresponsible; why else would they get on a motorcycle instead of travel in a vehicle with doors, airbags and windshields?
Jurors have also watched countless movies and TV shows that paint motorcycle riders as criminals and outlaws. Those biases are obviously unfair, but they are assumptions that need to be reversed for the injured rider to win in court.
Some of the common biases against motorcyclists include:
- Their affiliation with unruly outlaw gangs, which is clearly inaccurate for most riders, including those in clubs;
- They put themselves at risk by riding a bike that’s hard to see;
- Riders are fundamentally reckless and usually going too fast or pass unsafely.
Injured riders should understand that their attorney needs to overcome these bias hurdles. At the Motorcycle Law Group, we have made dispelling these types of prejudices a core part of our practice. It is incumbent upon us to lay out the facts and dispel these myths in your case.
Insurance Companies Use Anti-Motorcycle Bias to Their Advantage
Insurance companies are all too aware of those predispositions when they enter into claims negotiations with riders. These companies know that, regardless of the facts, the motorcyclist is going to have a tougher time in court simply because they were injured while riding a motorcycle. In many motorcycle injury accidents, it is the negligent driver who gets to tell their side of the crash to law enforcement while the rider is being carted off to the hospital in an ambulance.
Insurers believe that they go into motorcycle accident settlement negotiations with a slight leg up because, in their mind, your chances of winning at trial are already handicapped simply because you were on two wheels at the time of your accident instead of four.
The real benefit of choosing the Motorcycle Law Group over other auto accident injury attorneys is our experience in dealing with these very issues. We’ve represented countless riders injured in accidents and have developed proven strategies for helping overcome jury bias towards riders in these cases.
With that knowledge also comes an ability to counter what the insurance companies view as their advantage when negotiating a settlement. When faced with attorneys who have dedicated their careers to representing injured riders, the insurance company negotiators and claims adjusters are often forced to retool their strategy and take your claim more seriously.
Too many riders get into a situation where the insurance company tells them that they don’t have a case in court—that the jury is less likely to side with the rider because of their bias. Working with a motorcycle lawyer who humanizes riders for a living will often level the playing field.
Dealing with Catastrophic Injuries
Car and truck accidents can result in severe injuries, but motorcycle accident injuries are often unique when it comes to the extent of those injuries. Motorcyclists are more exposed, which is why catastrophic head, neck, and bone trauma are more common in motorcycle accidents. This in turn means medical costs are higher, and that there is a greater risk for permanent disability or disfigurement. Riders often lose out on future career prospects and suffer a reduced quality of life due to the extent of their severe motorcycle accident injuries.
To put it simply, there’s often more riding on a motorcycle accident injury case than with most car accident cases, which is why it is so important to get all the facts. Our motorcycle accident lawyers turn over every stone in their investigations and utilize all available evidence and medical records to paint a clear picture of the accident and the injuries in court.
If You’ve Never Done It You Can’t Effectively Defend It
Something injured riders should keep in mind when searching for representation is an attorney’s ability to adequately represent them in their case. A motorcycle accident attorney shouldn’t just understand the differences in a jury’s perception of a car accident injury victim and a motorcycle accident victim. Your motorcycle accident lawyer should ideally have proven strategies for effectively dispelling those biases. It’s a lot easier for an attorney to change minds when they themselves are riders.
Our attorneys understand how to analyze a crash, reconstruct it, and explain the mechanics of the crash to the judge and jury in ways that they can understand. A motorcycle accident attorney should be able to instill empathy and understanding while painting an accurate picture of how the accident really happened. That is easier to do when the attorney is also a rider.
The attorneys at the Motorcycle Law Group know how to speak to juries about motorcycle accidents and counteract inaccurate preconceived notions. Our lawyers know how to explain why and how motorcyclists take evasive actions, and help portray motorcyclists as sympathetic people who are put at risk by other drivers on the road, even when being as careful as possible.
Get the truthful, passionate representation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with the Motorcycle Law Group by calling 855-LAW-RIDERS. Matt Danielson, Liz Sorrell, Chad Fuller, Katie Fuller and Tyler Stiles, along with their support team, are available to you when you need proven motorcycle accident attorneys willing to fight for your rights.