Motorcycle Accidents: What to Avoid When Bringing a Lawsuit
Lawyers. Well, the wrong kind of lawyers. Any lawyer can handle a motorcycle accident case. However, many simply treat it like a car accident, and as any rider knows the two are very different. Claude Wyle, a California attorney and member of the Advocate Law Group network who has been practicing motorcycle law, and riding, for 25 years , explained:
Most automobile accident attorneys dont understand the difference between a motorcycle accident and a car accident. The dynamics of a motorcycle accident are very, very different. A motorcycle does not slide like a car does. It doesnt leave the same kind of tire friction marks. When it leaves a skid mark, it often doesnt tell the same story that a car skid mark will leave and unless the lawyer is really well versed in motorcycle dynamics and motorcycle accidents, they can make some very serious mistakes and give up a lot of money for their client because they dont know what story the evidence tells. Id say the biggest mistake they make is not referring the case to a motorcycle lawyer.
Prejudice. Most bikers would agree that theres a tremendous prejudice against bikers out there. Bikers are looked at as risk takers and, according to Wyle, that prejudice often transfers into the courtroom:
Bikers are looked at as kind of crazy, overly aggressive outlaws. What attracts us to motorcycling also repels the rest of the population. I think that motorcyclists are liked more and more as time goes on, though. Most people have somebody in their family now who enjoys motorcycling. However, theres definitely a prejudice in terms of what kind of person most jurors think is riding a motorcycle.
As a biker himself, Wyle pointed out that there are ways to overcome some of the prejudices. He continued, One of the best ways for motorcyclists to avoid or combat that is to wear all the safety gear youre supposed to wear. Its pretty hard to win a case for a person who wasnt wearing the right safety gear and doing the right thing. If youre wearing a helmet thats not approved or wearing a t-shirt or a pair of shorts and you get all cut up, its a difficult sell even if it was the other guys fault. Also, if you are wearing all the right gear, it shows that youre more of a safety conscious rider and thats important. I think thats the image we want to portray to combat that whole outlaw, speeding type of image.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle or bicycle accident, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of law. Click here, for a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney.