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The Bias Against Bikers and Motorcyclists

By San Diego Attorney on June 4, 2020

After decades of TV and movie portrayals, motorcyclists often have a media-generated reputation to overcome when seeking compensation in an accident. The average American may consider motorcycle riders to be reckless, hell-raising gang members with a proclivity for breaking the law. In truth, most motorcycle riders are upstanding, law-abiding members of the community who simply enjoy the freedom of cruising the open road. Nevertheless, to prevail in a claim for compensation, a personal injury lawyer representing an injured motorcyclist often faces the task of overcoming certain biases.

What Are the Typical Biases Against Motorcyclists?

When a passenger vehicle driver causes an accident involving a motorcyclist, typical biases asserted by the defense include:

  • The motorcycle was too difficult to see.
  • The rider was speeding or driving recklessly at the time of the crash.
  • The rider was not following the rules of the road.
  • The rider is automatically liable for the accident.

If you are bringing a claim for compensation in civil court against the driver who caused your motorcycle accident, these biases must be shattered. Otherwise, you may end up with less compensation than you deserve. Ingrained bias against motorcyclists can cause other drivers, law enforcement officers, insurance adjusters, and even judges and juries to falsely assume that the motorcyclist is likely to blame for a collision between a passenger vehicle and a bike.

How Can an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Defend a Biker’s Rights?

A personal injury lawyer who has experience with motorcycle accident cases will be familiar with the biases against motorcyclists. These biases can be addressed and overcome with the jury, one by one. For example:

  • If the other side asserts that the motorcycle was difficult to see, an experienced personal injury attorney may produce photographs and recreations of the accident scene to demonstrate that visibility of the motorcyclist. In addition, measurements of the relative distances and sight lines can also provide a clearer understanding about the scene of the accident. Videos and witness statements may be used to demonstrate how easily an attentive driver could have – and should have – seen the motorcycle.
  • An assertion that the motorcyclist was driving too fast is hard to hold up when compared to hard science. There is a general assumption that the faster an object is moving, the louder it is, however this is often not the case with motorcycles. Our experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer can use actual evidence from the collision, such as vehicle crush damage and skid marks to help overcome mistaken assumptions of speed.
  • Bias about the character of motorcyclists can be overcome with testimony from various witnesses. Individuals who may be called as character witnesses for the injured motorcyclist may include friends, family, co-workers, treating physicians, and eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident.

Building a Case

No injured party should be denied a fair and unbiased review of their case, no matter what vehicle they choose to ride. When you bring your case to jD LAW, P.C., our lead San Diego personal injury attorney will provide a fact-based analysis of the accident to determine who was liable, where compensation can be obtained, and how much compensation can be recovered. As a former LAPD investigator, founding attorney James N. Dicks has the expertise to provide a thorough review of your case and argue for full compensation during negotiations or at trial. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

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