For riders, motorcycles represent freedom, enjoyment, and the ability to
hit the open road in a thrilling and exhilarating machine. For many other
motorists, motorcycles are obnoxious, reckless, and ridden by maniac daredevils
who merely want to hang out in blind spots, weave through traffic and
make life difficult while on the roads. Or at least, that’s what their
opinion of motorcyclists is, and it’s this opinion that makes motorcycle
injury cases so difficult.
Motorcycle accidents are fraught with bias on the part of jury members,
and that means getting a fair trial where everyone who decides your case
will have a fair and open mind as to your arguments can be a tall task.
This is ultimately why most unsuccessful lawsuits in motorcycle accidents
fail: a biased jury refused to believe that the motorcyclist could be
free from fault in an accident, and thus they refused to vote otherwise.
How do you make sure this isn’t present in your own case? Simple:
you need a Billings motorcycle accident attorney on your side who’s
familiar with jury bias and can combat it in the early stages of your
case. Let’s take a look at how.
Overcoming Negative Stereotypes
Most jury members are going to own a car, not a motorcycle. Cars vastly
outnumber their two-wheeled counterparts, and this is the reason why most
juries tend to sympathize with the car owner over the motorcycle rider.
To top it off, most motorists don’t even think twice about positive
interactions they may have with a motorcycle rider, but they’ll
usually clearly remember any negative interactions. Unfortunately it’s
those negative experiences that usually ruin the reputations of riders
So therein lies the issue for victims and attorneys: how do you overcome
a predisposition towards thinking that an injured motorcyclist wasn’t
acting like the one they can so clearly remember? The process starts with
jury selection; your attorney will likely ask each prospective juror about
their opinions and experiences regarding motorcyclists, and dismiss any
jurors who they believe won’t give them a fair, unbiased trial right
from the start. This can take some time.
Second, you and your attorney must work diligently to effectively disprove
the idea that you conform to the reputation of these dangerous, law-ignoring
riders. While the overwhelming majority of riders are exactly like a normal
motorist (following the laws, riding safely, wearing the proper equipment,
being courteous on the road, etc.), it will take some time to show that
not only is this the standard you ride by, but the standard you were riding
by at the time the accident occurred.
You’ll need evidence in the form of witness testimony, previous riding
history (including any record of traffic tickets), and many other forms
of evidence to show that what you’re saying is true, and while the
battle may still be difficult, there’s absolutely no point at which
it becomes not worth it to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
As your advocates, the renowned team at Odegaard Braukmann Law, LLC can
fight for your rights as an injury victim. Call us today at (406) 640-4441 for a
free case evaluation.