On September 15th, we wrote about the difficulties inherent in pursuing personal injury claims made by the drivers of motorcycles that are involved in motor vehicle accidents. (Winning the Jury; myaccidentlaw.com/blog September 15th, 2011). To add insult to injury, we have written about the brain injuries and loss of memory endemic to riders when they are hurt (myaccidentlaw.com/blog “Bikers: Get A Garmin). Unfortunately for riders, they suffer these disadvantages when they are involved in accidents and the general public perception that riders are reckless drivers often acts against them when they are pursuing their personal injury claim. The fact is that riders are most often responsible and obeying traffic rules when something occurs that cannot be avoided and is not the rider’s fault.
In one recent case, a motorcycle passenger was seriously injured by a crash caused by the improper installation of a manhole cover. Apparently, the road had been recently resurfaced but the contractor failed to repair one manhole cover causing it to be raised 3 inches over street level. It was determined that the negligence of the contractor caused the crash and the case was settled for $3, 817,500. The plaintiff who was a 50-year-old nurse suffered traumatic brain injury, a fractured sacrum, a fractured pelvis and two fractured ribs. In this lawsuit, a settlement was reached and the case did not go to jury. At Grazian and Volpe we are always cognizant of the prejudices juries have against bikers. We are pleased to see this plaintiff was able to reach a fine settlement without trial and wish this healer a speedy and good recovery.