How to Make Sure Your Biker Client Gets a Fair Shake
The Chicago Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have advocated on the behalf of the victims of motorcycle accidents for over 25 years. The challenge for any personal injury attorney practicing in this area is to deal with the misperceptions the non-riding public has of motorcycle riders.
Court surveys indicate that the jury verdicts in favor of the victims of motorcycle accidents come in 25% lower than those of a similar accident involving the drivers of motor vehicles. While many may argue the percentages, the bottom line is that juries treat those who ride motorcycles differently and motorcycle riders need to be cognizant of this when interviewing accident lawyers to handle their claims. Lawyers practicing in the area of motorcycle accidents need to be aware of and prepared to handle the inherent bias against riders.
Jury focus groups assembled to review motorcycle accidents reveal that the non-riding public perceives riders as motorists who range from risk takers to just plain reckless. While clearly not a true perception of the riding public, a personal injury attorney representing a rider must be prepared to dispel these perceptions.
It is important to differentiate the client from these perceptions and to identify him as a “regular Joe or Josephine.” Evidence of the client’s education, family, employment, worship habits and community involvement must be acquired and developed as a priority to counter the defense’s anticipated exploitation of the general negative public perception.
As Chicago and South Chicago Motor Vehicle Accident lawyers of over 25 years, we are continually surprised of the insistence of these negative perceptions in light of the growing number of people 50 and over who begin riding as a cost effective way of enjoying free time through economical travel.
Insurance companies are aware of the challenges faced by the defenders of these claims and often refuse just settlement based on a riders chances at trial.
We recently reached a large settlement with a not-so-good insurance company that refused to deal until we were able to establish that our client was a nurse, with two children in college and a long standing commitment to charity and community service.
As we wrote in our blog on March 28th, a GPS system can be crucial where a client has suffered memory loss and/or a driver is insisting that the rider is at fault. This coupled with positive evidence of responsible character may be the key factors in assuring that your client is not one of the riders who does not receive the settlement they deserve.