I have become more and more aware of the prejudice against motorcycle riders by the police, the public and the press. Most often, the news caption will read “Motorcyclist strikes minivan (car, truck semi, etc.)” or some such judgmental conclusion deeming the motorcyclist to be at fault without any evidence of wrongdoing. As a motorcyclist I find the trend to be offensive. As a personal injury lawyer, often representing motorcyclists, I have to work hard to overcome these prejudices.
Following an accident involving a biker, it is not unusual to find witnesses that believe the biker was at fault. The usual is the biker was speeding, failing to yield, or changing lanes in an unsafe manner. Often the facts are they didn’t actually see the moment of impact but formed their opinion based on the sound of the motorcycle or some such unreliable or preconceived negative stereotype. Motorcycles may be loud, they are substantially more agile than other motor vehicles and able to change lane more abruptly. That doesn’t mean that they were being operated recklessly. As for estimating speed even if the bike can accelerate rapidly it doesn’t mean that speed was a factor. Additionally the fact that the motorcycle is smaller in stature than most other vehicles may create the false impression that it was going faster than it really was.
Given these prejudices, as a personal injury lawyer, the challenging task may be to demonstrate that the fault was not that of the cyclist. To do that I may be required to retain the services of an engineering firm specializing in accident reconstruction. I also rely heavily on my more than 30 years of trial experience to cross-examine and discredit those witnesses who have fallen into the prejudice trap.
Certainly, I have witnessed motorcyclists riding beyond their experience and good sense. They have pushed the limit and imperiled their own lives and the safety of others. There will always be idiot drivers in cars and on bikes alike.
Most motorcyclists truly ride in trepidation of those drivers who simply make a mistake. Failing to stop at a stop or yield sign, running a late yellow light, turning left without seeing the approaching motorcyclist, improperly changing lanes or the classic “rear-ender” can alter or end a motorcycle rider’s life in seconds.
Ride and drive safe. Although I rarely agree with anything emanating from ICBC, their campaign reminding motorists to “Share the road together” with motorcyclists is worthy of thought.
You need someone truly on your side. Why settle for less? Contact Einfeld Law for a free, initial consultation at (250) 712-0001, visit our website at www.einfeldlaw.com or find us on facebook.
D. Glenn Einfeld is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury lawyer and BC motorcycle accident lawyer who has successfully litigated many ICBC claims and other insurance claims, including out of province claims, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other serious injury claims.