Motorcyclists often have a difficult time explaining why they ride to people who don’t ride.
“Driving in a car can be like watching the world go by on a TV screen,” Matt Gramly, one of the leading motorcycle accident attorneys in California, states. “The car itself is a barrier between you and the world outside, nothing touches you, and nothing invades your space. When you are on a bike you are alive, one with the road and world outside.”
At the same time, motorcyclists do not have the same physical protections as car and truck divers if a traffic collision occurs. The consequences of a collision to a motorcyclist are almost always more significant than to the driver of the “cage” (that’s what motorcyclists call “cars”). The latest data shows that motorcycle crashes take about 4,700 lives a year, or one in seven U.S. traffic deaths. Another 92,000 motorcyclists were injured.
This is not to imply that motorcyclists are unsafe drivers. In fact, the opposite is often the case. When an experienced, trained motorcyclist is involved in a collision, we find that almost always that the collision was due to the fault of the driver of another vehicle. The driver did not see the motorcyclist or turned in front of the motorcyclist, was distracted or texting, etc.
A series of recent accidents in Northern California sadly demonstrates this point:
- In the early hours of May 20, 2016, a car driving on the Bay Bridge rear-ended and killed a motorcyclist near the Treasure Island off ramp;
- Later that night, a minivan driver in the Mission District of San Francisco turned left into a motorcyclist killing him.
- On May 21, 2016, a Vacaville woman turned in front of a pair of motorcycylists on Highway 113 at Hay Road, causing a crash that left the two riders dead; and
- The same day, a pickup driver suspected of driving drunk crossed the double yellow line and killed an East Bay motorcyclist driving on Highway 20 in Ukiah, California.
One of the most common scenarios in the motorcycle cases we litigate is when a driver coming from the opposite direction misjudges the distance to the motorcyclist or turns suddenly in front of the motorcyclist, causing the motorcyclist to collide directly with the car. This may have been what occurred in the fatal motorcycle crash in the San Francisco Mission District noted above.
Another challenge motorcyclists face if the case proceeds to trial is that often not a single juror rides motorcycles and their first thought is “Motorcycles are so unsafe!.”
At the Dolan Law Firm, we are known for taking challenging and complicated cases to trial and prevailing. We often obtain recoveries far above industry averages, including some of the largest verdicts and settlements ever in individual injury lawsuits in California.
We have the experience and knowledge to educate jurors and overcome jury bias against motorcyclists, and many other obstacles, to obtain the best financial recovery for our clients.
Further, we have a statewide network of the best expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists and consultants for use at trial and during settlement negotiations, many of whom have worked with us for 20 years.
We employ state of the art animation to show a jury what happened in real time and in slow motion. Our attorneys have successfully tried cases in every court throughout the Bay Area, in Los Angeles, and several other states throughout the region.
And some of our experienced attorneys ride motorcycles too. We get it.
Contact Our Motorcycle Crash Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bike accident, we urge you to email our attorneys today or call 415-636-8160. We will review your case for free, promptly and with no obligation on your part.