Stereotypes in Biking Culture Complicates Lawsuits with Motorcycle Accidents

In the last decade, more and more signs have been popping up with a very relevant message: high-traffic and high-density areas needed to inform drivers to “watch for motorcycles.” The message is as clear as can be and in its charming simplicity, it informs drivers to stay reminded of motorcyclists on the road, a reminder that is welcomed by biking enthusiasts that have often been dealt a bad hand on the road.
Has anyone consciously asked why these messages are becoming so much more prevalent? The reason, like many things in local government, can be directed back to state law. Motorcycle accidents are prone to a lot of liability cases. The core question seems to come down to two parameters.

  • Should a motorcyclist be responsible because they have a smaller vehicle of transport and should be aware of this limitation?
  • Should drivers be responsible because they should be aware of these smaller and more vulnerable drivers?

Of course, the answer lies on both parties, but the law must choose a side. In a lawsuit, someone comes out on top and the other is the victim. Motorcycle accidents are especially vulnerable to the many ebbs and flows of liability law, insurance responsibility and serious medical injuries.

The stereotype tends to overcomplicate an issue that should be simple: motorcyclists have the unfair stereotype of being incompetent drivers. There is also a subtle lack in understanding. For one, most jurors drive vehicles every day. Their experience with a motorcycle may be as versed as that one time the guy pulled in between the lanes and almost knocked the rear-view mirror off the side of the car.
There is also the association with motorcyclists. Gangs, loud noises and the alternative culture of it have always collided against the mainstream acceptance of what is normal.

Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas LLP seeks to protect motorcyclists that are being unfairly treated by the law. These stereotypes must go, as they are only small examples of a culture that is rich, diverse and productive. Plus, it just seems smarter to ride a bike- and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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