Are Police Officers and Accident Investigators Prejudiced Against Bikers?
Over the summer months, our office was retained to represent the interests of several motorcyclists catastrophically injured or killed in two-vehicle accidents. Our investigation revealed that, in many of these cases, it was not the motorcyclist’s fault. Unfortunately, however, the initial police reports pointed the finger at the motorcyclists instead of providing a fair and sufficiently comprehensive account of what actually occurred.
Giving Motorcyclists Benefit Of The Doubt Concerning Accidents
As a motorcycle accident attorney for over three and a half decades and a biker for most of my life, I am well aware of a deep prejudice against people who ride motorcycles. Many individuals, including police officers and accident investigators, peg them as irresponsible, sometimes even going so far as to cast criminal aspersions on them. In many motorcycle cases, judges and jurors begin with the assumption that the biker was at fault in the collision. However, in actual fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 39 percent of two-vehicle accidents in 2011 “involved a vehicle turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing or overtaking the vehicle.”
In one of our recent cases—despite the fact that an individual was killed due to the seemingly clear-cut negligence of the defendant—we had to overcome the deep-seated prejudice of the accident report in order to get a fair hearing for the client, which required a complex accident reconstruction and a skillful investigation. Obviously, the survivors of the deceased victim were at their wits’ end, due to the fact that the initial investigation reports were so obviously wrong, and were skewed in favor of the striking defendant.
There are several reasons why bikers cannot afford to be hindered by prejudice. A biker is at a distinct disadvantage, in terms of safety, in a collision with a four-wheeled vehicle. Motorcycles are not enclosed vehicles, and lack many of the safety features of passenger vehicles, rendering bikers highly vulnerable to being seriously injured or killed. Yet motorcycle insurance coverage is not the same as for cars and trucks, and bikers are not required to have the same amount of insurance as the drivers of automobiles. Because bikers involved in crashes with cars are in serious need of medical care, fair settlements are imperative; they cannot afford to place themselves at the mercy of insurance companies or hostile judges or juries.
The Motorcycle Accident Attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm Have the Experience to Handle Your Case
If you have been involved in a two-vehicle motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident attorney with the expertise to file a winning claim or lawsuit by establishing causation, proving the negligence of the other driver, and demonstrating that you have suffered damages—one who can help you attain the financial compensation necessary to cover your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Jeffrey Reiff is a motorcycle accident attorney who—as a biker himself—is uniquely qualified to counter prejudice against bikers and advocate for their rights. Moreover, he has been recognized by his peers as having the highest possible rating in both legal abilities and ethical standards. He is consistently recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorneys. Contact us today for a free consultation at (215) 246-9000.