Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that juries hate motorcycles. The image of a crotch rocket driving past at 100 mph is lodged deep in the mind of most of us. I found some very old data today suggesting another juror antipathy: bicyclists. An article in Bicycling almost 20 years ago reported that 67% of car-injured motorcyclists recover an award through litigation, but only 45% of bicyclists recover. (Nelson Pena, Double Standard: Why Injured Cyclists Usually Lose in Court, Bicycling, Dec. 1991)

The motorcycle thing drives our lawyers crazy is when we know our client is a motorcyclist who did the right thing and the defense lawyer is just using the bias against motorcyclists in a way that completely ignores the actual facts. But I’m amazed this same bias also exists to bike riders.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the 2007 numbers for motorcycle fatalities and injuries. The news on the safety of motorcycles does not surprise any lawyer handling motorcycle accident cases in Maryland: it is bad and it is getting worse. Fatal motorcycle accidents rose 7% in 2007 to 5,154. Motorcyclists are 35 times – think about that – more likely to die in an accident. Motorcycle injuries have also increased, there were 103,000 reported injuries—a 15 percent increase from 2006’s 88,000 injuries. Motorcycle riders are also 8 times more likely to suffer an injury in an accident than an occupant of a car.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers have handled a lot of wrongful death motorcycle accident cases in Maryland. I cannot remember one fatal motorcycle accident we have accepted where I believed that the victim was at fault for the accident. But have I often wondered what would have happened if the victim had been in an automobile? Of course.