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.