By Morris Lilienthal, Martinson & Beason in Huntsville, Alabama
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, in 2014 there were 1,650 accidents across the state involving motorcycles. Those accidents resulted in 1,251 injuries and 64 deaths. While motorcycle accidents may not occur more often than other types of accidents, they are more likely to result in serious injury or death, due to the lack of protection given the motorcyclist.
In fact, according to the federal government, in 2006 there were 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents. The most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist involves a car making a left-hand turn, either when the motorcyclist is going through an intersection or passing the car.
Unfortunately, after being seriously injured by a passenger vehicle or truck, the motorcyclist can find it very difficult to get a fair settlement, largely because of the preconceived ideas many jurors may have about motorcyclists. They are often seen as thrill-seekers—law-flouting, drug-fueled outlaws who exceed the speed limit and take unnecessary risks. Even though these are nothing more than stereotypes and stigmas, a jury may award a settlement based more on their own beliefs than on the facts of the case.
Using a helmet camera may be the ideal way for an attorney to prove the other driver’s liability. A video of the accident can be a powerful piece of evidence that is difficult to refute, and an excellent way to document liability and clearly show fault. Jurors, as well as the police officers who prepare the accident report, can have a much more difficult time attributing the accident to the motorcyclist’s bad behaviors when there is a video documenting every event leading up to the accident.
The fact that many innocent, injured motorcyclists are perceived to be reckless and held responsible for accidents—when they were not responsible—make helmet cameras an excellent and affordable way to avoid this. The Martinson & Beason attorneys can challenge biased police reports and deal with jury stereotypes while obtaining just compensation for a motorcyclist’s injuries.