Overcoming Jury Bias in Motorcycle Accident Cases

San Francisco | San Jose | Oakland | San Rafael, CA

The experienced trial lawyers at the law firm of Weber & Nierenberg understand how each side tries to use the prospect of presenting its case before a jury to its advantage in the pretrial and settlement negotiation stages of a civil action.

We understand the value of preparing each case as if it will go to trial. That way, we convince insurance defense lawyers of our willingness and ability to present a close case to a jury. Similarly, the defense will often try to scare the plaintiff into a low settlement on the grounds that “no jury in _____ County will ever award a client like yours that kind of money.”

Insurers Use the Threat of Jury Bias to Settle Cases Cheaply

Scare tactics based on jury bias are especially common in motorcycle accident cases. Defense attorneys are not above playing up the stereotypes of bikers as risk-taking renegades for whom the dangers of motorcycle travel are a large part of the appeal, no matter how far removed from reality that image might be in a given case.

Our experience with cases involving serious motorcycle injuries suffered by bikers of all shapes and sizes allows us to state categorically: no motorcycle accident victim ever needs to fear jury bias based solely on the fact of having been injured while riding. No matter how you dress, how long you’ve been riding or how many tattoos you have, you’re entitled to the same fair treatment before a jury as anybody else, and we know how to help you get the most out of your day in court.

Our strategies in juror selection, jury instructions and objections during testimony are generally more than sufficient to overcome the risk that a particular jury might be prejudiced against a biker for reasons ranging from “she wasn’t wearing a helmet” to “he’s a member of a gang.” We find that keeping the jury focused on the evidence, especially on the accident’s impact on our client’s ability to live life as normal, is enough to accomplish a just result.

What Jury Bias? 4X Settlement Offer Awarded to Dykes on Bikes Member

One of our past cases illustrates very well our ability to protect our clients’ right to a fair trial while overcoming a very conscious jury-bias settlement strategy on the part of an insurer. Our client was a member of Dykes on Bikes, the San Francisco lesbian motorcycle club. She suffered a knee injury when a double-parked vehicle suddenly pulled into her path without signaling. We rejected a very low settlement offer that was based on the insurance company’s belief that the jury would hold her sexual orientation against her. Instead, the jury awarded our client a verdict four times the amount of the offer.

Find out more about the ways experienced trial lawyers can overcome jury bias and its use in settlement negotiations in northern California motorcycle accident litigation. Contact Weber & Nierenberg for a free consultation at any of our four Bay Area locations.

With offices in San Francisco, San Rafael, Oakland and San Jose, our attorneys represent motorcycle accident clients throughout the East Bay, North Bay, South Bay and other northern California communities, including Sacramento, Napa, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, Richmond, Fremont, Hayward, Modesto, Stockton, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Walnut Creek.


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1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
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P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612
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P. 510-663-6000

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