As Georgia injury and wrongful death attorneys, we occasionally see other attorneys marketing themselves as motorcycle injury attorneys who also ride motorcycles. You may have seen them too. A picture of the lawyer in a suit sitting on his or her beautiful motorcycle with the caption reading “Injured While Riding? Hire an Injury Attorney Who Rides!”
There is an implication that if a motorcycle rider is injured or killed in a wreck, having an attorney who rides motorcycles handle the case somehow provides them an advantage over having an attorney who doesn’t ride. We disagree. It is a clever marketing tool to try to target an audience with whom you have something in common as an attorney, but it is just that – a marketing tool.
What you or your loved one needs if you are injured in a motorcycle wreck is an injury attorney who knows Georgia law, will work hard to learn all of the facts of your case and any peculiar legal nuances that may apply. And most importantly knows how to try a motorcycle case to a jury.
There are differences between injury or death cases involving motorcycles, tractor trailers, and regular passenger vehicles. But an experienced and hard-working attorney who knows those differences can handle any of those cases. You don’t have to have driven a tractor trailer to know how to handle trucking cases, and you don’t have to have ridden a motorcycle to know how to handle a motorcycle case.
Can Advertising Affect How You Perceive A Motorcycle Attorney?
There are plenty of attorneys who try to develop a specialty in particular types of accident cases such as motorcycle cases for various reasons. One, it can be a good business model to narrowly tailor your practice; two, the chosen specialty likely closely aligns with the attorney’s interests; and, three, it’s great for marketing if you can stand out as the go-to attorney for a specific type of case. But in our opinion, there is no actual advantage to you, the injured party, solely because your attorney also rides motorcycles.
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with attorneys who market themselves as injury attorneys who ride motorcycles. If the attorney is otherwise qualified and it makes you as a client more comfortable that you have riding motorcycles in common with your attorney compared to others you have interviewed then that is a perfectly legitimate reason to hire that attorney.
Our point is simply that experience riding motorcycles has little to no bearing on an attorney’s ability to successfully handle a motorcycle accident injury or death case. Just like you do not need an attorney who has slipped and fallen to handle a slip-and-fall case or an attorney who has been arrested and prosecuted to handle a criminal case, you do not need an attorney who rides motorcycles to handle a motorcycle accident or death case.
BOTTOM LINE: What IS important is to hire a lawyer that knows how to try a motorcycle injury or death case to a jury.
Hire A Motorcycle Attorney With The Experience Necessary To Win Your Case
If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle wreck, the type of experience that is most valuable in handling your case as successfully as possible is not riding experience but Georgia injury litigation experience including experience handling motorcycle cases. Odds are the insurance company representative who will be evaluating your case and deciding who they believe is at fault and how much your injuries are worth in a settlement will probably not have motorcycle riding experience either. In that event, they will not be impressed at all by whether your attorney rides motorcycles or not.
What they will be impressed by is whether your attorney knows how to gather all of the relevant facts of your case, knows how to identify all of the available insurance coverage that may apply to your claim, knows how to gather all of the related medical treatment records and bills and present them in an organized fashion with a full understanding of the injuries caused by the wreck, knows how to properly value a Georgia motorcycle injury claim based on all of the facts and circumstances of your case, and knows when to take a case to trial when a fair settlement is not being offered.
The nuance that makes Georgia motorcycle injury claims different from regular passenger vehicle claims is subtle but important, and it should be known by a good, experienced injury and wrongful death attorney whether they ride or not. For the most part, the same Georgia rules of the road apply to motorcycles that apply to every other vehicle. And for the most part, the same rules of civil liability apply to motorcycle accidents that apply to every other vehicle accident. An attorney’s knowledge of the nuance that applies to motorcycles both under Georgia law and in practice is gained primarily from experience working on motorcycle injury and death claims on behalf of clients in need and not from personal experience riding motorcycles. Our firm has learned a lot about the nuances of riding motorcycles through the years from clients we have helped through very difficult motorcycle injury and wrongful death cases. It is difficult for me to imagine how that experience could have been replaced by simply knowing how to ride a motorcycle.
I analogize having an injury attorney who rides motorcycles to having a heart surgeon who has had open heart surgery. While it might make you feel slightly better that your surgeon can empathize with what you are about to go through in the operating room, you would never let that empathy trump your insistence that your surgeon first and foremost be highly qualified to perform heart surgery based on years of education and experience performing successful heart surgeries.
Your surgeon does not need to have had the surgery performed on them to know how to perform them successfully. For an experienced injury and wrongful death attorney, the same is true. They do not have an advantage in vehicle cases because they drive a car, and they would not have any real advantage in a motorcycle case because they ride.
So what is the takeaway from all of this? If you or a loved one are injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, your first priority in finding a Georgia injury attorney should be to find an experienced injury and wrongful death attorney. Interview several to find the best fit for you and your case, and do not let a marketing tool steer you to someone who is not otherwise qualified to help you through such an important time in your life.