The arguments described above for overcoming jury bias against motorcyclists are fact-based arguments. In addition to these arguments, a well-prepared lawyer will use pre-trial motions and basic jury instructions to protect his or her client. Every juror can relate to the “Rules of the Road.” South Carolina law states that every motorist must use ordinary care at all times for his safety and for the safety of others; that a driver has a duty to see that which is open and apparent; that a driver must operate his vehicle at a speed as to be able to avoid any visible obstruction; that a driver must respect others’ rights-of-way; and that a driver may not turn a vehicle or move left on a road unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety. These rules can and must be stressed from jury selection through closing argument in any trial of a motorcycle accident case.
Pre-trial motions are also an important part of the fight against jury bias. Before a lawyer gets to the factual dispute about such issues as noise, helmet use, tattoos, organization membership, etc., it may be possible to have the court prohibit reference to them on the basis that they are not probative, or that the probative value of the evidence is outweighed by its prejudicial impact. The jury selection process also can be used to identify and remove biased potential jurors.
Thorough investigation and thoughtful case preparation by an experienced Greenville personal injury lawyer who knows what to look for at a motorcycle crash scene and aggressive case preparation of the factual and legal arguments give the injured motorcyclist the best chance to overcome bias among witnesses and jurors, and the best possible chance for a successful outcome in a South Carolina motorcycle accident case.