With virtually every new Pennsylvania motorcycle accident claim my law office takes in, at some point there is a discussion about if and when we are forced to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit, which county would be the best for a motorcycle accident in PA case to be filed?
Most clients, after hearing my typical motorcycle lawyer speech about which counties will return the highest verdict for someone injured in a motorcycle accident in PA, understand that in Pennsylvania, the best counties to file a lawsuit are generally Philadelphia and Alleghany counties.
However, the law generally restricts where we are allowed to file suit in a motorcycle accident in PA.
After giving this speech to current and former clients for well over twenty years, many still have difficulty understanding it, because as they ride their motorcycles, they see many other bikes on the road and it leads them to believe that if they do end up facing a jury trial, the pool of potential jurors will be filled with other motorcycle riders.
That is rarely the case.
In many of the jury trials I have been involved with over the years, you would be surprised that a majority of the people sitting on the panel have never been on a motorcycle, nor do they have any desire to ride one, and therefore we generally end up with a jury panel of between 8-12 people, most of which don’t have much sympathy for an injured biker.
A perfect example can be observed in Pennsylvania counties such as Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Northampton and Bucks County.
If you go for a ride, you will see motorcycles on almost every street, which may lead you to believe that if a jury trial becomes necessary, those are the “peers” you are going to see waiting to be selected to sit on your jury.
However, the reality is that most of the individuals that get selected to serve on the jury have never operated a motorcycle and carry with them the negative feelings about those who enjoy riding.
Although Pennsylvania is fifth in the number of registered motorcycles with almost 900,000 bikes licensed and registered, when you compare that number to the number of residents that are over 18 and are eligible to sit on a jury panel, you quickly come to realize that most of the potential jurors do not ride a motorcycle.
If you factor that in, along with the state of our overall economy, you are going to find that most juries are not looking to award large amounts of money to an individual who is complaining about neck or back pain unless there are substantial residual injuries from surgery or loss of the ability to work.
The bottom line is, “The Best” motorcycle accident cases settle out of court and unfortunately cases where there is a question as to liability and/or the severity of the injuries are the ones that end up in front of a jury.