Carefree Motorcycle Accident and Michael Jakscht

August 25, 2011

I have already written quite a bit on the Carefree motorcycle accident case, the one that recently resulted in a mistrial.  And while I have already written both about the criminal and DUI aspect and the motorcycle injury aspect of the case, I would to elaborate on a basic point: motorcycle injury cases are very different from car accident cases. 

Of course, that motorcycle and car cases are different from one another is obvious, and that point would hardly need clarification? So what exactly do I mean?  What I mean by it is that the victims of motorcycle accidents are treated very differently from the victims of car accidents. 

As I wrote before, I have the nagging suspicion that if Michael Jakscht had run into a car with four people dying as a result, instead of killing four motorcycle riders, the result of the criminal case would have been quite different. (see "Carefree Motorcycle Mistrial and the Michael Jakscht case")   

I can't help but think that if this case was a car accident instead of a motorcycle accident, the result may have been different. Certainly, as someone who rides a motorcycle myself and has represented motorcycle riders in accident injury cases, I am aware that many people- especially insurance companies- consider motorcycle accidents, even when the motorcycle rider is not at all at fault, the "cost of doing business" and that motorcycle riders have essentially assumed the risk of getting hurt. 

The fact is many people do not like or care for motorcycles and motorcycle riders.  Many people, in fact, assume that anyone who rides a motorcycle is asking for trouble and if they get hurt, well then that is the riders fault even if the rider did not improper.   

In other words, getting hurt even through the fault of another person is just the risk a motorcycle takes, and he should not complain when he does get hurt. That is why it is important for anyone who  is injured in a motorcycle accident that they make sure that any potential jury is screened very well.  

It would be very interesting to find out how carefully the Maricopa County Attorneys' Office screened the jury pool in the Michael Jakscht, and how much effort they put into humanizing the motorcycle victims during opening statements, direct examination, and closing arguments.