It’s motorcycle season and we’ve already had some serious accidents. There has been at least one death in Rhode Island and now we’ve had that multiple fatality tragedy in New Hampshire that has devastated the biker community. Motorcycle cases are almost always serious but one that I had back in the 90’s was kind of funny. At least, the way it played out was. So, I’m telling this story now to offer it to my friends in the New England Motorcycle Enthusiasts group to lighten their load if only for a bit. I know you’re hurting.
It was a beautiful summer day. Hot, but before we blamed climate change for everything. A client was riding his bike down a country road. On the back of his motorcycle was an “exotic dancer” he had just met. They had gone to get some ice cream and were heading – somewhere. A truck jumped out in front of them and my client laid his bike down to avoid hitting the truck. He got banged up pretty bad, as did the exotic dancer. Injuries to bikers tend to always be serious due to the lack of a protective barrier and the likelihood of hitting the pavement at the end of the collision. In this case there was a lot of skin to pavement contact.
My client found my name and number in the yellow pages (remember them?) and came to my office for a consultation. He hired me and after trying to settle the case for a while, I filed suit for him. We sued the truck driver and the company that owned the truck for negligence.
The dancer was also injured and she ended up with another attorney due to the conflict. She sued the truck driver and the company that owned the truck and she also sued my client. (That was the conflict) It’s normal for a passenger to sue the driver of the vehicle they’re in/on and she wasn’t really interested in suing my client, but she had to do what she had to do. One of the things she claimed in her lawsuit was that due to her injuries she could no longer properly shimmy, which was a requirement of her job, and that severely reduced her income.
My client also could not shimmy, but he was still able to do a two-step in the emergency room when his wife came to the hospital after she was contacted. He managed to keep his wife and the young lady separated. But with the likelihood of litigation including depositions, witness testimony, etc., my client knew that kind of good luck might not last so he did the only rational thing he could possibly do. He moved to Florida. That way, his wife wouldn’t be in Rhode Island for depositions, trial, etc., and he would be less likely to have to hire me to represent him in a divorce. (He swears they just had ice cream together, but let’s face it, the optics were not good.)
The insurance company initially refused liability because there was no actual collision with the truck. He had laid the bike down. They argued that it wasn’t the truck driver’s fault. I did extensive research on motorcycle accident avoidance techniques and, believe it or not, even the bike manual recommended laying the bike down back then under the particular circumstances. I was able to convince the insurance company that my client was not negligent and settle the case. It helped a lot that he clearly had the right of way, too.
I also did extensive research on exotic dancing, but that didn’t really help the claim and I can’t say that information ever came in handy at all, but I was very diligent in my research. I’m just the kind of attorney that likes to be thorough…
We got a great recovery for my client and managed to avoid any liability on his part for the exotic dancer’s diminished capacity to shimmy! My client is still living happily ever after in Florida, but I can’t say I know what ever happened to the dancer.
Ride safe, my friends.
At Carl P. DeLuca, Attorney at Law, we’re passionate about bikers. For over 30 years, we’ve worked with clients injured in motorcycle accidents to get them the best results possible. If you know someone that was injured in a motorcycle accident, please feel free refer them to me. If the accident happened outside of Rhode Island, have them contact me anyway. I’ll help them get set up with a good attorney from the state the accident occurred in. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.