David Wilkerson Killed in Amarillo, TX, Motorcycle Accident
Amarillo, TX -- March 9, 2017, David Wilkerson suffered fatal injuries due to an accident in which his motorcycle and an SUV crashed.
Investigators from the Amarillo Police Department reported that the incident happened in the evening hours of Sunday at the intersection of South Coulter Street and Elmhurst Road.
According to preliminary reports, 55-year-old Wilkerson was driving a Harley-Davidson southbound along Coulter. An SUV driven by 69-year-old Selma Douglass was traveling northbound on Coulter. When she attempted to turn left onto Elmhurst, her vehicle was struck by the motorcycle, and Wilkerson was ejected onto the roadway.
This resulted in critical injuries for Wilkerson, who was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. He later died there. Douglass was not injured.
At this time, authorities have not issued any citations or charges. They say the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Map of the Area
Considering this intersection is controlled by a traffic light, there are two likely scenarios with accident. The first is that the SUV had a protected arrow and the motorcyclist ran a red light, and the second is that the motorcyclist had a green light and the SUV failed to yield. There simply aren't enough details to determine one or another, but I've seen enough motorcycle accidents to know most people will automatically assume the motorcyclist was at fault. This stems from a very common misconception that all motorcyclists are dangerous drivers.
When a lot of people think about a motorcyclist, they envision somebody speeding down the highway, weaving in and out of traffic, and barreling down the shoulder past traffic. Even I've seen these riders out there, but these are the bad apples that are spoiling the bunch. Our firm has represented many motorcyclists over the years who were more than responsible on the road. Most motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers of larger vehicles failing to see the riders before changing lanes or turning into them. Despite this, many people still hold a very negative perception of motorcyclists.
So how does this bias affect victims of motorcycle accidents? You have to remember that when a personal injury or wrongful death claim goes to trial, it's going to go before a jury of average citizens. Since the bias against motorcyclists is a common misconception, you can bet some of those jurors will have this prejudice. Insurance coimpanies can use this to their advantage. An inexperienced attorney may walk into a trial unprepared to counter this sort of prior bias, therefore allowing the insurance company's defense team to run amok and sway jurors to their side. Not only that, but an inexperienced attorney might even see this as a possibility and be intimidated into settling with the insurance company for far less than victims and their families deserve. Why risk it, right?
Don't take this to mean that getting justice for motorcycle accident victims is impossible, however. The point I'm making here is that people must prepared for an insurance company to try and play off of people's negative preconceptions. These strategies can be overcome with the right experience and preparation. For one, the accident needs to be investigated by an independent professional who has experience with these kinds of accidents. By gathering the right evidence and as much of it as possible, any misconceptions of motorcyclists can be overcome with cold hard facts. Ensuring this is done can effectively guard victims and their families from opportunistic insurance companies. That way, they can get the justice they deserve.