Both in popular culture and in civil courtrooms, motorcycle riders are often stereotyped as thrill-seekers who intentionally flaunt the rules of the road and of society at large. This belief sometimes leads people to assume that motorcyclists are to blame for traffic accidents. In reality, though, motorcycle riders often hold little or no blame for injuries they sustain in serious wrecks.
Instead, the people most often responsible for motorcycle accidents are car and truck drivers who didn’t see a motorcyclist near them or otherwise acted irresponsibly behind the wheel. That said, every incident is unique, and answering the question of who bears legal responsibility for a specific crash can be challenging. Insurance companies know this and often do all they can to pin blame on the motorcycle driver. Our understanding motorcycle accident attorneys at OnderLaw are dedicated to protecting the rights of motorcyclists who have been injured in crashes.
Proving Another Driver At Fault for a Motorcycle Crash
Even though raw statistics indicate that car and truck drivers are more often to blame for collisions with motorcyclists, civil courts—and certainly insurance companies—will not just assume any one person is to blame for causing the collision. The burden of proving that a specific person is at fault for a motorcycle accident always falls to the injured person, who typically must establish that the person they’re trying to hold accountable for the wreck was legally negligent in some way.
When it comes to holding a car or truck driver liable for a motorcycle wreck, this generally means showing that they did something reckless or careless that breached what’s called a “duty of care.” All drivers must obey traffic laws and watch out for other people near them while driving. The injured person pursuing the legal claim must prove that the defendant driver’s specific irresponsible act was the main and direct cause of the accident.
Who Else Could Be Liable for a Wreck?
While car and truck drivers are responsible for most motorcycle crashes, numerous other people and entities could hold some or even most of the fault for an accident like this. For example, suppose someone driving a commuter car collides with a motorcyclist because their brakes failed unexpectedly. In that case, liability might lie with a mechanic who failed to identify and replace those faulty brakes during past servicing or with the company that manufactured and sold the brakes in the first place.
In other situations, the company that employs a negligent driver may be responsible for their employee’s misconduct if it directly leads to an otherwise preventable accident. This is only applicable when someone causes a motorcycle crash while driving as part of their work-related duties—for example, a commercial truck driver traveling along their assigned route.
Overcoming Comparative Negligence After a Motorcycle Accident
It’s also worth noting that proving someone else primarily at fault for a motorcycle accident doesn’t mean you—as the injured motorcyclist—cannot be found partially at fault based on your own negligence. As an experienced motorcycle collision attorney could further explain, any percentage of fault assigned to you for your wreck could be held against you as a reduction from any damage award you receive from your case.
Our proactive lawyers at OnderLaw will fight back against allegations of comparative fault and work to ensure the negligent party or parties who caused the crash are held responsible for the full extent of your losses. Call today to schedule your free, private consultation with one of our dedicated legal professionals.