Negligence is established in a motorcycle accident through four interlocking steps:
- The at-fault driver had a duty of care. This means that the law required them to drive carefully and responsibly to prevent harm to themselves and others around them.
- The at-fault driver breached their duty of care. This means that they did not drive carefully and responsibly.
- The victim’s injuries are a direct cause of the at-fault driver’s breach of the duty of care. Their behavior or conduct was careless.
- The victim was injured or killed.
To learn more about these steps and how negligence is established in a motorcycle accident, you may want to consider contacting a lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 motorcyclists died in auto accidents in 2018. In fact, it is 28 times more likely that a motorcyclist will die in a car crash than anyone else in the crash. Motorcycles can be dangerous, but motorcycle accidents may happen because other drivers on the road are not paying careful attention to their surroundings. Because motorcycles are smaller and do not need as much space as cars and trucks on the road, other drivers sometimes fail to see them. When another vehicle changes lanes, merges, or makes a left turn, the driver may not signal, view their surroundings carefully, or check their vehicle’s blind spots for motorcyclists.
When a motorcycle accident happens due to another driver’s negligence, the victim may want to seek compensation for their injuries and other losses. A lawyer can help by showing that the other driver was negligent and how they were at fault for the accident.
According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), negligence is not meeting the standard of care as you should in a given situation. Usually, the behavior consists of actions, but it can also consist of omissions when you should act. For motorcycle or vehicle accidents, this means that every motorist has a duty of care to act in a way that does not cause harm to others.
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Examples of Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident
Some examples of negligence in a motorcycle accident may include:
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of another drug
- Failure to yield
- Disobeying stoplights or stop signs
- Distracted driving
All of these actions constitute negligence because they involve reckless and careless driving, inconsiderate of the others on the road. A lawyer may be able to assist you with the cause of the accident if it is unclear. They can speak with police, examine the accident scene, reconstruct the accident, and search for any video surveillance in the area.
Evidence Helps to Prove Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are able to, it will help your lawyer, and ultimately yourself, if you do the following to help collect evidence of negligence:
- Seek medical treatment, keep all medical records, and follow the doctor’s orders
- File a police report right after the accident
- Exchange name, contact, and insurance information with the other driver
- Exchange the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- Keep a record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, motorcycle repair bills, receipts, and lost wages
- Keep a journal or diary of incidents related to the accident, including how you are feeling
Any evidence that you have related to the motorcycle accident can help build your case.
There are various losses that a motorcyclist may be able to recover as compensation. Those losses may include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Rehabilitation or therapy
- Lost wages and benefits
- Job loss
- Property losses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
A lawyer may be able to let you know of all of the expenses that you may recover in your case. They can negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to obtain a fair settlement. If they cannot reach a fair settlement, then they will not hesitate to fight the case in court.
Sometimes, insurance companies like to protect themselves and pay as little as possible on a claim. A lawyer may advise you not to speak with an insurance company on your own so you do not jeopardize your chances of recovering a fair settlement.
A lawyer will review your case and determine your available legal options.
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Contact Our Law Firm to Learn More
To find out more about how negligence is established in a motorcycle accident, a lawyer at Bader Scott may be able to help and answer your questions. Call (800) 924-3113 for a free consultation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay anything upfront or out of pocket. We collect our fee from any settlement we obtain for you.
Each state has a different statute of limitations that limits the time you have to file a claim. Call today, so you can get your life back to as normal as possible.