Who Is at Fault for My Motorcycle Accident?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are approximately twenty-six times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured. Due to the open nature of a motorcycle, injuries can be profound and treatment ongoing.
Almost all roadway accidents are caused by negligence of some kind. Often motorcyclists will be blamed for collisions they haven’t caused because many people associate motorcycle use with risky behavior. Another common defense used by other drivers is that they just couldn’t see the motorcycle.
In order to get proper compensation from insurance companies and negligent parties, the accident’s cause must be determined and proven. You may find yourself wondering where to begin and thinking, “How can I prove who is at fault for my motorcycle accident?”
Common Motorcycle Crash Causes
Just like car accidents, motorcycle wrecks can be caused by drunken or drugged driving, speeding, distracted driving, texting, and other forms of dangerous behavior while driving. A common hazard is other vehicles violating a motorcycle’s right-of-way, resulting in a collision. There are many, many other risks faced by motorcyclists, however:
Left-Hand Turn – This is one of the most common motorcycle accidents and occurs when a car makes a turn into the path of an oncoming biker. In roadway crashes, usually the person executing the left-hand turn is at fault, unless the other rider or driver was speeding, in which case they might have partial or full fault for the crash.
Lane Splitting – Although some states allow lane splitting (driving up the center of two lanes in between other vehicles in order to skirt traffic jams or move faster than surrounding traffic), it often takes car drivers by surprise. If they swerve and lose control, it leaves little time for a motorcyclist to get out of the way.
Open-Door Accidents – Motorcycles often escape notice when a passenger vehicle is stopped and get hit by a suddenly opening door.
Vehicle Failure – Sometimes manufacturing or repair-shop errors lead to crashes, and those parties can then be held responsible for damages.
Road Hazards and Dangerous Roads – Unsafe roadway lighting, guardrails, construction barriers, debris, and other examples of adverse road conditions can lead to disaster.
What if I Am Partially Responsible?
Some accidents can involve fault on the part of the motorcyclist as well as another person. Utah follows a 50 percent rule and is a comparative negligence state. If you are 50 percent or more at fault, you cannot recover accident damages. Working with a Salt Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates is your best option for mitigating your fault as much as possible.
Collecting Evidence to Prove Your Case
Whatever the cause of your motorcycle accident, the question of whether the other driver was negligent still remains. The scene of the accident and any road debris, skid marks, or other evidence should be photographed and detailed immediately. Witnesses should be interviewed, and someone knowledgeable should negotiate with the insurance companies to ensure you are not low-balled with a settlement that is worth less than you deserve.
And that doesn’t even mention the fact that motorcycle accidents are often accompanied by severe injuries that may require surgery and ongoing treatment.
One of our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you with all of these facets of your case. We’ll handle the legal process and the details so that you can focus on your recovery and moving on with your life.
Capable Salt Lake City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At Craig Swapp and Associates, we understand the nuances of motorcycle accident cases and are prepared to work against the biases so often faced by bikers. We fight hard to get our clients the compensation they need.
Call us for free at 1-800-404-9000 to learn how you can best move forward with your case, or submit the form at the bottom of this page to have someone contact you.