While riding a motorcycle may be an exhilarating and exciting mode of transport there are also inherent risks posed by this activity. Due to the lack of protection offered, motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to lose their lives in an accident compared to other motorists on the road. In addition, they are also four times more likely to receive an injury in a collision.

In many cases, a personal injury claim can arise from a motorcycle accident where the accident arose due to someone else’s fault. This might include distracted drivers, those that drive when intoxicated, and drivers who fail to take reasonable care when driving. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault it is advisable to seek expert legal advice from motorcycle accident attorneys such as Abeyta Nelson Injury Law who can guide you on the best course of action.

When it comes to determining who is liable in a motorcycle accident the answer is not always clear cut. In this article, we will look at some of the factors involved when determining fault in a motorcycle accident claim.

Examine the Evidence

Fault can be assigned by examining the evidence available from the accident. This commonly includes matters such as:

  • Police reports: Available upon request, police reports serve as reliable and trustworthy evidence from an impartial third party which can provide valuable insights surrounding the accident, helping to provide key information which can establish fault.
  • Eyewitness testimony: Unlike reports from police officers who often arrive after the accident, testimony from eyewitnesses offer a firsthand account of events, providing valuable information which can help compile a better understanding of the cause of the accident.
  • Accident scene: Evidence from the accident scene can shed light on the cause of the accident and who was at fault. This includes footage from traffic cameras, damage to vehicles, skid marks, and road conditions.
  • Expert analysis: A variety of expert evidence can be used to help attribute fault in motorcycle accident claims such as accident reconstruction experts who can recreate the chain of events that led to the motorcycle accident and medical experts who can give a professional insight into the extent and cause of injuries.

Sharing Fault

There are certain legal doctrines that may apply to a motorcycle accident claim which potentially lead to shared liability. Depending on the circumstances and the laws applicable to the state, these legal doctrines can result in a reduction in compensation due to the claimant, or a denial of compensation altogether:

  • Comparative negligence: Here, the amount of compensation is reduced by the degree of fault attributed to the claimant for the accident. For instance, if they are awarded $100,000 but contributed 30% to the accident, their compensation will be $70,000.
  • Modified comparative negligence: If the claimant is found to be 50% or more at fault for the motorcycle accident, they are precluded from receiving any damages.
  • Contributory negligence: If a claimant is deemed to be even 1% at fault for the accident, they are not entitled to receive any compensation. Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia are some of the states that follow the principle of contributory negligence.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can navigate the legal process and secure the best possible outcome for your motorcycle accident claim.

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