If you or a loved one suffered severe or fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident, you might have the opportunity to file a lawsuit against the other driver. In some cases, however, other parties may hold full or partial responsibility for the accident. If you can prove that the negligent acts of one or more of these entities caused the collision, the at-fault party can be sued in a motorcycle accident case.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), more than 5,300 motorcycles had involvement in fatal accidents, and nearly 90,000 victims suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents in 2017. These collisions led to billions in healthcare costs, lost wages, and other economic damages, much of which fell on the victims.
If you were hurt or someone you love lost their life in a motorcycle accident, a lawyer can help you pursue financial awards for your losses.
Insurance Claims Often Cover Damages
In most cases, one driver’s auto insurance policy covers damages incurred in motorcycle accidents. Many states use a fault or tort system, in which the driver responsible for causing the accident covers the victims’ damages. While some states require the party with primary liability for the collision to cover 100% of the losses, others use a shared fault system, in which a victim may receive a reduced award amount if they hold partial responsibility for the accident.
In states that require drivers to carry no-fault insurance, each driver must pay for their damages with their own insurance policies, which typically include at least personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL). While drivers who have no-fault insurance do not have to worry about accidents caused by uninsured drivers, no-fault states usually limit the ability of the victim to sue in a motorcycle accident case.
Other Liable Parties in Motorcycle Accident Cases
In certain cases, the circumstances of a motorcycle accident place the responsibility for its cause on a party other than another driver. If you or your lawyer determine that another party holds accountability for the accident and owes you damages, you may seek compensation from them for your injuries.
Company or Employer
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that over 4,000 people died in large truck accidents in 2018, and 15% of the victims involved pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. In accidents involving large trucks and other commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in which the CMV driver caused the collision, their employer often holds responsibility for the victims’ damages. In these instances, you can file a claim against the driver’s company.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products before releasing them onto the consumer market. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the law requires automobile manufacturers to issue a recall if they become aware of an instance in which certain vehicles do not meet established federal safety standards or have a safety-related defect that could cause harm to the employer.
Sometimes, companies do not issue recalls until they receive consistent reports of accidents involving particular vehicles. If the manufacturer holds responsibility for your motorcycle accident, you may qualify for compensation from them for your injuries.
If the state or local government responsible for the upkeep of the road on which your motorcycle accident occurred failed to keep it safe, they may hold liability for your injuries. Signs of failure to maintain roadways may include:
- Crumbling roads
- Missing or damaged guardrails
- Missing or illegible signs
- Large potholes
- Uneven lanes
- Worn road markings
Pursuing a lawsuit against a government agency on your own may present a challenge, as the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) only allows victims to pursue legal action against the government under certain circumstances. A lawyer can help you determine if you can sue for your motorcycle accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Establish Liability
In order to sue someone in your motorcycle accident case, you must first establish that the party holds responsibility for causing the accident due to their negligence. Proving negligence involves demonstrating that the defendant’s actions meet specific criteria, so you may find it helpful to seek the assistance of a lawyer to help you prove each of the elements, which include:
- Duty of care: The party had a duty to exercise reasonable care in order to protect your safety.
- Breach of duty: The party breached that duty and put you in harm’s way.
- Causation: Because of their failure to adhere to their duty of care, you suffered an injury.
- Damages: Your injuries led you to incur significant financial damages.
A motorcycle accident attorney will explain you that all these elements must be met if you want to file a claim or a lawsuit against a liable party. For all these elements to be met, you need to provide your lawyer with the evidence you gathered. Moreover, they will most likely pursue an investigation on their own to make sure you have a valid claim or lawsuit.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help You
Motorcycle accidents can cause long-term personal and financial difficulties, and trying to figure out who holds liability in your case and how to seek financial awards may feel overwhelming during this trying time. Our attorneys can help you by managing your case on your behalf and investigating the details of your accident to determine liability and seek just compensation for you.
We offer free case evaluations, and you do not pay us any legal fees for our services unless we achieve financial recovery in your favor. If you suffered injuries or a loved one lost their life in a motorcycle accident, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-959-1444 to discuss your case with our team.