Motorcycle accidents can often be catastrophic, leaving devastation and trauma behind for all involved parties. Motorcycle riders and other vehicle drivers have a responsibility to each other on the road, practicing road safety and smarts so that accidents are avoided.
When a motorcycle accident does occur, one of the first steps will be determining which driver or drivers were negligent and are therefore liable for the accident. State laws vary in dealing with multiple negligent parties and shared responsibility, so it is in your best interest to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side to protect you from misplaced responsibility and to help you claim the fair compensation you deserve.
More than 5,000 motorcyclists died in motorcycle accidents in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of the 8,596,314 registered motorcycles in the United States, 84,000 of those drivers were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2019.
Because they are smaller, less stable and secure, and harder to see, motorcycles are at greater risk for accidents. The NHTSA reports that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash and four times more likely to be injured, compared to passenger vehicle drivers. Many of these accidents are caused by some form of negligence. While negligent parties are often drivers, an accident can be caused by the negligent actions of non-drivers.
Legally, negligence is when a person has a duty to behave in a certain way or provide certain services and fails to perform that duty, directly causing the injury or damages. Negligence must be proved before holding any party responsible in a personal injury claim, which means when you bring a personal injury lawsuit against another driver in a motorcycle accident, you and your motorcycle accident attorney will need to prove that the other driver had a duty to drive in a certain way, that the driver failed to perform the duty, that the failure directly caused the accident, and that the accident caused you injury or damages.
Although it may seem simple to prove negligence, it can be quite challenging and states vary in how they proceed with cases where multiple parties are negligent. Most states adhere to a comparative negligence system, whereas long as a driver isn’t doesn’t carry half the responsibility for the accident, he or she can still claim compensation. However, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, are some of the few states that still hold to contributory negligence, meaning if you are proved to be in any way responsible for the accident you can be denied any compensation. Call today for a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
When a motorcycle accident occurs, an investigation of the accident scene will determine whose negligence caused the accident. Statements from the involved parties and eyewitnesses—along with any relevant video footage—will create a picture of what happened and who was responsible. Anyone found to violate road laws—speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, for example—will be at least partially responsible. The rules of the road are the duty of each driver and violating them creates a breach of duty. All that remains is to show that the breach directly caused the accident and that the accident caused injury and/or damages.
For example, if a car is speeding and loses control, causing an accident with a motorcyclist who was obeying traffic laws, the driver of the car will be responsible. The driver had a duty to obey the speed limit and breached that duty, causing the accident and the injury and damage sustained by the motorcyclist.
But if the motorcyclist was also speeding, he or she might be considered partially responsible for the accident. In this case, state laws on negligence will determine if or how much compensation the motorcyclist can claim.
Negligence can come in all shapes and sizes and cause devastating accidents for motorcyclists. A motorist who runs a red light turns without looking for oncoming traffic, or whose excessive speed causes an accident is negligent and can be held responsible for his or her actions and the damages they caused.
But in other accidents, negligence and liability may be more subtle and surprising:
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer so you can hold the liable party accountable. You deserve compensation so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Motorcycle crashes can change your life in the blink of an eye and too often they are the result of negligence. At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, we believe that you are entitled to compensation for your motorcycle accident claim and we are committed to winning financial recovery on your behalf. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries from a motorcycle collision, call us for a free legal consultation.
Our experienced team of attorneys has recovered millions of dollars for our motorcycle accident clients in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. We will bring our cumulative experience to bear on your case. We’ve received accolades from peers and press alike, consistently recognized as the best of the best in personal injury cases.
We work on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t collect any fees until we’ve recovered in your favor, so call 202-960-4596 today for your free case review.