Who’s At Fault For My Motorcycle Accident? 

Summary

  • Motorcycle accident injury victims must satisfy four elements (duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages) to prove the at-fault driver’s liability.
  • Several factors can influence fault, including traffic law violations, weather conditions, etc.
  • Common causes of motorcycle accidents include drivers making left turns or following too closely, distracted driving, impaired driving, and more.
  • There are several steps a motorcycle accident victim can take to protect their health and case, including getting medical help, documenting the scene, and contacting an attorney.

Injury victims want to know who is to blame when a motorcycle accident occurs. Establishing fault is the most critical aspect of a lawsuit, one that will determine whether or not victims get the money and justice they deserve.

If you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, a Werner, Hoffman & Grieg attorney is ready to help. We have the skill and experience to determine who is to blame and then pursue them for maximum compensation. You can use our online form or call (800) 320-HELP for a free consultation.

Understanding Motorcycle Accident Liability

If you are involved in a car accident or truck accident, you’ll have to prove the at-fault driver’s liability to win your case. Proving liability requires demonstrating four key elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The following is a brief look at each.

  • Duty of care: You must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. In the case of a motorcycle accident, you have to prove the at-fault driver owed a duty of care to drive in a way that didn’t put you in danger.
  • Breach of duty: Next, you must establish that the defendant breached the duty of care by driving negligently or recklessly.
  • Causation: You must then prove a direct connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and your injury. You have to show the driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident.
  • Damages: Finally, you have to prove you suffered actual damages, such as physical injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage. Your damages will form the basis for the compensation you’ll seek.

Establishing liability is a complex process. It involves gathering evidence, presenting legal arguments, and much more. A motorcycle accident attorney with WHG will work to build a compelling case. We’ll do all we can to prove the defendant’s liability and secure fair compensation for your damages.

Factors that Can Influence Fault

Several factors come into play when establishing fault in a motorcycle accident. One of the primary considerations is whether any party involved violated traffic laws or failed to adhere to their duty of care. For instance, if a driver ran a red light and collided with a motorcyclist who had the right of way, the driver may be deemed at fault.

In addition, the speed at which each party was traveling, the road conditions, and the visibility at the time of the accident can all contribute to determining fault. If a motorcyclist was speeding or weaving in and out of traffic, the court could consider their actions negligent, impacting the assignment of fault.

Who’s At Fault For My Motorcycle Accident - WHG

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accident

There’s no better place in the United States to ride a motorcycle than Florida. Our state ranked No. 2 in bike registrations in the country, with 645,012. Only California (952,977) had more. Unfortunately, that means riders are more likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident. There were 9,267 bike accidents in Florida in 2022, resulting in 7,940 injuries and 620 deaths.

These are just a few of the common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Left-turn collisions: One of the most common scenarios involves a vehicle making a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. The driver might misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed or fail to see them, leading to a collision.
  • Rear-end collisions: With their smaller profiles, motorcycles can be more challenging for drivers to notice. In some cases, drivers may follow motorcycles too closely and fail to stop in time.
  • Unsafe lane changes: Drivers may not check blind spots or mirrors before changing lanes, leading to collisions with motorcycles. Drivers can easily overlook riders due to the bike’s smaller size.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI): Alcohol or drug impairment significantly increases the risk of accidents. Impaired drivers have impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and slower reaction times.
  • Distracted driving: Both motorcyclists and other drivers can be guilty of distracted driving, whether using a phone, adjusting the radio, or doing anything else that diverts their focus from the road.

Learn more: Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Comparative Fault in Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcycle accident lawsuit can be complex. One of the main reasons is that more than one party can bear responsibility. When this happens, the concept of comparative fault comes into play.

Florida is a comparative fault state. If an investigation finds the injury victim is partially to blame, the court will reduce their compensation by the percentage of fault.

Suppose a motorcyclist was exceeding the speed limit at the time of the accident. The investigation shows the rider was 20% responsible for the wreck. If their damages are $100,000, the court would subtract $20,000. The rider would receive $80,000 instead.

Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident to Best Protect Your Claim

Taking the proper steps can significantly impact your ability to establish fault and pursue a successful claim if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. These steps include the following:

  • Ensure safety: Prioritize safety by moving to a safe location and seeking medical attention for injuries.
  • Contact law enforcement: Report the accident to the police so they can investigate and create an official record of what happened.
  • Gather witness information: Get any witnesses’ names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  • Document the scene: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant traffic signs or signals.
  • Never admit fault: The officer will get your account of the accident. Stick to the facts and don’t admit responsibility. If you do, you’ll severely hurt your chances of obtaining compensation.
  • Consult with an attorney: Speak to an attorney immediately so they can investigate the wreck and protect your rights.

Contact WHG to Speak with a Top-Rated Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and are grappling with questions about fault, liability, and compensation, a knowledgeable attorney can help. The attorneys with WHG have extensive experience in motorcycle accident cases and a track record of success. We can provide the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.

Our experienced attorneys understand the intricacies of motorcycle accident liability and can assess the unique circumstances surrounding your case. We’ll work passionately to build the strongest case possible. Schedule a free consultation by calling (800) 320-HELP or contacting us online.


Frequently Asked Questions

How is fault determined in a motorcycle accident?

Investigators determine fault in a motorcycle accident by examining the incident’s circumstances. They consider factors such as traffic laws, right-of-way, speed, road conditions, and the actions of each party. Law enforcement reports, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence are crucial in establishing fault.

Can I still seek compensation if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Yes, you can still seek compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Florida personal injury law operates under a comparative fault system, which means that responsibility and compensation can be proportionally divided based on each party’s level of blame. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand how comparative fault rules apply to your case.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

If the other driver involved in the motorcycle accident doesn’t have insurance, it can complicate seeking compensation. In such situations, your insurance policy may include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which can protect you if insurance doesn’t cover the at-fault party. A lawyer can help you explore your options and navigate the complexities of uninsured or underinsured motorist claims.

Should I hire a personal injury attorney for my motorcycle accident case?

If you’ve suffered an injury, you should hire a lawyer immediately. An attorney can assess the details of your case, help establish fault, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

It is also a good idea to have a personal injury attorney by your side to help you deal with the challenges of motorcycle accident cases, like the bias many people hold against motorcyclists. With their expertise, you increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.

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Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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