Motorcycle Accident
Halt | December 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

3 Tricky Issues about Determining Fault after a Motorcycle Accident

Riding a motorcycle is fun and one of those things almost every person wishes to do at some point. Unfortunately, it can also be quite risky, with motorcyclists being 29 times more likely to die in a crash than car drivers.

Besides the high chance of suffering severe injuries, determining fault in a motorcycle accident is never easy. The good news is that understanding the tricky issues surrounding fault can help you navigate a claim or lawsuit if you get involved in a motorcycle accident.

Common Ways in Which Drivers Cause Accidents with Motorcycles

Motorcycle Accident Claims

Drivers hit motorcyclists for the same reasons as other accidents. However, some causes are specific to motorcyclists and cyclists, such as not looking out for them.

In most cases, failure to look out for motorcyclists is not intentional; drivers often look out for other cars. With the motorcycle being smaller, their visibility is significantly lower, meaning the driver may not notice them. But a driver cannot use poor visibility as a defense in a motorcycle-related accident, especially if the rider makes considerable effort to improve their visibility.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident where the at-fault driver claims your visibility was the cause of the accident, working with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney is vital. A lawyer can help you poke holes into their claims and improve your chances of fair compensation.

Other ways drivers cause motorcycle accidents are driving while distracted, following too closely, speeding, or getting into the motorcycle’s lane on the road.

Why Establishing Fault Is Complicated

Forewarned Is Forearmed: 5 Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

1. Bias against Motorcycles

There has always existed a general prejudice against motorcycle riders among most road users and police. This means all parties look at the rider as guilty until proven innocent. As a result, you will need to work twice as hard to prove fault on the other party than you would in a collision between two cars.

This prejudice did not happen by chance. Traditional bikers had a reputation for being hotheads who did not abide by rules. Though these stereotypes are outdated, they still sway the decision-making process for all parties involved, including insurance adjusters and the jury.

Whenever possible, it’s best to install a dash cam on your bike to record your every move and occurrence on the road. That way, you can extract the evidence therein to make your case against the faulty party.

2. Contributory Fault

Even when the accused driver could be evidently at fault for an accident, their insurance adjusters will always try to put some of the blame on you. Placing some responsibility on you could mean you do not recover all the damages suffered.

If an accident occurs in a contributory negligence state, any level of contribution to the accident can mean losing out on compensation. In comparative negligence states, your comparative contribution to the accident will determine the amount of compensation you recover.

How Insurance Companies Defend Motorcycle Accident Cases

Some reasons insurance adjusters may use to prove partial fault include failure to follow motorcycle-specific laws, such as the use of appropriate riding gears.

3. Damage to a Car May Not Be As Prominent

When two cars collide, damage to both cars is almost always prominent. The location of these damages can sometimes be a way of determining fault. Due to the light weight of a motorcycle, it’s possible for a car to get into an accident with a bike but the car looks like nothing happened.

For example, if a car gets into a motorcycle’s lane and sideswipes it causing an accident, only the cyclist’s body comes into contact with the car’s body. While that may not cause visible damage to the vehicle, it can send the rider crashing.

Under such circumstances, proofing fault can be pretty challenging, especially when there are no witnesses to collaborate with your side of the story.

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