What if I Am Partly to Blame for My Motorcycle Accident?

After a crash, insurance companies go all out to avoid taking responsibility for the incident. Insurance companies will try to shift the blame from their insured to you as they attempt to reduce their exposure to liability for an injury. They will try to claim that you are partly at fault for causing your motorcycle accident and you are a “reckless” biker. Fortunately, you can protect your legal rights by retaining a lawyer immediately.

Never believe an insurance company when they try to blame you for your crash. This is a common tactic they use against motorcyclists to avoid taking responsibility for your injuries and losses. You need a motorcycle accident attorney to fight against the insurance company, defense lawyers, and potentially liable parties that want to avoid responsibility for causing your injuries.

If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle  accident attorney in your area to learn more about your legal right to compensation.

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Potential Defendants in Motorcycle Claims

There can be many potential defendants in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Consider the number of people motorcyclists share the road with; any of those drivers can cause an accident.

Examples include:

  • Other motorists
  • Bicyclists
  • Bus drivers
  • Auto part manufacturers
  • City or state governments

Identifying and naming each potentially responsible party in a lawsuit is vital. Naming all potential defendants improves the likelihood of a full financial recovery at the end of a lawsuit.

Examples of Driver Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident

Motorists can act in many negligent ways that cause traffic accidents. Some drivers get behind the wheel and act in a way that puts others, including motorcyclists, in danger of suffering from a severe or fatal injury. Drivers act negligently in some of the following ways:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving happens when a driver takes their attention away from driving. Three categories of distracted driving are visual, cognitive, and manual. Each type of distracted driving is negligent and can cause massive accidents.

Driving While Impaired

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to deadly traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 54 Americans die every day in an accident with an impaired driver.

Traffic Violations

When drivers fail to follow traffic laws, they endanger everyone who shares them.

Drivers should follow the traffic laws and avoid:

  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to motorcycles.
  • Speeding.
  • Running red lights.
  • Failing to watch for motorcycles as they merge onto the highway.
  • Running stop signs.
  • Unsafe passing/lane changes.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Driver Negligence

Normal passenger vehicles outweigh motorcycles by several hundred pounds. Along with the difference in weight, motorcycles do not have the protection that passenger vehicles have. Because of these differences, when motorcycles get into accidents with other passenger vehicles, the motorcyclist faces a greater risk of a severe or fatal injury.

Examples of accidents that a negligent driver typically causes include:

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions usually happen when a driver is either following too closely to the motorist ahead of them or the driver is speeding and does not have enough time to stop before colliding with the motorist in front of them. If a motorcyclist is involved in a rear-end collision, they may be thrown from their bike and risk severe injuries.

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions severely impact motorcyclists. The size difference between the motorcyclists and the passenger vehicle can leave the biker with broken bones, head injuries, and even a fatal injury.

Sideswipe Accidents

A sideswipe accident happens when a driver travels too closely on either side of a motorcyclist and collides with the side of the vehicle. Sideswipe accidents are hazardous for motorcyclists because the other vehicle can hit them directly.

T-bone Accidents

A T-bone accident can be deadly to motorcyclists. These accidents generally happen when drivers run a red light or a stop sign. The driver may run into motorcyclists, or motorcyclists may make contact with the side of a driver’s vehicle. No matter how the accident happened, the motorcyclist is at greater risk for injury or death.

Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident

Proving fault is an essential part of every motorcycle accident lawsuit. It can be an uphill climb to prove that another driver caused the accident and should pay for your injuries. Drivers can negligently cause traffic crashes in various ways. Here are a few ways that motorcycle accident victims can prove fault include the following.

Where Can I Find Evidence of Who’s at Fault for a Motorcycle Accident?

Your attorney will want to help you prove that the accident was not your fault. Begin gathering evidence to prove your motorcycle accident claim immediately. Some examples of evidence that can help prove that someone else was at fault include:

Medical Evidence

Your medical record will have some of the most important evidence of your injuries. In some cases, the way in which you sustained your injuries may make it clear that the other driver was at fault. Make sure that your medical records are complete by following your doctor’s instructions. It is easier to show the extent of your harm and your need for ongoing treatment if you are compliant with your doctor’s wishes.

Organize your medical bills, too. Making your medical bills readily available can help your attorney calculate your ongoing financial losses related to the accident.

Expert Medical Testimony

Some motorcycle accident cases require the use of an expert medical witness. Expert medical witnesses are physicians that did not originally treat you for your injuries. They review your records and make findings about the cause of your injuries and the likelihood of a permanent effect the injuries may have on your life. Medical experts also bolster the connection between the accident and your injuries.

The Police Report

The responding police officer will create an accident report at the scene. In their report, the officer will make an initial determination regarding liability. Insurance companies will often use the narrative section of the police report to make a finding of fault. Neither the police report nor the insurance company’s findings are the final decision on fault.

Recovering Damages After A Motorcycle Crash

The types of compensation available in a motorcycle accident vary depending on the facts of your case. Generally, motorcyclists are legally entitled to financial compensation for their losses if they suffer an injury.

Types of compensation motorcyclists may recover if they suffered an injury in an accident can include:

  • Current and future lost income.
  • Current and future medical bills.
  • Property damage.
  • Pain and suffering/ mental and emotional trauma.

Current and Future Lost Income

If your injuries cause you to lose time at work or leave you unable to return to work, you may recover damages for lost income. Sometimes injured victims can return to work, but not at the same rate or in the same position. When that happens, injury victims can recover from lost earning capacity.

Current and Future Medical Bills

You can recover for your losses incurred from doctor’s visits, emergency medical services, surgeries, rehabilitative costs, medical equipment, etc. You should never settle your accident claim without accounting for future medical needs. Remember, once you settle your case, there is no going back to the negotiating table.

Property Damage

You can recover your property damage. If another driver’s negligence damages your motorcycle, they might be responsible for your losses.

Pain and Suffering/ Mental and Emotional Damage

These are intangible losses related to the accident. Because evidence of these losses is not immediately apparent, having an attorney experienced in arguing for the recovery of these kinds of losses is beneficial if you believe that you are entitled to pain and suffering or mental and emotional trauma damages.

What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

What you do after an accident is vital to your case. Consider taking the following steps after a motorcycle accident.

Check for Injuries and Call 911

After a crash, if you are able, call for emergency assistance. The police officer responding to your accident scene will compile a report.

Get to a hospital as soon as possible. Treating your injuries is vital for your physical well-being and your accident lawsuit. Contemporaneous medical care can help you connect the accident with causing your injuries, which is helpful to your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

Notify Your Insurance Company

While it is not a good idea to speak to an opposing insurance company without talking to your attorney first, your insurance policy may require you to report an accident as soon as it happens. Check the terms of your policy to ensure you are compliant.

Submit the Accident Report

Some states require motorists that were involved in an accident to submit the accident report to the Department of Motor Vehicles within a specified amount of time. Failure to submit the report may result in suspension or loss of your license. Speak to your attorney about these requirements.

Contact an Attorney

Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash. You should avoid speaking to the other driver’s insurance company before consulting a lawyer. Your attorney will help protect your legal rights to compensation after an accident.

How Can An Accident Attorney Help Me After A Crash?

Your accident attorney will work with you to ensure you have access to the maximum compensation available. They will assist you at each stage of the case. Here are some ways your attorney will help your case:

Negotiate on Your Behalf

You may get immediate settlement offers from insurance companies looking to settle a case quickly for cheap. Insurance companies take advantage of vulnerable accident victims. An attorney will help you avoid settlement offers that are not best for you or will not cover your losses or anticipated future losses.

Prepare Your Case for Trial

Your legal team will prepare your case for trial. Trial preparation is a lengthy process. Your attorney will want to speak with potential witnesses, insurance adjusters, police officers, and expert witnesses. They will want to examine your medical records and bills, analyze accident footage, and scrutinize photographs of your injuries and property damage. Most importantly, your legal team will want to prepare you to present your case to a jury in the most compelling light.

Answer Questions and Provide Legal Advice

Having an attorney helps you avoid getting lost in the maze of online legal research. If you have questions about your claim during the pendency of your case, you can ask your attorney. Relying on the experience of your attorney can help you avoid unnecessary stress and frustration that comes from scrolling the internet.

Protect You From Blame Shifting

The opposing side will do nearly anything to avoid paying your damages. Unrepresented accident victims often fall victim to accepting partial liability for causing the accident even when they are not to blame. Having an attorney helps accident victims avoid blame-shifting. Insurance companies have lawyers, so you need one too. Creating your legal team enables you to have an advocate continuously fighting on your behalf.

What If I Can’t Afford an Attorney?

Motorcycle accident attorneys may offer contingency fee payment arrangements. A contingency fee payment arrangement is a payment structure that allows clients to defer payment for legal services until the end of their case. This is a beneficial arrangement for people who are avoiding paying a civil claim because of the anxiety surrounding legal fees.

Attorneys generally recover a percentage of the final settlement or award, and clients typically do not pay unless they recover compensation. Discuss the availability of a contingency fee payment arrangement with the attorney you intend to hire.

Contact an Attorney Today

Tatiana Boohoff, Lawyer for Motorcycle Accident cases near Tampa area.
Tatiana Boohoff, Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Tampa.

You deserve the support of a qualified motorcycle accident attorney after a crash. Do not let big insurance companies intimidate defense lawyers. Having an attorney means you have an advocate with experience and legal experience who can help you gain access to the compensation you need.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today if you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident.

Request A Free Consultation Today!

Boohoff Law, P.A. — Auto Accident Lawyers – Tampa Office

829 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33603
Phone: (813) 725-5606

April 19, 2023
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