Who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents?
It's no secret that there is often bias against motorcyclists. Many people think of motorcyclists as reckless risk-takers and rebels, though most drive safely. Far too often, if a car was involved in the accident, the motorcyclist is assumed to have been at fault, especially by the insurance company of the car driver. Sometimes, even a motorcyclist's own insurance company will assume that the motorcycle rider was at fault! That's just one reason why you need an experienced personal injury accident attorney like me fighting for you.
Though fewer motorcycle accident injuries happen than car accidents, they are much more likely to be fatal, serious or permanent, simply because a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than the occupant of a car. If another party is at fault for your injury, I will fight for you to make sure that they are held liable.
Sometimes it is very clear that the driver of the other vehicle was at fault in a motorcycle accident. Generally speaking, if the motorcycle accident was caused entirely by the negligent or illegal actions of someone else, then that person is fully at fault. Below are some examples in which the other vehicle driver may be fully or at least partly responsible for a motorcycle accident:
- Bad rear brake lights resulting in a rear-end collision
- Shifting lanes into a motorcycle
- Forcing a slower-moving motorcyclist off the road or into oncoming traffic
- Failure to use a turn signal before turning into the path of motorcyclist who is traveling faster
- Passing a car and forcing a collision with a motorcyclist
- Failing to yield right-of-way to a motorcyclist
- Distracted driving
- Cell phone use
- Rear-ending a motorcyclist
- Poorly maintained road. If your motorcycle accident was caused by a poorly maintained road such as a pothole or the accumulation of sand at a curve, the maintainer of the road may be considered to have been at fault. Though federal, state and local governments usually cannot be sued without consent, sometimes they may grant consent, and still others may have insurance and claims processes that can be utilized. Still others may utilize private contractors who may be found responsible.
Sometimes however, a motorcyclist may be fully or partly at fault. For instance, if the motorcyclist was lane splitting (riding between two lanes of traffic) when the accident happened, that is illegal in Georgia, so the motorcyclist is normally considered to be at fault for that, but if the other party failed to use a turn signal, turned into the other lane too quickly, or was swerving due to intoxication or distracted driving, they could be at fault, too.
However, being partly at fault doesn't necessarily mean a motorcyclist can't receive compensation for his or her loss. If the car or truck driver is found to be at least 50% at fault, then the motorcyclist can still be compensated for the percentage of fault that the other driver is responsible for. The motorcyclist can also receive compensation if the accident would have happened even if the motorcyclist had not broken a traffic law.
Lastly, if the motorcyclist is the only one who is at fault, he or she could still be compensated by an insurance policy that covers the accident. So even if you or your loved one was partly or completely at fault, call me at 404-596-5518
for a FREE legal consultation, and I will gladly advise you. In cases like this, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can be invaluable in determining responsibility.