Who Is At Fault In Motorcycle Accidents?Posted on: November 11, 2023
Crashes involving motorcycles can be disastrous.
But determining who is at fault in motorcycle accidents can be complicated.
Motorcycles remain popular for a reason—they represent the freedom of the open road and can be a fuel-efficient way to get around. However, like any other vehicle, they can present a greater risk of accident and injury.
When a car and motorcycle collide, many people automatically assume that the bike owner was to blame because many people perceive motorcyclists to be dangerous. However, the truth is not always this straightforward.
As Oviedo motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ve seen what happens when motorcyclists experience unfair bias in courts. Yet there are many factors that should be considered when determining who is at fault in motorcycle accidents.
Who Is At Fault In Motorcycle Accidents?
In this respect, motorcycle accidents are just like any other crash. The party at fault depends on the unique circumstances of the accident.
Here in Florida, assigning fault for an accident is not always necessary, thanks to our No Fault system. This system requires that drivers turn to their own car insurance policies to pay for medical bills after an accident. However, most motorcyclists do not carry this insurance.
Therefore, motorcycle riders are allowed to bypass the No Fault system and seek compensation from the party who was at fault (more accurately, their insurance company).
Determining Fault In Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident cases aren’t as simple as submitting your receipts and waiting for a check from the insurance company. The first step is to establish the percentage that each party contributed to the crash.
Florida follows the principle of comparative negligence, which looks at how much each party was to blame for the accident.
For example, the other driver may be 75% responsible for the crash, while you were found to be 25% responsible. In this case, you would be able to collect 75% of the amount needed to cover your bills.
Driving over the speed limit and not wearing a helmet are just some of the things that have made motorcycle riders more liable for accidents. Although it is not illegal to not wear a helmet, jurors can consider whether wearing the helmet could have lessened the impact of an injury.
Here are some other things you can do to protect yourself:
- Abide by all traffic laws and posted speed limits.
- Stay in your lane and change lanes safely. Lane splitting is not only illegal in Florida, it’s also a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
- Wear a helmet and proper safety gear at all times.
- Call the police immediately following an accident so they can write an accident report.
- Take detailed photos of your injuries as well as the scene of the accident.
- Seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident, even if you don’t think you are injured.
- Get a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, there are a good number of jury members, judges, and even lawyers who will assume that motorcycle owners are primarily to blame for their own accidents.
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Yet according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused by other drivers who simply don’t see the motorcycle. Many motorcyclists have experienced vehicles pulling right out in front of them even though the motorcycle had the right of way.
A lawyer who is experienced at handling motorcycle accident claims will be able to overcome bias against motorcycles, making sure you are fairly represented. They know which questions to ask, what data to bring forward, and how to identify jurors who may be prejudiced against you. At Beers and Gordon, we have handled motorcycle cases at trial and know the questions to ask as people will usually advise of their bias.
Motorcycle Accident Injury? We Can Help
Assigning blame for a motorcycle accident is never simple, and your attorney should understand that.
At Beers & Gordon, P.A., our experience with motorcycle accident cases has given us keen insight into the factors at play and the many methods available to defend our clients’ rights. We do everything in our power to make sure motorcycle accident victims are well represented and even use accident reconstruction experts when necessary.
If you need help collecting compensation for damage, injury, or pain and suffering following your motorcycle accident, it’s crucial that you retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible.
For a free legal consultation, call our offices today.
Jim Gordon earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1997, and two years later began working at a firm in Orlando handling insurance defense matters on cases involving vehicle accidents, negligence, product liability, and more. He established Beers & Gordon P.A. with David Beers in 2009 to represent the rights of people injured because of negligence. He is a member of the invitation-only National Trial Lawyers organization and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.