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Will Sharing Blame Still Get Me Paid?

Motorcycle accidents are far more likely to produce injury or even death as compared to closed vehicles. In fact, approximately 78% of motorcycle accidents result in injury. The most common cause of vehicle and motorcycle crashes is the inability of the driver to see the motorcyclist. However, even if the vehicle driver is primarily at fault and you are injured, there could be shared responsibility under certain conditions.

Types of Injuries

Some of the most common injuries suffered by riders in a motorcycle accident are:

  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Soft tissue
  • Fractures
  • Internal Injuries
  • Head Trauma
  • Neck and Spine injuries

Liability

When there is an accident involving injuries, an investigation with be conducted by police at the scene. Witness statements, photos, placement of involved vehicles and results of field sobriety or blood alcohol tests administered are all examples of evidence that can be used to determine liability by law enforcement and attorneys.

Examples of general negligence:

  • Distracted driving – Texting is one of the most common examples of distracted driving.
  • Road rage – Did the vehicle try to force the motorcycle off the road? Were they tailgating or throwing items?
  • Drunk driving – Impaired drivers are likely to drift, not look before changing lanes or not notice other vehicles around them.
  • Speeding – Driving over the speed limit can limit the driver’s ability to respond and shorten the stopping time, leading to accidents.

Comparative Negligence

Even if there is a determination that the at-fault driver was guilty of one or more of the charges listed above, there is a chance that the defendant’s attorney could claim that there was shared fault, also known as comparative negligence. This is common when a motorcyclist fails to wear a helmet. That does not mean that the plaintiff cannot receive compensation, but it could impact the amount based on the percentage of blame attributed to the motorcyclist. There are exceptions in some states, so contacting an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is recommended.

Examples contributing to a finding of comparative negligence:

Negligence per se. Negligence per se is the breach of a law or ordinance.

  • No helmet
  • Lane splitting (riding between lanes of traffic)
  • Driving more than two abreast in a single lane
  • Breaking any traffic law, such as speeding, drinking while driving, etc.

General negligence. You may also be found partially at fault for an accident if you committed an act of general negligence as detailed above. The failure to execute a reasonable duty of care and this act contributed to your crash.

When there is any question of liability in an accident, reach out to an experienced lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer in Memphis, TN from Wiseman Bray, PLLC, for advice on your rights under the laws of your state.

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