Bridgeport, WV Personal Injury Attorney | Desai Law

Who Is Liable in a Motorcycle Accident: Driver, Company, or Both?

Motorcycle riding is a popular pastime, especially in the summer months when the weather is warm and the roads are clear. However, accidents involving motorcycles are all too common, and when they happen, determining who is liable can be a complex process.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

When it comes to motorcycle accidents, there are several parties who may be held liable, depending on the circumstances of the crash. These include:

The Motorcycle Rider

In some cases, the motorcycle rider may be found partially or fully at fault for an accident. This could be due to factors such as speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to obey traffic laws. However, even if the motorcycle rider is found to be partially at fault, they may still be able to recover damages from other liable parties.

The Other Driver

Often, motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver on the road. This could include things like failing to yield the right of way, making an improper turn, tailgating, or driving while distracted. If the other driver is found to be at fault for the accident, they may be held liable for the motorcycle rider’s injuries and other damages.

The Vehicle Manufacturer

In some cases, a defect or flaw in the design or manufacturing of the motorcycle or another vehicle involved in the crash could be to blame. If a vehicle malfunction contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may be held liable under product liability laws. This could include things like faulty brakes, steering problems, or tire blowouts.

Government Entities

Sometimes, dangerous road conditions such as potholes, inadequate signage, or malfunctioning traffic lights can lead to motorcycle accidents. In these cases, the government entity responsible for maintaining the roads may be held accountable if their negligence contributed to the crash.

Determining Liability in a Motorcycle Accident

Figuring out who is at fault in a motorcycle wreck is not always easy. There are many factors that must be considered, and evidence needs to be gathered and analyzed. This is where having a skilled Morgantown motorcycle injury attorney on your side can make all the difference.

Some of the key things that will be looked at when determining liability include:

Police Reports

The police report from the accident scene can provide valuable information about what happened and who may be at fault. It will include details like witness statements, citations issued, and the officer’s initial assessment of what caused the crash.

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence from the accident scene, such as skid marks, vehicle damage, and debris patterns, can help reconstruct what happened and provide clues about who is liable. Expert accident reconstructionists may be brought in to analyze this evidence.

Eyewitness Testimony

Neutral third-party witnesses who saw the accident occur can provide powerful testimony to support your case. Their accounts of what happened can help fill in gaps and clarify liability.

Video Footage

With many businesses and intersections now equipped with surveillance cameras, there may be video footage of the motorcycle accident that can shed light on fault. Experienced attorneys know to look for this type of evidence.

Driving Records

The driving history and record of the parties involved, especially the other motorist, can be relevant in determining negligence and assigning liability. A pattern of reckless driving or past infractions may help build a case against them.

Medical Records

Your medical records will document the extent and severity of your injuries from the motorcycle accident. This can be important both for establishing damages and showing how the other party’s negligence impacted your life.

Combining all of this evidence and crafting it into a strong, persuasive case is the job of your motorcycle injury lawyer. They can handle all the investigation and legal legwork while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcycle crashes often result in very serious injuries for riders who lack the protections of an enclosed vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, road rash, and permanent disfigurement are not uncommon. 

These injuries can lead to substantial damages, including:

Medical Expenses

All your medical bills related to the accident should be compensated. This includes things like emergency care, hospitalizations, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any ongoing or future treatment you may require. It’s important to work with your lawyer to fully assess your medical needs.

Lost Wages

Serious injuries often cause motorcycle accident victims to miss significant time from work. You may be able to recover your lost income, as well as damages for any impact on your future earning capacity if you’ve been left with a lasting impairment or disability.

Pain and Suffering

Not all the harm from an accident is financial. The physical pain and emotional trauma you’ve experienced are very real and deserve to be compensated. While putting a dollar figure on these non-economic damages can be difficult, an experienced attorney will know how to value your claim.

Punitive Damages

In some cases where the other party’s actions were especially egregious or intentional, you may be awarded punitive damages on top of your other compensation. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar conduct in the future.

Why You Need a Morgantown Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

Motorcycle accident cases are not like typical car crash claims. There are unique factors and challenges involved that require specialized legal knowledge to overcome. 

Here are some key reasons why you shouldn’t hesitate to hire a Morgantown motorcycle injury lawyer:

Bias Against Motorcycle Riders

Unfortunately, there is a common bias against motorcycle riders, with many people wrongly assuming they are reckless risk-takers. Insurance companies prey on this bias to try to shift fault onto the rider and minimize payouts. An attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle cases will know how to fight back against these prejudices.

More Serious Injuries

The injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic, leading to greater medical expenses, longer recovery times, and more lasting impacts on the victim’s life. Demonstrating the extent of these harms and fighting for full compensation requires an attorney with the right experience and resources.

Complex Liability

As discussed above, motorcycle accident cases can involve numerous liable parties and complicated evidence. An in-depth investigation may be required to determine all potential sources of recovery and prove fault. This is not something you want to try to handle on your own.

Insurance Company Tactics

Insurance companies are concerned with protecting their profits above all else. They will use different tactics to limit or deny claims, such as disputing the severity of injuries, trying to shift blame, and pressuring claimants to accept lowball settlements. Having an attorney on your side levels the playing field and shows the insurer you mean business.

Peace of Mind

Dealing with a legal case is the last thing you need when you’re trying to recover from a traumatic motorcycle accident. Hiring an experienced Morgantown motorcycle accident attorney allows you to focus on your health and family while your lawyer handles all the legal heavy lifting.

Contact a Morgantown Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Having a dedicated motorcycle injury lawyer fighting for you can drastically improve your chances of a successful outcome. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Morgantown or elsewhere in West Virginia, the team at Desai Law is here to help.

Don’t let someone else’s negligence derail your life. Contact Desai Law today for a free consultation with a Morgantown motorcycle injury lawyer. 

We’re here to listen to your story, answer your questions, and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call now at (304) 974-1974 or fill out our online contact form to get started.


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