Accidents can happen any time you are on the road in any vehicle. Sadly, motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable, in danger of being seriously injured if an accident happens. Unfortunately, that means you may have suffered unduly from an accident.
In these cases, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Another person injured you, and you have grounds to take action. But who is liable for your injuries? Here are some of the parties who may be responsible for your injuries and what you can do about your case.
Suing the Driver Who Injured You
Sometimes, the most straightforward answer is to sue the driver who injured you. If the other driver is liable for your injuries, they are responsible for the damage caused by the motorcycle accident.
Every driver has a duty of care to do what they can to avoid an accident. While that does not mean going out of your way to prevent an accident, it does mean being diligent in not causing a crash. When someone fails to respect that duty of care, they may be liable for being careless with the safety of others.
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In some cases, however, your motorcycle may have been the only one on the road. You may be worried that you will be held responsible, even though you know you were driving carefully and responsibly.
We understand that outside forces can lead to a crash. In some cases, such as a heavy storm or a deer crossing the road, it cannot be helped. In cases where another person’s negligence caused your single-vehicle accident, however, you may have grounds for compensation.
When something goes wrong with your motorcycle, it can be challenging to avoid a crash. You may have been unable to steer, for example, or your brakes may have failed, leading you to lose control of the vehicle and crash.
That is not necessarily the driver’s fault. In some of these cases, the manufacturer may have simply made a faulty part. A defective design or a problem with the manufacturing process can cause a part to fail, leaving you hurt and suffering.
State Department of Transportation
In other cases, the issue may not lie with your bike. It may instead be an issue with the road. Motorcycles are more vulnerable to road defects, such as potholes or improperly-draining streets. When one of these causes a driver to lose control, the city’s transportation department may be held accountable for the accident.
Any city’s Department of Transportation is responsible for the maintenance of its roads. If a sign is missing, pothole forms, or roads have a consistent issue with standing water, they are liable for any catastrophic injuries caused by their failure to solve these problems.
Remember, though, that this department is a government agency. That means they may be subject to different laws, including extra notice requirements and shorter time limits to sue. If you have any questions about your claim, talk to your lawyer about who is responsible for your injuries.
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Determining Liability for Multi-Car Accidents
Just as some motorcycle accidents involve only the rider, others may involve multiple parties. This makes it tough to determine who is liable for the accident in many cases.
For example, you may have been on your motorcycle with one car T-boned another. You were on the same road and could not stop in time, crashing and being injured in the process. Determining fault for this accident can be tricky because multiple parties are involved.
In these cases, you may need witness testimony or even an expert witness who can reconstruct the details of the scene.
These experts can take photographs, debris, and other physical evidence of the accident and use that to reconstruct how the accident happened. This testimony is vital, especially when multiple parties may be trying to place the blame on you. If they claim you were the careless one in the confusion of the accident, talk to your lawyer about how to untangle fault in these cases.
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Suing When the Driver Is on the Job
You may have been in a motorcycle accident involving one person who caused the accident, but the accident may not be that simple. The other driver may have been acting in the scope of their job, which means someone else may be liable for their actions.
When an employer hires a person, they become liable for that person’s actions within the scope of the job. They are responsible for not engaging in negligent hiring and training practices, which can impact whether an accident happens.
Keep in mind, however, that not everyone who drives for a living is the responsibility of their employers. For example, many rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors. That means they do a job for the company but are not considered employees.
In many cases, too, the insurance company may still be liable for the damages, making your claim complex. If a delivery driver has injured you, for example, talk to your lawyer about how to hold them responsible.
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When you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, you need compensation that covers the costs of your injuries. To get that compensation, you need to identify the at-fault party who is responsible for your injuries and responsible for the costs of your recovery. So who is liable?
Because the answer can be complex, you may need a lawyer’s guidance on your side when you are suing in a motorcycle accident case. The lawyers at GKBM understand how complex your claim can be and are ready to help you take action. When you are ready, we offer free consultations so you know what to expect before you sign anything or set foot in a courtroom.
Ready to talk? Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer by calling Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, or by completing our secured contact form.