When a motorcycle is in a crash, the rider is at serious risk of having catastrophic injuries given the limited materials between the cyclist, the roadway, and the other vehicles. With so much damage often done, determining liability is crucial to helping crash victims get the financial compensation they need to recover.
Three parties who could be at fault
Every crash is unique and can involve different people and components that affect liability. That said, a few parties are often to blame for these accidents.
- Another motorist: Drivers can misjudge the speed of a motorcycle or fail to check their blind spot before switching lanes. They can also experience inattentional blindness, a phenomenon where people fail to see an object in plain sight. Further, drivers could be intoxicated or distracted, making them a very real threat to motorcyclists.
- The rider: Motorcyclists are people, too, and they can make mistakes. They may take risks or drive without proper training, and there are certain things riders do that drivers do not understand or anticipate. For instance, lane-splitting is unlawful in North Carolina, but there are arguments that this practice actually keeps riders safer. Thus, there can be confusion about what is and is not dangerous.
- Third parties: People who have no direct involvement in an accident could still be liable for it if their negligence contributed to damages. In the context of a motorcycle crash, negligent property owners, government agencies or manufacturers of a defective bike part could be to blame.
One or more of these people could be responsible for a crash. Fully identifying all possible parties will affect if you can take legal action to pursue financial compensation for damages you experience in a collision.
Per North Carolina contributory negligence laws, you cannot recover damages for an accident if you are even 1% to blame for an accident. In other words, if you are on your motorcycle and are going a little too fast and get struck by a drunk driver who runs a red light because they are texting, the drunk driver may argue that you were contributorily negligent in an attempt to avoid liability for their own actions.
However, there are a variety of arguments that can be made by skilled attorneys to combat the drunk driver’s claims of contributory negligence.
Because of this, it is vital to work with an attorney, who can coordinate with an accident reconstructionist and investigators to defend against allegations and procure appropriate compensation.