Motorcycle Accidents and Establishing Fault in California

A motorcycle is an excellent form of quick and affordable transportation, but unfortunately, this convenience and accessibility comes at an increased risk of an accident. Because motorcycles lack many of the safeguards afforded by other motorized transportation, even a minor accident could lead to serious injuries.

Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injury and financial distress if the accident caused large medical expenses. Any serious accident can have life changing consequences, but losing the ability to work or care for oneself is a catastrophic loss that must be recompensed if another party was responsible for the injury. Determining fault after a motorcycle accident doesn’t have to be difficult. Finding legal representation is a wise first step to begin building a case and investigating the details of the accident.

Driving Incidents Leading to Motorcycle Accidents

Any combination of events could lead to a motorcycle accident, but many accidents are caused by a handful of examples of careless driving. Most passenger vehicle accidents are caused by:

  • Left turns
  • Not yielding to oncoming traffic
  • Swerving between lanes or switching lanes without signaling
  • Impaired & distracted driving
  • Not watching for motorcyclists
  • Ignoring blind spots before lane switches
  • Speeding
  • Opening a door before checking for traffic
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Abrupt stops
  • Following to closely/ tailgating

Motorcycle Accidents & Liable Parties

Determining fault in a motorcycle accident is integral to establishing a case of legal liability. If a party is found liable for the accident, they could be sued for compensation to cover injuries. The responsible party is not always obvious. A vehicle could strike a motorcyclist because of the roadway, or the motorcyclist could be the victim of a faulty mechanism on their motorcycle. Because of this, investigating the accident is paramount to determining fault. A jury will review the evidence to determine fault and award financial compensation. A case could have more than one party deemed responsible for an accident.

Examples of possible responsible parties:

  • The driver of the vehicle in your collision
  • The government agency or department responsible for roadway maintenance and suitability
  • The motorcycle manufacturer, repair service (if applicable), tire company, or faulty parts manufacturer, any related¬†substandard services

Elements of Negligence

In order to have a personal injury claim, you must show the other party was negligent. Additionally, you must establish the four elements of a personal injury case:

  • Duty of Care: Duty of care is the responsibility of the at-fault party. For example, if the driver was swerving recklessly, then they wouldn’t be fulfilling their duty of care. Motorists have a responsibility to prevent accidents by driving safely.
  • Breach of Duty: After establishing a duty of care, there must also be a failure or breach of duty. In the example before, a swerving driver switching between lanes has a duty of care. By driving irresponsibility, they have breached that duty.
  • Cause: Did the actions of the at fault party cause the accident that led to the injury of the afflicted party?
  • Damages: Were there damages? Did the injured party lose wages, suffer damages in the form of¬†expensive medical bills?

Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and you suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party, contact our California personal injury lawyers at (916) 571-1550. We can review your case to help establish a negligence claim on your behalf.