Who Is Liable In a Motorcycle Accident?


Every day, motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries and fatalities. Most commonly these kinds of accidents are someone else’s fault. Distracted drivers, intoxicated drivers, or drivers who fail to take reasonable care on the roads top the list.

When it comes to who is liable in a motorcycle accident, the answer may not always be black and white. According to the lawyers at Roberts | Jeandron Law, these accidents often result in personal injury claims, which means you must collect evidence to prove liability.

How Is Liability Determined In a California Motorcycle Accident?

Sometimes, the cause of a motorcycle accident is straightforward. As an example, if a driver of a car doesn’t yield the right of way to a motorcyclist, that car driver would be liable. However, if the motorcyclist was speeding at the time of the accident, they might also be partially to blame.

Other parties can be found negligent, too, such as the motorcycle manufacturer. In California, pure comparative negligence is the applied standard to determining fault in accidents.

California’s Comparative Fault Law

Since California is a pure comparative negligence state, it means that the fault of each party must be determined first. Each party will then be liable for any part of their share in the damages. This is based on a percentage of fault. 

In other states, a motorcycle accident victim who is found to be more than 50% at fault won’t recover damages. However, in California, they can still recover damages even if they are 99% at fault.

As riding a motorcycle is a risky mode of transport, choosing a personal injury attorney is a wise decision to navigate the aftermath of your accident. Defense lawyers and insurance companies will look for any way to magnify your liability in the accident.

Other Potentially Liable Parties

Another potential cause for a motorcycle accident is a defective part or design flaw. These defects could be due to low-quality materials or assembly errors by the manufacturer. In either case, they can cause a malfunction that leads to an accident. 

Should this happen, the manufacturing company as well as other involved parties might be liable. A personal injury attorney will launch an investigation on your behalf to prove that this contributed to your accident.

With an investigation to determine liability in a motorcycle accident, many factors will be reviewed. Available surveillance footage will be submitted, police reports will be reviewed, and witnesses will be interviewed. Your lawyer may also check recall lists to determine if defects in manufacturing played a role in the accident. Expert witnesses may also be called in to assess the motorcycle.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Since California operates under pure comparative negligence, even if you had some fault in your motorcycle accident, you can recover compensation. However, trying to negotiate for compensation yourself may mean that you get less than you should. While for an accident, you need a Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney, you can accurately determine your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages to negotiate a fair amount.