Motorcycle accidents are everyday occurrences in the US. But who's to blame? Know the factors contributing to these accidents and learn how to determine which party is at fault.

Motorcycle accidents are a stark and haunting reality of road travel in the United States.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 24 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants based on vehicle miles traveled.

This statistic only emphasizes how dangerous motorcycles can be on the road, making it essential for everyone to understand what causes these accidents and who is usually responsible.

Motorcycle accidents involve numerous stakeholders — riders, other drivers sharing the road, motorcycle manufacturers, and many more. All of them bear varying degrees of responsibility and influence over the situation.

Yet, amidst this tangle of factors, one question looms: Who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents?

Factors Influencing Fault

Many factors come into play when determining who is at fault in motorcycle accidents. While some argue that reckless riding and lack of protective gear are the primary culprits, others contend that distracted driving, negligence, and poor road conditions contribute to these mishaps.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can occur in a wide range of scenarios. Some of the most common include:

Contributing Factors

A myriad of factors contribute to motorcycle accidents:

Determining Fault

Determining fault in an accident is a complex process involving law enforcement, witness statements, and the opinions of experts.

Police Assessment and Accident Reports

Law enforcement officers are typically the first on the scene when an accident occurs. They are responsible for securing the accident site, assisting the injured (aside from emergency assistance and paramedics), and starting the initial investigation.

The officer will gather information from everyone involved, including the drivers, passengers, and witnesses. They will then inspect the accident scene — noting the position of vehicles, road conditions, visibility, and any signs of driver impairment or traffic rule violations.

After collecting the necessary information, the officer will prepare an accident report. They will provide an objective summary of the incident, including diagrams of the accident scene, descriptions of damage to the vehicles, and any fatal injuries sustained.

Based on their observations and the information gathered, it may also contain the officer’s opinion on who was at fault.

Witness Statements

Witness accounts can offer a different perspective and provide details that the involved parties might not remember or have not noticed.

Law enforcement officers will typically interview witnesses at the scene or shortly after the accident. They will include witness statements in the police report.

Attorneys or insurance adjusters may sometimes contact witnesses for additional information.

In legal proceedings, the weight given to witness statements can vary. Factors such as the witness’s location during the accident, their ability to see the event clearly, and their overall credibility can influence how much their testimony is valued.

Expert Opinions

In complex cases, the opinions of highly trained professionals, such as accident reconstruction specialists, can be invaluable. They use scientific methods and specialized tools to analyze the details of a motorcycle crash.

They may examine the accident scene, inspect the damaged vehicles, review medical reports, and interview witnesses. They also apply physics and engineering principles to understand how the accident occurred.

Accident reconstruction specialists can provide insights into factors like the speed of the vehicles at the time of the crash, the sequence of events leading up to the motorcycle collision, and the drivers’ actions. Their findings can be crucial in cases where the fault is disputed or unclear.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that apportions fault and damages among parties involved in an accident. It operates on the premise that more than one party can share the blame for an incident. This framework examines each party’s negligence and assigns a percentage of fault accordingly.

There are two main types of comparative negligence:

The amount of damages owed in an accident case depends on several factors:

Shared Fault in Motorcycle Accidents

In many motorcycle accidents, both parties share some level of fault. For instance, a car driver might have been speeding, but the motorist might have been lane-splitting.

Some states follow the pure comparative negligence rule, while others use the modified version. Therefore, the exact impact of shared fault on a motorcycle accident victim’s compensation can depend on the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.

In California, the pure comparative negligence principle is in place. Each party’s percentage of fault is determined based on the evidence presented, such as police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction findings. The victim’s total damages are then reduced by their percentage of fault.

This means that if a motorcyclist suffered $100,000 in motor vehicle damages but was found to be 30% at fault, their recovery would be reduced to $70,000.

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you’re a motorcycle accident victim, having a competent attorney can help you understand your rights, determine who is at fault, calculate fair compensation, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court — if necessary.

Frantz Law Group is a trusted name for motorcycle accident claims. With years of experience handling these cases, our team of motorcycle accident attorneys has developed a deep understanding of the complexities involved. Our proven track record of success secures favorable outcomes for countless clients.

With Frantz Law Group, you get more than just legal representation. You gain a dedicated advocate committed to protecting your rights and interests. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will meticulously conduct a free case evaluation, investigate your case, gather evidence, consult with experts, and build a robust case on your behalf.

Every motorcycle accident case is unique, so we tailor our approach to your circumstances. We aim to alleviate your stress so you can focus on recovery while we handle the legalities.

Get a Free Consultation from the Experts at Frantz Law Group

Motorcycle accidents can be life-altering, resulting in serious injuries and significant financial burdens. What happens after an accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.

That’s where the importance of a personal injury law firm comes in. Contact Frantz Law Group today for a free consultation.

Time is of the essence in accident claims. The sooner you reach out, the earlier our personal injury lawyers can start working on your case.