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Who can be held responsible for injuries or death to motorcycle operators and passengers?
- March 29, 2017
Both passengers and operators can be injured or killed in motorcycle accidents. If you have recently been in a motorcycle accident where you were either a passenger or the operator of the motorcycle, injuries that you may have incurred because of the accident can be compensated for if you were not the party at fault.
In order to seek damages in a situation like this, it is important that you speak with a personal injury lawyer to figure out who needs to be held responsible for your injuries or for the death of your loved one. The following is a list of the types of parties who may be held responsible and need to pay damages for a motorcycle accident that caused injuries or the death of passengers.
Operators or passengers in other vehicles involved in the accident
If the other vehicle operator involved in the accident was negligent in their driving or if the passengers in the other vehicle caused the accident and thus, caused your injuries and pain and suffering, you can sue them for compensation for your injuries. In fact, this is the most common party to recover damages from if the accident was this party’s fault. If the other driver of the truck, motorcycle, bus or automobile was negligent and careless, they deserve to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
But you’ll need to prove this guilt. In order to do this properly and to receive an adequate amount for your compensation, they should be mostly at fault for the accident. California awards personal injury claims based on the percentage of fault that the defendant has. For example, if the driver of another vehicle was 50 percent responsible for causing the accident but you were also found by your judge or jury to be 50 percent responsible, you will receive just 50 percent of the amount of your claim.
The operator of the motorcycle in which you were a passenger
The operator of the motorcycle that you are in as a passenger can also be sued for damages if you are injured because of their carelessness. In many cases, this happens when the operator of the motorcycle was intoxicated or otherwise distracted. Cases like these may be difficult because operators and passengers of the same motorcycle are often related or friends.
The manufacturer or retailer of your motorcycle
If there was found to be carelessness on the part of the motorcycle manufacturer or retailer that resulted in your motorcycle accident and your subsequent injuries or the death of your loved one, you may be to sue that manufacturer or retailer for damages. Again, this comes down to proving that they were at-fault and careless in not ameliorating the situation to prevent injuries or death.
Public or private property owners
If you were on someone else’s property at the time of the accident, it is possible that carelessness in the design, care or upkeep of that property led to your accident. For example, if roadways were not cleared or if obstructions in the road caused the accident, you may be able to receive damages for this carelessness and negligence. If this is your situation, taking pictures of the scene and getting eyewitness accounts will greatly aid your case.
Seeking legal aid and proving fault
It is important to remember that if you have recently been in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, not being at fault for the accident may make you eligible to receive damages from the at-fault party. With that being said, filing your lawsuit and bringing your case to court may be difficult. Navigating the legal system if you are unfamiliar with it can be a challenge for anyone.
The best thing to do is to seek legal advice as soon as you can after taking care of your own health and safety after the accident. You should never try to bring a case by yourself. Contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience and expertise in dealing with motorcycle accidents. They can help you gather evidence and investigate the accident properly in order to prove fault and file a case for the compensation you deserve.