Can I sue the driver of the motorcycle if I was a passenger on the bike?
- October 5, 2017
It often starts out as an enjoyable motorcycle ride with a friend or family member. When an accident occurs, it can end up with medical bills, injuries, lost time at work and more. This is a difficult situation experienced by the motorcycle rider but also their passenger. A motorcycle passenger may not want to consider bringing a lawsuit to be compensated for their losses. Expenses associated with medical bills and other losses may add up and give them no choice.
Passengers of motorcycle accidents have a right to seek compensation for what they lost due to being the victim of an accident. It is common for a passenger to experience injuries that are just as serious as those of the motorcycle operator. It’s possible a motorcycle passenger may struggle to obtain fair compensation. Their case could be complicated.
Only Motorcycle Involved
When only the motorcycle is involved in an accident, it is classified as a one-vehicle accident. A passenger’s claim must be made against the motorcycle operator. In many ways, this is a standard negligence case. An individual who brings a claim must be able to prove two things in order to be successful. They must have strong evidence concerning who was a fault for the accident. This is known as liability. A person must also prove the losses they experienced resulted from the accident. This is known as damages.
A motorcycle passenger who is injured and experiences losses will be able to bring a defective product claim against the manufacturer of the motorcycle. This can only be done if the passenger can prove a defect in the motorcycle is responsible for the accident. This could be a defect in the design of the motorcycle or the manufacturing process. A passenger in a motorcycle accident will have an advantage with this type of lawsuit. The manufacturer will not be able to show the passenger was at fault for the accident.
Motorcycle passengers are usually friends or family of the motorcycle driver. Under normal circumstances, a motorcyclist will not intentionally put their passengers in a dangerous situation. There are times when they make bad judgments, drive in a reckless manner as well as attempt to show off their skills. Speed is a common occurrence in many motorcycle accidents. When a motorcycle is being driven at an excessive speed, it is at a greater risk of experiencing accidents involving serious injuries. It’s possible for a motorcyclist to be reckless. They could carelessly move in and out of traffic, get too close to other vehicles on the road as well as perform stunts and more. There have even been accidents resulting from the motorcycle operator being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is also possible for a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike. When this happens, the operator, as well as the passenger, can be thrown from the bike and more. It’s also possible for this to cause them to experience a collision with another vehicle.
There are some situations where a motorcyclist didn’t have sufficient insurance, and a passenger is reluctant to file a claim. It is possible the coverage will not be able to provide fair compensation to the passenger who was involved in the accident. This is when the knowledge of an experienced attorney will be valuable. It will be a challenge to obtain compensation, but they will know all the options available for a motorcycle passenger who is the victim of an accident.
Not At Fault
In some accidents, the person operating the motorcycle is not at fault for the accident. This will only be a problem if the responsible driver does not have vehicle insurance or is underinsured. Should this happen, a motorcycle passenger could still receive compensation. This will be influenced by the motorcyclist having sufficient coverage. Some injured passengers who are victims of a motorcycle accident are able to obtain compensation from their own auto policy or health insurance.
Individuals who are involved in an accident from being a passenger on a motorcycle may be facing a difficult decision. Getting compensation may require bringing a lawsuit against a friend or loved one. A knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney will know the best way to handle the situation. They will know how to gather the facts of a case and provide the best possible advice for a client.