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Who Is At Fault in Motorcycle Accidents?

The person who acted carelessly or recklessly can be at fault for a motorcycle accident they caused. Sometimes, more than one party caused or contributed to a crash, but it can take some investigation to determine how much each party is responsible for it.

What Happens If You Were Partially At Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?

Many accidents result from unintentional mistakes. When the errors of two or more parties combine to create a perfect storm that ends up in a motorcycle accident, the challenge will be to determine each negligent party’s fault.

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001 lays out the rules for proportionate responsibility. A percentage of fault will be assigned to each at-fault party involved in the crash. Any monetary damages a party could recover from another person will be reduced by the amount of the injured person’s fault. Under Texas law, a person cannot recover damages if they were more than 50 percent at fault in an accident.

Let’s say a car and motorcycle collide. The car’s driver was 80 percent at fault, while the motorcyclist was 20 percent at fault. The car driver will not get any compensation from the motorcyclist. However, the motorcyclist can recover monetary damages from the car’s driver, but his losses will be reduced by 20 percent to cover his portion of fault.

Types of Negligent Acts That Can Cause Motorcycle Accidents

Usually, a violation of a traffic law or rule of the road will be enough for the police to assign blame to one or more of the parties in a motorcycle accident. The vehicle’s driver or the motorcyclist could be responsible for causing a collision if it happened because one of them:

  • Exceeded the speed limit or a drove at an unsafe speed
  • Did not stop at a stop sign or a red traffic signal
  • Did not yield the right-of-way
  • Drove recklessly
  • Drove while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Changed lanes unsafely
  • Followed another vehicle too closely, also called tailgating
  • Engaged in distracted or drowsy driving

Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include inclement weather, poor road conditions like potholes, and defective vehicle parts like tires or brakes.

Recoverable Damages in Motorcycle Collisions

There is no standard amount of compensation a person could receive after getting hurt in a motorcycle accident. Every motor vehicle collision is different. The amount of financial recovery you could pursue will depend on your situation.

These factors could affect how much you could recover for your injuries and other losses:

  • The amount of your fault, if any, in causing the collision.
  • The amount of the other driver’s fault.
  • How much your direct economic losses were as a result of the accident, for example, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
  • The amount of any other losses you suffered from the crash.
  • The amount of insurance coverage the at-fault driver has.
  • Your insurance coverage, like uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Other insurance coverage and personal assets of the at-fault driver.

You Could Seek Compensation for Your Financial and Non-Financial Losses

Your damages will also play a significant role in how much compensation you can pursue from the party who caused the accident and your injuries. Common categories of monetary losses in motorcycle accidents include:

  • The cost of the medical treatment for your wounds. These expenses can begin with the ambulance and emergency room bills. All the medical interventions you need, such as the hospital, doctors, surgery, physical therapy, and prescription drugs, fall under this category.
  • People often miss time from work after getting hurt in a motorcycle collision, which means they may lose income, tips, paid time off, and other benefits. If you missed paychecks while recuperating from your wounds and medical treatments, you could add this financial loss to your claim.
  • Pain and suffering is a category of non-financial damages that recognizes the physical discomfort and mental anguish a person experiences when someone else’s carelessness injures them. These damages are separate from your medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Other types of recoverable non-financial damages from motorcycle crashes can include things like disfigurement or dismemberment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of enjoyment of life because of functions the injured person can no longer perform.

These examples are a small sample of the many types of losses a person could experience after a motorcycle collision. You will want to talk to your personal injury attorney about all the ways your motorcycle accident has affected your life.

We Can Help You Take Legal Action After a Motorcycle Crash

You generally have two years after a motorcycle collision to sue the liable party for personal injury or wrongful death under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your right to seek compensation from the party who injured you or caused your loved one’s death.

Trujillo & Sanchez, P.C., can determine who is at fault in a motorcycle accident and seek the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.

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