How Negligence Affects Motorcycle Personal Injury Cases
Understanding negligence in a motor cycle accident is critical to collecting damages
Negligence on the part of both parties can affect a personal injury case. This is especially important to remember when dealing with a motorcycle accident as the consequences of that negligence can be more severe; if the person who was hit was also partly at fault, that can reduce the award the person is entitled to. Being partly negligent does not mean you should never file a claim, but it does mean you and your attorney need to have a talk about the case and look for the best way to get through the trial. You still deserve compensation if you were the victim.
Negligence occurs when someone doesn’t do their duty to keep themselves and the people around them as safe as possible. This doesn’t mean that the person has to become a helicopter-parent figure to everyone, but rather that they take common-sense steps to reduce risks, such as putting “wet floor” signs up when they’ve cleaned the floor in a market, or warning people about the broken sidewalk and raised tree roots by the person’s home. For motorcycle riders, this would mean drivers looking before changing lanes and following traffic rules, and the riders themselves obeying speed limits, not lane-splitting where it’s prohibited, wearing a helmet and other protective gear, and so on.
If a car hits a motorcycle due to the car driver’s negligence, then the motorcycle rider and passengers can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. However, if the motorcycle rider was also negligent – say, the rider was speeding and lane-splitting where prohibited – the judge in the case can reduce the award to the rider on the grounds that the rider also contributed to the severity of the accident. This reduction could result in a reduction of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, as well as economic damages such as missed work time and medical bills. To ensure you get the most appropriate award if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, contact Eisenberg Law Offices at (608) 256-8356. Speak with our attorneys about your case before proceeding.