What To Know About Your Responsibility During A Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle accident
Laws differ slightly during motorcycle accidents than vehicle accidents, so if you regularly ride a motorcycle, it’s essential to understand your responsibilities before going for a ride. 

A motorcyclist must exercise care when driving, and avoid certain situations, such as lane splitting, to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

When Is The Driver Liable In A Motorcycle Accident?

When the driver of a motorcycle negligently acts while driving their bike and harms another person, they will be held liable for the accident. The court determines negligence if the driver behaved thoughtlessly or carelessly. 

Motorists must drive with care to avoid injuring other bikers, their own passengers, drivers, or people walking on the street. If a driver fails to do so and does not act “reasonably careful” and injures someone, they will be liable for injuring the victim.

So what does this look like in real life? If a motorcyclist drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and harms someone, the driver would be considered negligent.

A biker can also be held liable if they swerve in between other cars; this is called “lane splitting.” Most states, other than California, consider lane splitting illegal. Lane splitting is dangerous because the biker puts their motorcycle close to other cars, and the other vehicles would not anticipate that a bike would be passing them in slow or stopped traffic.

How Do You Proof Negligence In a Motorcycle Accident?

The person who sues, or the plaintiff, in a motorcycle accident, must prove the following for the motorcycle driver to be held liable:

  • Under the law, motorists must exercise care when riding or driving; it must be proven the law exists and that the defendant was not careful. When deciding what care is in the situation, the law compares the driver’s conduct to a “reasonable person.”
  • The defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • The plaintiff must prove they were injured, with medical records or bills, and suffered losses, such as lost wages or distress resulting from the injury. 

What Should I Do If I Was Involved In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, call the legal team at Hyland, Padilla, & Fowler right away. We have vast experience in personal injury, motorcycle, and automobile accidents and can help you navigate your case. 

We can discuss the merits of your case with you to determine if you can prove you weren’t liable. 

In many motorcycle accidents, if you can prove the motorcyclist was riding carefully, were not speeding or weaving in and out of lanes or between cars, that will help your case. If you are an experienced rider and have completed a motorcycle riding or safety course, this will also help your case. If we can prove the other driver was doing something more dangerous than lane splitting, this will also reduce your liability. 

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