Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents

Establishing Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Case

As you figure out your next steps after a motorcycle accident, you’ll realize the importance of establishing negligence and liability. Figuring out liability and negligence means looking at what happened, what steps each party took before and during the crash, and what ultimately went wrong. However, this process can be especially challenging in a motorcycle accident claim.

It’s important to work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney after a crash. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve and get what you need to get back on the road. Call Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman at 412-253-2925 to set up a consultation with our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers.

Potential Liable Parties

There are numerous parties that could be liable for a motorcycle accident. In the majority of cases, liability falls on either the driver or the rider. Statistics vary, but across the board, experts have found that more than 95% of accidents have some degree of human error involved. If one party fails to follow the law, does not operate safely around other drivers or riders, or operates their vehicle while unable to do so safely, they may be held liable.

Other potentially liable parties include the manufacturer of either vehicle, the municipality responsible for maintaining the road, and repair shops that performed unsafe or incomplete repairs.

The Laws of the Road

When investigating a motorcycle accident claim, attorneys and insurance companies often start by looking at which laws—if any—were broken. This is why it’s so important to get a police report after any collision. If the police write any citations, they will be noted on the report—and that can put you a little bit closer to figuring out who was negligent in your crash.

Who Breached Their Duty of Care?

Part of determining negligence is figuring out who acted unreasonably on the road. For liability to exist, one party must have a duty of care to the other. Drivers and riders have a mutual duty to operate their vehicles in a way that limits the risk of injury to others. When they step outside that expectation, they may be liable for any crashes that occur. For example, driving the speed limit is reasonable and within your duty of care; driving 20 miles over the speed limit is unreasonable and puts others in unnecessary danger.

Your attorney may determine who fell short of fulfilling their duty by looking into both drivers’ reports, the police report, photos of the crash scene, and eyewitness statements. In many cases, a citation serves both as proof of breaking the law and of breaching one’s duty of care. If someone gets a ticket for failure to yield the right of way, for example, they have both broken the law and breached their duty of care to others on the road.

Overcoming Bias Against Motorcyclists

The process of establishing negligence in any motor vehicle case is roughly the same, no matter which types of vehicles are involved. But when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, there are additional challenges and hurdles to take into account.

Bias against motorcyclists exists in every corner of society. We’ve come a long way from the idea that motorcyclists are all dangerous criminals with no respect for the road and others on it, but we still have a long way to go. Remember, the people who think that riders are inherently careless or unsafe aren’t just the people you share the road with. They are police officers, insurance adjusters, and others who have a hand in the outcome of your case.

Your Pittsburgh motorcycle accident attorney will need to overcome these stereotypes and judgments in order to fight for the compensation you deserve. Not only will they need to prove the other party’s negligence, they’ll likely also need to show that you were not negligent and that you were operating your vehicle in a safe way.

Start Your Motorcycle Accident Claim with Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman

The sooner you reach out to an attorney after your accident, the sooner you can begin building your case and pursuing the compensation you’re owed. To set up a consultation with the team at Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, reach out online or call us at 412-253-2925.