Who Could Be Responsible for Your Motorcycle Crash?
More than 5,000 motorcyclists suffered fatal injuries in crashes across the United States in 2019, and thousands more sustained non-fatal injuries that significantly disrupted their lives. If another party was responsible for causing the crash, the injured motorcyclist has the right to seek compensation for their losses. Since the losses from common motorcycle injuries can often be extensive, it is important to identify all possible sources of liability, and you should have the help of a trusted injury law firm.
In many cases, it can be difficult to know which insurance claims or lawsuits to file without the help of an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle injury claims. Let our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers evaluate your rights and options as soon as possible.
One of the top reasons for motorcycle accidents is negligent conduct by other drivers. Drivers can engage in many types of negligence that can injure motorcyclists, including:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Aggressive driving
- Improper lane changes
- Failing to yield
In many situations, drivers might not be paying full attention to the road, and because motorcycles are already more difficult to see, a distracted driver can easily miss a motorcycle, resulting in a collision. Just because motorcycles are smaller does not mean there is any excuse for failing to pay attention, and such drivers should be held accountable for the injuries and property damage they cause to a motorcyclist.
When a driver is at fault for a crash, their insurance company should cover all of an injured motorcyclist’s losses. However, losses from catastrophic injuries can be extraordinary, and many drivers have policy limits that might not cover all of your damages. This is why it is important to consider other sources of liability when available.
#1 Cause of Motorcycle Wrecks
The #1 cause is left-hand turns at intersections in front of or into the motorcycle.
Employers of Drivers
Many people are on the road as part of their jobs, including commercial truck drivers, delivery people, construction workers, rideshare drivers, and many more. If someone was working when they caused your motorcycle crash and injuries, you might be able to hold the company that employed the driver responsible as well. This is because the law holds employers vicariously liable for harm caused by negligent employees under a legal principle called “respondeat superior.”
Employers can also be negligent and lead an employee to be involved in a motorcycle crash, such as:
- Negligent hiring of people with a history of dangerous driving or other serious driving violations
- Negligent supervision of drivers to ensure they are being safe
- Failing to suspend or discipline drivers who violate the law, report to work under the influence, or engage in other unsafe behavior
- Encouraging drivers to speed or violate other regulations (such as hours of service rules) to make more deliveries and earn the company more profits
- Failing to properly maintain work vehicles, leading to malfunctions and crashes
If company management or owners are negligent, the company’s insurance policy should cover the losses of injured crash victims. This is important, as corporations generally have much higher policy limits than individual drivers.
Another complex liability issue arises when a rideshare driver causes a motorcycle crash. If an Uber or Lyft driver was negligent, the insurance coverage will depend on the circumstances of the situation. For example, if the rideshare driver had not accepted a fare at the time of the accident, their own insurance would apply. If the rideshare driver had accepted a ride or had a passenger in the car, the rideshare company’s $1 million insurance policy would also apply, which can be beneficial if you have serious injuries.
Because motorcycles are already risky vehicles, it is imperative that bikes are in proper working order. Sometimes, however, motorcycle manufacturers sell motorcycles that have defective parts, including tires and brakes. If a defective motorcycle part malfunctions and causes you to lose control of your bike, you can hold the manufacturer responsible by filing a product liability claim. These claims can be challenging to prove, so having the right legal help is essential.
Road Crews or Government Agencies
While road hazards can be dangerous for any driver, they can be especially harmful to motorcyclists. Unexpected road conditions can easily cause a motorcyclist to lose traction or otherwise lose control of their bike. In some situations, road hazards can be due to the negligence of construction crews that perform improper repairs or leave objects in the road after a shift. Hazardous conditions can also be the fault of government agencies that neglect road maintenance.
If you have a claim against a government agency, the procedures are different from a claim against a private party. The Georgia Tort Claims Act has notice requirements and deadlines that are much shorter than the usual statute of limitations, and claims against the City of Atlanta require special paperwork.
Seeking the Right Legal Help
Knowing how to identify all potentially liable parties can be quite difficult without knowledge of personal injury law or the right investigative resources. Many injured motorcyclists might miss out on critical compensation if they fail to file the right insurance claims. This is why the help of the right Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer can be so beneficial.
Our legal team has filed motorcycle accident claims against all types of liable parties – including individual drivers, companies, and government agencies. We will help you through every step of the process to determine who should provide compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages from your motorcycle injuries.
Speak with Our Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyers About a Possible Case
Motorcycle accidents can require victims to undergo extensive medical care, be unable to work, and even struggle with life-long effects and complications from serious injuries. You want to make sure you receive every dollar you deserve for your losses from parties that should be held responsible.
At Spaulding Injury Law, we always offer free case evaluations with no obligation, so please do not wait to call (770) 744-0890 or contact us online after your motorcycle crash.