Comparative negligence splits the blame for an accident between the parties involved, assigning a certain percentage to each. In a motorcycle accident claim, comparative negligence could affect your damages, reducing them by the amount you are responsible for.
In some cases, it could also bar you from recovering financial compensation. A Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer can determine your percentage of fault and fight to ensure your damages are not reduced after someone unfairly assigns blame to you for a crash.
What Is Comparative Negligence, and How Does It Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Negligence occurs when someone acts carelessly, violating their duty of care to another person and causing injury. In a motorcycle accident, examples of negligence include a motorist who drives drunk, fails to look for the motorcyclist when turning, or drives too fast for road or weather conditions.
However, many accidents don’t just boil down to one person’s carelessness. No human can behave perfectly on the road, so you may have made your own mistakes while riding your motorcycle. For instance, if you were speeding or failed to signal when changing lanes, and someone hit you, you might share some of the blame. Knowing who is at fault in a motorcycle accident in a scenario like this could be challenging.
Comparative negligence looks at each involved party’s relative carelessness and weighs it in the context of the crash. Perhaps you may have failed to signal before changing lanes, but the driver who hit you was drunk. That could mean the insurance company handling your motorcycle injury claim believes you were 10 percent at fault, whereas the drunk driver was 90 percent responsible. You could, therefore, receive 90 percent of your damages.
Pure vs. Modified Comparative Negligence
The percentages matter because they dictate how much compensation you receive and determine if you receive any. It boils down to whether your claim involves pure or modified comparative negligence.
- Pure: This form of comparative negligence allows you to pursue damages for whatever portion of the accident that wasn’t your fault, whether it’s 99 percent or 1 percent.
- Modified: This type of comparative negligence only allows you to seek damages if you were less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.
The form of negligence that applies to your motorcycle claim depends on the laws of the state where the crash occurred.
877-239-4878Available 24/7 | 356 Days | se habla español
What Role Does Comparative Negligence Play in a Motorcycle Accident?
Knowing your comparative negligence can help you understand if you can claim compensation after a motorcycle accident. Depending on your level of fault, you could qualify to receive:
- Compensation for medical bills, prescriptions and equipment, rehabilitation and therapy, and long-term care.
- Lost income reimbursement, whether you’re in a salaried position, earn an hourly wage, or work in the gig economy.
- Damages for reduced earning ability due to your injuries and help with transitioning to a new job if you can no longer do what you did previously.
- Pain and suffering compensation that can cover non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Several Parties Can Be Negligent in a Motorcycle Accident
In addition to the effect on your possible damages, comparative negligence can cause complications in handling your motorcycle injury claim. While comparative negligence is supposed to pinpoint everyone’s role in an accident more precisely, complicated motorcycle crashes can make it hard to determine everyone’s portion of responsibility.
For example, if you suffered an equipment failure on your bike that contributed to an accident between you and another driver, the equipment manufacturer is also negligent.
Likewise, multivehicle collisions can make it hard to assign comparative negligence between all the parties, especially with everyone and their insurers pointing the finger at everyone else.
If you face a complex motorcycle accident claim or the possibility of multiple liable parties, a personal injury lawyer attorney can untangle liability by conducting an investigation apart from the ones that insurers may conduct. We can then identify everyone’s level of fault.
You May Face Unfair Blame
Unfortunately, comparative negligence apportions responsibility and could result in you being targeted by the liable party and their insurer unfairly targeting you. An insurance adjuster might assign you a percentage of fault you feel isn’t accurate.
Again, a personal injury lawyer can step in to prevent or fight against this. We can help preserve evidence to reconstruct what happened, highlight who was negligent, and illustrate what you suffered.
How Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With Comparative Negligence?
An insurance company can often calculate comparative negligence, but it is not always right. Insurers aim to protect their businesses first, their clients second, and other parties, like you, last. If an insurance provider assigns fault in a way that feels unfair, it may be.
What’s more, you probably don’t know how fault is determined under normal circumstances, let alone when you’re also struggling with injuries, worried about bills, unable to work, and generally distracted by your situation. With a motorcycle attorney on your case, you don’t have to figure out fault, liability, or comparative negligence—our injury law firm can do that for you.
Additionally, a motorcycle accident attorney:
- File your motorcycle accident claim correctly and remain on-call to answer questions and provide further information to the adjuster.
- Negotiate a settlement that accurately reflects your level of responsibility and losses
- Identify other liable parties, such as if you were in a multiparty accident or if there are other parties you might not know about who owe you damages.
- Determine if your accident warrants exploring a personal injury lawsuit, especially if we can’t agree with the other party about the percentage of fault for the crash.
- Prepare for litigation by filing lawsuit paperwork and court documents, developing a case strategy, and representing you in court.
- Ensuring your case meets the statute of limitations that applies (For example, in Texas, injured parties generally have two years from the accident date to sue a liable party for damages, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies § 16.003.
- Represent you in court, not charging for your case review or only requiring payment if and when we recover your damages.
877-239-4878Available 24/7 | 356 Days | se habla español
Get a Free Consultation Today for Your Motorcycle Collision Claim – We Can Help
Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins today to learn how comparative negligence could affect your motorcycle accident claim.
While we can provide general information here, our motorcycle injury lawyers can provide personalized attention once we review the circumstances of your collision. We can discuss your legal options, so call today.