Motorcycling offers a sense of freedom and exhilaration, but the open road also comes with its share of risks. Accidents happen. And when they do, the resulting injuries are often extensive. Medical bills can pile up quickly. If someone else’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident, you shouldn’t be stuck paying your medical bills.
But what if you are partly to blame for your motorcycle accident? Can you still recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages?
The answer is “possibly.”
The explanation is a little more complex. Let’s take a closer look at how the law addresses shared responsibility and the potential impact on your ability to seek compensation.
if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for legal guidance and fair compensation.
How Shared Negligence Works in Nebraska and Iowa
States use different rules when it comes to shared negligence in personal injury cases, including motorcycle accident claims. Comparative negligence allocates fault among the parties involved in an accident based on their respective degrees of negligence. The two main types of comparative negligence are pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence.
Iowa also follows a modified comparative negligence system, but it uses a 51 percent bar. This means that a plaintiff can recover damages if their level of fault is less than 51 percent. They cannot recover damages if their percentage is 51 percent or more.
How Can a Lawyer Prove My Degree of Liability?
Determining the degree of fault in a motorcycle accident involves thoroughly investigating the incident. Then, lawyers typically build a comprehensive case to determine and establish the degree of fault in a motorcycle accident.
Here are some ways a lawyer might determine your degree of fault in a motorcycle accident:
Your lawyer will gather evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs, videos, and witness statements. This evidence can reconstruct the events leading up to the accident and establish fault.
The official police report often includes the responding officer’s assessment of the accident. It may contain information about traffic violations, witness statements, and other details that can determine fault.
Lawyers may consult accident reconstruction experts who can analyze the evidence and provide expert opinions on the dynamics of the accident. These experts can establish speed, braking distances, and the sequence of events.
If injuries are involved, medical records can provide insights into the severity of the injuries and whether they were consistent with the events described in the accident. This information can establish causation and the role each party played in the injuries.
Traffic Laws and Regulations
Lawyers will examine relevant traffic laws and regulations to determine whether any party violated traffic rules, leading to the accident. Violations can establish fault.
Statements from eyewitnesses can determine fault. Your lawyer may interview witnesses to get their perspectives on the events leading up to the accident.
Photographic and Video Evidence
Visual evidence from photos or videos taken at the scene or from surveillance cameras can provide valuable insights into the circumstances of the accident. This evidence can establish fault and liability.
Comparative Negligence Analysis
If the jurisdiction follows a comparative negligence system the lawyer will assess your actions and the actions of the other party to determine the percentage of fault for each party. You need this analysis in states with modified comparative negligence rules like Nebraska and Iowa.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can occur for various reasons, and the actions of other drivers are often significant contributors. Here are some common ways in which other drivers can cause motorcycle accidents:
Failure to See Motorcycles
Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars, trucks, and other larger vehicles. Drivers may fail to notice motorcycles in their blind spots or when changing lanes, leading to collisions.
One of the most common types of accidents involving motorcycles is when a car makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. The driver might misjudge the speed of the motorcycle or simply fail to see it, resulting in a collision.
Following Too Closely
Tailgating is a dangerous behavior that can lead to accidents. If a driver is following a motorcycle too closely, they may not react in time if the motorcyclist slows down or stops suddenly.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Drivers who change lanes without signaling or checking their blind spots can collide with motorcycles. Motorcycles can be positioned in a car’s blind spot, so drivers must clear blind spots before changing lanes.
Opening Car Doors
In urban areas, parked cars pose a risk to motorcyclists. A driver opening their car door without checking for oncoming motorcycles can lead to a collision.
Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, or using in-car entertainment systems can divert a driver’s attention from the road. This lack of attention can result in accidents, including those involving motorcycles.
Excessive speed reduces the time a driver has to react to changing road conditions or the presence of other vehicles, including motorcycles. Speeding drivers may misjudge the speed of a motorcycle or cannot stop in time to avoid a collision.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs are a significant hazard on the road. Impaired drivers may have slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and decreased coordination, all of which increase the risk of accidents involving motorcycles.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Contact a Lawyer if Liability is Challenged in Your Motorcycle Accident Case
In a motorcycle accident involving shared fault, seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can assess your case, leverage their experience in personal injury law, and determine the degree of liability accurately.
From gathering crucial evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, a motorcycle accident lawyer with Berry Law can protect your rights and recover fair compensation even when you bear some responsibility for the accident. Our lawyers are well-versed in the nuances of comparative negligence laws, providing you with the support needed to navigate the legal terrain and move forward on the road to recovery.