According to some motorcycle riders, car drivers are always at-fault for accidents with motorcycles. Public safety campaigns also make it seem like car drivers are always the ones that caused the accidents. However, just like any accident, the truth is that it depends on what happened. Here are some things a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help you prove.
The Motorcycle Was Speeding
A common scenario in motorcycle crashes is a car turning across the path of a motorcycle or pulling out in front of an approaching motorcycle. Even the police may initially decide the car driver caused the accident based solely on the position of the vehicles.
However, the law in a personal injury case is whether the drivers acted reasonably. If the motorcycle was doing twice the legal speed limit or coming around a blind curve, a car driver can't reasonably predict that they'd be approaching so quickly. That could reduce or even eliminate the car driver's fault.
The Motorcycle Changed Lanes Illegally
Car drivers not checking their blind spots does cause a lot of accidents with motorcycles. This doesn't mean that every accident that happens in the blindspot zone is the fault of a car driver. Lane splitting is illegal in many states and requires extra caution on the part of a motorcycle rider in others. The reason this is important is a car driver can make a safe and prudent pass of another car only to strike a motorcyclist who was weaving in and out of lanes hidden behind the other cars.
This is a scenario where it's especially important to have a lawyer who is experienced in motorcycle accidents versus a general accident lawyer to help you. The physical evidence will look exactly the same as a car carelessly merging into a motorcycle. Your attorney will need to help you find witnesses, obtain dashcam videos, or cross-examine the motorcyclist to show what happened.
The Motorcyclist Broke Other Laws
A general rule in accidents is that breaking a law that's meant for safety puts you at least partially at-fault for the accident. This can include violations such as running red lights, passing in non-passing zones, and not having proper lights. The problem is that there is still a bias towards blaming car drivers for motorcycle accidents. If you don't aggressively fight to establish the facts and demand a thorough investigation, the police and your insurance company may just default to blaming you.
If you've been in an accident with a motorcycle, contact services such as The Lombardo Law Firm.