Who is at fault in most motorcycle crashes?
About 8.3 million motorcycles are registered in the United States, and it's easy to see why: Riding a motorcycle can be a refreshing way to travel the open road or an easy way to navigate congested city streets. Many avid motorcyclists seek the thrill of zooming down an open road. But that thrill can come with inherent risks. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are susceptible to involvement in severe or catastrophic motorcycle crashes that don't necessarily occur through any fault of their own.
Motorcycle crashes can pose particular dangers to riders for a few reasons. People who are wary of riding motorcycles often point out that motorcycles do not provide the same safety features as regular vehicles, such as airbags or crumple zones. Plus, in an accident with a regular vehicle, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to being thrown from their bikes, which increases the risk of severe injury.
And if you are wondering how often motorcycle accidents happen, the answer is fairly often. In 2019 alone, over 5,000 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes in the United States, and another 84,000 were injured. That represents an injury rate of 975 per every 100,000 registered motorcycles on the road.
It's normal, then, to wonder what causes these motorcycle accidents and who is most often at fault in these crashes. Motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, motorcyclists' driving behaviors can contribute to an accident, especially when speeding is involved or when they weave in and out of traffic recklessly. In other circumstances, regular vehicles can cause motorcycle crashes when making left-hand turns, rear-ending motorcyclists, or causing head-on collisions. Also, motorcyclists may run into other types of road hazards or inanimate objects.
So, who is at fault in most wrecks, and how many motorcycle accidents are the riders' fault? Below, we'll talk more about determining who is at fault in motorcycle accidents and how that affects injury claims.
Determining Fault in Motorcycle Crashes
When a motorcycle accident happens, it can be very difficult to determine exactly who is at fault. Determining fault is the foundation of a motorcycle accident injury claim, so it's important to have an experienced attorney on your side with a top-rated motorcycle accident law firm to investigate your case in the event that you are involved in a motorcycle crash.
Parties who may be involved or considered at fault in a motorcycle crash include:
-¢ Another driver
In many cases, the driver of the other vehicle is found at fault after a motorcycle crash. When another vehicle is found liable in a motorcycle accident, it can be rooted in several causes. In some cases, the driver of a regular vehicle, such as a sedan, fails to check their mirrors for the motorcyclist and changes lanes without regard for other vehicles and drivers in their "blind spot." Other times, distracted driving may play a role, and the driver of another vehicle may have been texting while driving and failing to observe the motorcyclist on the road. That's why it's incredibly important for drivers of regular vehicles to drive defensively when sharing the road with motorcyclists.
-¢ The city or other governmental entity
Road conditions can change in an instant, regardless of whether you are driving a motorcycle or a regular vehicle. Sometimes, however, the local government responsible for maintaining a specific stretch of road can leave potholes, objects, or other hazards in the street, making motorcyclists especially susceptible to accidents and catastrophic injuries. In this case, a motorcyclist and their accident lawyer would file a claim against the municipality responsible for the road conditions and seek compensation for injuries suffered in a crash.
-¢ The manufacturer of the motorcycle
In rare cases, the manufacturer of a motorcycle could be found liable for an accident. Usually, this happens when the brakes or another important part of the motorcycle fail and cause the motorcycle to malfunction on the road or collide with another vehicle, causing injury. There are many elements of a products liability claim, but if the motorcyclist can prove that the manufacturer was negligent in producing the bike, then the manufacturer may be responsible for the motorcyclist's or other driver's injuries.
How Many Motorcycle Accidents Are the Riders' Fault?
it's difficult to determine how
many motorcycle accidents are the riders' fault,
plenty of data points are available on the factors that play a role
in motorcycle crashes, and often, the fault lies in drivers and
conditions of the road outside the motorcyclist's control.
If you were in a motorcycle crash and want to learn more about your options with strong legal representation, contact the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Steelhorse Law today for a free consultation. Whether you were injured, need to deal with some legal matters stemming from a ride that has gone wrong, or want maximum monetary recovery from a wrecked bike, we can help. We're a top-rated motorcycle accident law firm with in-depth experience protecting the rights of riders in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.