As with any other motor vehicle collision, fault in a motorcycle accident is decided by identifying who acted negligently. Although this sounds simple, determining and proving fault can be difficult and complex. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you may need the help of an Okemos motorcycle accident lawyer to meet the legal requirements for proving liability.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at White Law PLLC can investigate your motorcycle accident to determine fault. We can then collect the evidence needed to prove that liability. Finally, we can negotiate with the insurance company or opposing attorney to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Michigan
There were 3,158 motorcycle accidents in Michigan in 2022. Many of these collisions were caused by another person. The following are common causes of motorcycle accidents in the state.
- Distracted driving
- Inattentional blindness
- Failure to give a motorcyclist full use of a lane
- Driving aggressively
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to check blind spots
- Following too closely
- Improper lane changes
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
Determining the cause of your motorcycle accident is an important step in determining who was at fault. Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning that regardless of who was liable for your accident, your insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. If you suffered additional damages, however, that payment may not be sufficient, and you will need to establish fault to obtain further compensation.
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Parties that Could Be at Fault for Your Motorcycle Accident
To receive additional compensation for the damages you sustained in your Michigan motorcycle accident, you must prove who was at fault. Many parties could potentially be liable for your collision. Those who may be responsible for your motorcycle crash include:
- The other driver involved in your accident
- The manufacturer of your motorcycle, the other vehicle involved, or their parts
- The manufacturer of your safety equipment
- The seller of your motorcycle or the other vehicle involved
- The seller of your safety equipment
- A repair shop responsible for repairing, maintaining, or inspecting your motorcycle or the other vehicle involved
- A governmental agency responsible for maintaining the road
How Comparative Fault Can Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you are entitled to damages for your motorcycle accident beyond what your insurance company will pay, the amount you receive can be affected by the percentage by which you were at fault. In other words, if you were partly to blame for your collision, your compensation will be reduced. This is because Michigan has a comparative negligence law that will reduce your damages by the amount you were at fault.
For example, if a judge or jury awards you $100,000 in damages and you are determined to be 10% responsible for your motorcycle accident, your economic damages award will be reduced to $90,000. It is important to note that if you are determined to be more than 50% at fault for your collision, you are prohibited from receiving any compensation for pain and suffering. The amount you receive under your personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance benefits is not affected by your fault because, as previously mentioned, Michigan is a no-fault state.
You can increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation for the injuries and losses you obtained in your motorcycle accident by proving another party was mostly at fault. This is why retaining a motorcycle accident attorney in Michigan is important. Establishing and proving fault in a motorcycle collision can be difficult.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
How to Prove Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
You must be able to prove that another party was at fault for your collision to prevail in your motorcycle accident claim and recover damages beyond what you receive from your PIP insurance. You must prove that the other party acted negligently by establishing the following elements:
- The other party owed you a duty of care.
- That party breached that duty through their negligent action.
- The party’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries.
- You suffered real damages as a result of their breach of duty.
In other words, you must prove that if the responsible party had not failed to meet their duty of care, you would not have been injured in an accident. All these elements must be proven by you to be eligible for additional compensation for your damages. A skilled Michigan motorcycle accident attorney can investigate your accident and determine the best way to prove fault in your collision claim.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Factors to Consider When Determining Fault for Your Motorcycle Accident
Because insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible for your injuries, they may try to blame you for your accident. However, there are certain factors that should be considered when determining who was at fault for your motorcycle accident. The following are factors that should be contemplated when establishing responsibility for your collision:
- Was a driver involved in the accident speeding?
- Were you and the other driver driving appropriately for the weather conditions?
- Did you or the other driver fail to yield the right of way?
- Were you or the other driver following too closely?
- Was a driver or other person involved in the accident distracted or not paying attention?
- Was a driver or other person involved in the accident driving under the influence?
- Did a vehicle part malfunction?
- Was road work properly advertised?
These questions are only a few examples of factors that should be considered when determining fault in your motorcycle accident. There are many other questions that should be asked, as well. Our personal injury lawyers at White Law PLLC know what questions to ask and what evidence to look for to help support your claim for damages after your collision.
Evidence Commonly Used to Determine Fault in Michigan Motorcycle Accidents
To determine and prove liability in your motorcycle accident claim, it is important to have evidence that supports your assertion of fault. Supporting evidence can help determine the cause of your accident and who is liable for your injuries. Evidence commonly used to determine fault in motorcycle accident claims includes the following:
- Police report
- Traffic tickets or citations
- Photos and videos of the scene immediately after the accident
- Witness statements
- Traffic or dash cameras
- Medical records
Much of the evidence listed is temporary and will not remain preserved. This is why it is important to take certain steps after your accident, such as photographing the crash scene. One of the most important steps you should take after your collision is to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney in Michigan who can ensure the evidence needed to determine liability and support your claim for damages is properly collected and preserved.
Retain a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to Help Determine Fault
Determining fault in a motorcycle accident can be difficult. There are many factors to consider, elements to prove, and pieces of evidence to obtain. Contact our motorcycle accident lawyers at White Law PLLC as soon as possible for a free consultation so we can begin taking the steps necessary to determine and prove liability in your collision to support your claim for damages.
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