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motorcycle accidents legislation

Motorcycle Accidents Legislation: An Overview

by Gloria Louden

Motorcycle road accidents are very similar to all other vehicle accidents on the road. However, they present some unique aspects related to motorcycles, motorcycle riding, the causes of the accidents, the injuries resulted, and the liability issues related to such accidents. 

This article offers an overview of the unique factors and risks involved in motorcycle riding and how liability is determined in such accidents. 

The risks associated with motorcycle riding

Unlike cars, motorcycles are much smaller and lighter and do not include a box of metal to protect the driver in case of a road accident. These aspects, together with others, make motorcycles riskier than other vehicles. Other unique risks to motorcycle riding are: 

  • Less visibility to cars 
  • Road hazards 
  • Lack of protection for riders 
  • Less stability 
  • High level of difficulty in riding 
  • High-risk riding behavior 

Liability in motorcycle road accidents

Liability in this type of accident is governed by the lay of “negligence.” This means that when a person is negligent by behaving thoughtlessly or carelessly, causing an injury to another person. That is why motorcycle accident attorneys like JTL are accessible for people injured in a motorcycle accident, just as is the case for people injured in car accidents. 

When it comes to motorcycle accidents, a driver who does not avoid causing injury to other motorists, passengers, drivers, or pedestrians, is liable for injuring the victim of the accident. In most motorcycle accidents, however, it is often the driver of another type of vehicle, such as a car or truck, that is negligent towards motorcycle riders, mainly because motorcycles are less visible vehicles than cars or trucks. 

The elements of a negligence claim in a motorcycle accident

After being involved in a motorcycle accident, one needs to consider four different elements to make a negligence claim. More precisely, the person making a claim needs to show that: 

  1. The defendant (the person who is being sued in a negligence case) was required by the law to be reasonably careful. Drivers of all vehicles must exercise care, whether they are driving a car or a truck or riding a motorcycle. 
  2. The defendant failed to be careful. The law determines if the defendant was careful by comparing the defendant’s conduct to that of a “reasonable person.” 
  3. The defendant’s negligence resulted in the victim’s (the person who is making a claim) injury. The plaintiff must prove that the driver’s behavior on the road has caused them to get injured. 
  4. The victim (plaintiff) was injured in the accident or suffered losses. If the plaintiff did not get any injury or prove any damages, the claim is not valid. 

In a motorcycle accident negligence case, the victim or the person who is making a claim, together with their personal injury attorney, must prove all the four elements from above. 

In a motorcycle accident claim, the defendant is also allowed to prove that the motorcyclist’s behavior also contributed to the accident. This also gives the driver the right to use the motorcycle’s behavior as a defense against the negligence suit. 

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