motorcycle passenger

Motorcycle Passenger Injury Claims After an Accident

  • Apr 15 2021

If you got hurt in an accident as a passenger on a motorcycle, you need information about injury claims in this situation. For example, you need to know who you can sue, how you prove the careless person was at fault, and when the deadline is for filing a lawsuit.

A California motorcycle accident attorney can explain these topics and advocate for you. When you work with a lawyer on your claim, you get to focus your energy on getting better while your attorney deals with the insurance company and defense attorneys.

Who You Can Sue for Your Injuries as a Motorcycle Passenger?

You can file a lawsuit or make a personal injury claim against the party whose negligence caused or contributed to the accident that hurt you. 

Sometimes multiple mistakes combine to lead to a collision. For example, one driver might be texting and crash into another driver who ran a red light. Both were careless and caused the wreck. If either one had not been negligent, they might have avoided the accident.

When there is only one vehicle involved, the motorcycle on which you were a passenger, the motorcycle driver could be responsible for the crash and your injuries. The operator is not automatically at fault. We have to prove his negligence before pursuing him for money damages.

Sometimes, other parties make mistakes that cause motorcycle accidents. Let’s say that the motorcycle recently had its brakes repaired, and the mechanic did an incompetent job. The brakes then failed and caused a collision. The repair shop could be liable for your injuries.

How to Establish the Liability of the At-Fault Party After a Motorcycle Accident

 We have to prove all four of these factors to hold the defendant responsible for your losses as a motorcycle passenger:

  • Duty of care. The defendant must have owed you a duty of care. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle on public streets has a duty to drive cautiously and obey the traffic laws.
  • Breach of duty. When a person’s conduct does not measure up to the legal standard, the person is negligent. A driver who drives over the speed limit or too fast for the conditions is negligent. 
  • Causation. Being careless is not enough to establish liability. The mistake must be the thing that causes the accident in which you got hurt. Let’s say that the motorcycle got struck by a car that lost control due to speeding. The negligent caused the collision.
  • Quantifiable losses. You must have measurable damages to go after the at-fault party for compensation. Having physical injuries satisfies this element.

Even if you can prove all four factors to show that the defendant is liable, waiting too long to take action can destroy your case.

How Much Time You Have to Sue for Compensation as an Injured Motorcycle Passenger

Under California law, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking money damages for personal injury. If you miss the deadline, you will forever lose the right to get compensation from the person who hurt you.

Negotiating with the claims adjuster does not satisfy this rule, so you do not want to get tricked into missing the deadline. A California personal injury attorney can protect your right to get the money you deserve.

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