Motorcycle on the road

Who is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accident victims deserve to receive fair compensation for their injuries. They can suffer head injuries, broken bones, back injuries, and property damage due to car accidents, unsafe road conditions, or collisions with stationary objects. Our California motorcycle attorney can help evaluate your case and seek fair compensation for your injuries.

At Fault Parties

Identifying who is at-fault for a car accident is very important because California follows an “at-fault” liability system. The injured party usually files a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If a government entity is involved, special rules must be followed.

At-fault parties in motorcycle accident cases often include:

  • negligent drivers
  • other motorcyclists
  • motorcycle manufacturers (if there is an issue with the motorcycle that caused the accident)
  • property owners (where an accident was caused by unsafe conditions)
  • government entities

Each case is generally fact-specific, so it is crucial to seek counsel to help you understand your case.

How to Determine Who Is at Fault

There are two ways to prove fault in motorcycle accidents. The first way is to prove that the other party was negligent under a four-prong standard. The second way is to show the other party violated the California Vehicle Code or another law. 

In California, you can establish another party’s negligence under common law if you can show the following four items: 

  • The other party had a duty of care to you. For example, drivers must comply with traffic laws, drive safely, avoid injuring others, and pay attention to road conditions. 
  • The other party breached this duty to you. For example, another driver ran a red light, failed to stop at a stop sign, etc.
  • The breach caused your accident. 
  • You suffered physical and mental injuries and/or suffered financial losses.  

Alternatively, you can prove the other party is at fault if you can show they violated California law. If police are called to the accident and a police report is completed, any code or law violations will be listed. The party that violated these laws will be identified.

Under these circumstances, the party who engaged in the violations, per the report, will be presumed negligent. This is also called negligence “per se.” Often, this is all the proof you need to demonstrate who is at fault. It will be up to the other party to prove this is incorrect to avoid liability.

Finally, there is a concept called comparative negligence which can affect your claim. In California, all parties involved in an accident may have some degree of responsibility for what happened. Under comparative negligence, if you contributed to the accident by being negligent in any way, your recovery may be reduced by your degree of responsibility.

Speak With an Attorney Promptly

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The time frame for bringing a personal injury claim in California is two years, with certain exceptions. Our California personal injury attorneys understand the importance of promptly addressing your claim. Contact us today for legal help, we offer a free consultation.