If you are injured while a passenger on a motorcycle, you may be eligible for compensation for the injuries and damages you incurred as a result of the accident - if the accident was due to someone else’s negligence. This article will discuss the legal options available for an injured motorcycle passenger and the appropriate defendants to claim against.
Motorcycle accidents have a higher injury rate as compared to car accidents. This is basically because of the lack of an outer shell and a lack of any passive protective systems such as seat belts and airbags. A report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that nearly 200000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for injuries suffered while riding a motorcycle. For anyone that is injured as a motorcycle passenger it is important to understand the legal options that are available to you. In the majority of cases the individual that was operating the motorcycle at the time of the accident is likely to have been a family member or friend. As a result, passengers are reluctant to pursue any type of personal injury claim for fear that the family member or friend will suffer financially. It is important to note though that most injury claims are covered by available insurance. In addition, if another driver is at fault for the accident then the passenger has additional options available to them.
The majority of motorcycle accidents are as a result of poor decision-making on the part of the person operating the motorcycle. Such negligence on the part of the motorcycle operator may include the following:
- Improper lane change
- Failure to use headlamps and driving lights during daylight hours
- Making improper turns which result in collisions with oncoming traffic
- Failure to properly maintain or repair the motorcycle
If the operator committed any of the above acts or made a poor decision that led to the accident, the legal claim for your injuries will have to be against the operator. In most cases, if the motorcycle operator has insurance, such a claim is made as a third party insurance claim.
In the event that your injuries are as a result of a collision between a motorcycle you were on and another vehicle, you may be able to bring a claim against the driver of the other vehicle. However, this is dependent upon the facts and circumstances of the particular collision. It should be noted though that in most cases causes of motorcycle vehicle collisions are due to a failure on the part of the drivers of vehicles to see and observe motorcycles. If it is the case that the motor vehicle driver is at fault for the accident, then it is appropriate to bring a personal injury claim against that driver.
Another option is to claim against your own insurance company. This is regardless of which party is at fault for causing the motorcycle accident. Such a claim can be made through the uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance policy.
For legal advice on available options in motorcycle personal injury cases contact Anchorage attorneys