Everyone on the road is at risk of getting into an accident, but motorcyclists are at a higher degree of risk because of the inherently dangerous nature of motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, in terms of vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants.
Victims of motorcycle accidents may have to undergo tremendous physical, emotional, and financial burdens. To recover damages, they can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. However, it may not be easy to file a claim following a motorcycle accident because multiple parties may be involved and the victim may be blamed partially for causing the accident.
Determination of Fault in an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Claim
Determination of fault in a motorcycle accident case can be tricky as it may not be clear who and what caused the accident. Insurance companies and defense attorneys often try to put the blame on the victim. This tactic is often used in settlement negotiations to pressure the victim into accepting a low and unfair offer. This is because of the comparative negligence system followed in Indiana for motorcycle accident claims.
Indiana’s Comparative Negligence System
Indiana’s comparative negligence system adds complexity to a motorcycle accident claim and can limit the compensation that can be claimed by the victim. While determining fault in a motorcycle accident case, the court will also analyze if the victim’s negligent actions also played a part in causing the accident.
In Indiana, the victim can claim damages only if the victim is 50 percent or less at fault. The relief claimed by the injured is reduced in proportion to the degree of fault attributed to him or her. For example, if the fault attributed to the victim is 10 percent, he or she can claim 90 percent of the total damages from the at-fault party.
However, if the degree of fault attributed to the victim is above 50 percent, he or she may not be able to claim damages. Determination of fault becomes more tricky in a motorcycle accident case as there are multiple factors at play.
Cases When Other Drivers May Be at Fault
Some scenarios where other drivers may be at fault for a motorcycle accident include:
Reckless driving is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. This also includes jumping red lights and speeding.
Changing Lanes Suddenly
Sometimes drivers change lanes suddenly without checking mirrors or signaling. This can cause them to hit a bike or motorcycle in the other lane.
Failure to Check Blind Spots
After an accident, it is common for drivers to claim that they did not see the motorcycle. This is because drivers often fail to check their blind spots which can lead to a serious accident.
Drivers are often distracted while driving, especially if they are using their cell phones. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
How an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
The comparative negligence system is the reason why insurance companies will always try to shift the blame onto the victim. They try to evade liability so that they can avoid paying compensation or offer a lesser settlement amount. It is a wise choice to hire a motorcycle accident attorney while negotiating with the at-fault party or the insurance company.
An attorney will be well versed with the motorcycle laws of Indiana and will be able to investigate the cause of the accident by collecting evidence, talking to eyewitnesses, and hiring accident reconstruction experts. Moreover, attorneys regularly deal with insurance companies and are aware of the tactics they use to avoid paying damages.
Contact an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you suffer a motorcycle accident in Indiana, reach out to our team of Indiana motorcycle accident attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Our informed attorneys will evaluate your claim carefully to ensure that you are not held responsible for the accident unfairly.