Many motorcycle accidents are not the motorcyclist’s fault. Often, drivers of passenger vehicles fail to see motorcyclists when turning or changing lanes, causing them to strike the motorcycles.
However, motorcyclists can sometimes be at fault for these accidents, mainly when they do not take the necessary precautions to prevent them.
Read on to learn more about who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents and how insurance companies determine fault.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur because of a wide range of scenarios. However, these crashes almost always occur due to one or both drivers’ negligence or failure to follow proper driving protocols.
Here are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Unsafe left turns at intersections
- Distracted drivers
- Driving under the influence
- Unsafe road conditions
Motorcyclists and drivers of passenger vehicles can both cause accidents in all of the above scenarios. As a result, one of these parties isn’t typically at fault more often than the other. Motorcycle accident fault depends solely on the situations surrounding the specific accident.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?
Insurance companies need to determine precisely who is at fault for a motorcycle accident. This way, they can know how much compensation to provide to the accident victims.
Fault can sometimes be challenging to determine, especially if both parties uphold that they were not at fault and there were no witnesses. However, insurers typically use the following information to gain a clearer understanding of fault:
- Police reports
- Photos of the scene
- Statements from accident victims
Sometimes, an insurance company may rule that a motorcyclist is partially at fault for an accident even though the motorcyclist disagrees with this ruling. In these cases, the motorcyclist can hire an attorney to dispute this ruling.
Comparative vs. Contributory Negligence
Sometimes, insurance companies attribute partial fault for the accident to both parties. However, the exact way they divide responsibility depends on regulations within their states.
Some states use a comparative negligence system. This means that insurance companies can assign partial fault to all parties involved in an accident. For example, they can determine that one party was 20% responsible and the other party was 80% responsible.
If an insurance company finds you partially at fault in a comparative negligence state, you may only be able to receive compensation for the percentage you were not at fault. For example, if you were 20% responsible, you may only receive a claim offer equal to 80% of your damages.
Meanwhile, a few states utilize a contributory negligence system rather than a comparative one. In contributory negligence states, insurance companies can refuse to compensate accident victims who were partially at fault for an accident. If your negligence contributed to the accident in any way, you may not be able to receive a payout.
What Happens If You Were Not At Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and were not responsible for the crash, you should be able to receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can seek this compensation by submitting a claim to the insurer.
Once you submit your claim, the insurance company will review the details of the accident and determine how much compensation to give you. If the insurer offers you too little money, you can negotiate for a higher offer.
While some motorcycle accident insurance claims are straightforward and the fault is apparent, more often than not, these cases become messy and complicated. If you’ve recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, having a competent motorcycle accident attorney on your side can help you navigate the process smoothly.
Contact our Law Tigers motorcycle accident attorneys today at 1-888-863-7216 to schedule a free consultation.