When Motorcycles and Cars Collide: Proving Who’s at Fault

When a motorcycle is involved in an accident, the resulting injuries are usually catastrophic. Because there is no real physical protection from injuries when the driver is hit, a motorcyclist can easily become disabled from an accident or die. The impact of their injuries is increased more when there is no helmet.

Determining who is at fault when it comes to a motorcycle accident is very important because in most cases, motorcycles are not required to carry an insurance policy. In Florida, for instance, a motorcyclist only has to have an insurance policy on the bike if it is being financed. Additionally, as any Tampa FL motorcycle accident lawyer will tell you, these same motorcyclists in Florida are only required to wear a helmet if they do not have health insurance or are under the age of 18. This helmet law is very similar in 30 other states.

However, your insurance company is going to want to know who is at fault to determine if they are going to pay for the injuries.

Proving Negligence

Most car accidents are sued under the legal guidelines of Negligence. It is assumed that one driver did something that was negligent, causing the accident to occur and the injuries to be sustained. In most cases, this is all that is needed for an insurance company to approve a claim. However, the insurance company or the Defendant may bring to light actions of the motorcycle driver that also proved to be negligent. This information, if accepted, could greatly reduce any payments they receive or negate them altogether.

Proving Fault

Sadly, most of the witness statements at the scene of the accident will have their own views or interpretations of what they saw. In most cases, these witnesses serve very little purpose in determining the cause and fault of the accident.

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Since both drivers are going to automatically imply that it was the other driver’s fault, it will take skilled accident analysis to determine the cause of an accident in some cases. Some police officers have enough skill to determine the cause and fault of an accident by the available evidence at the scene. However, if they deem the accident a no fault event, attorneys may be required to bring in accident reconstruction companies to determine the cause and fault of the event.

Staying Safe On The Roads

There is a risk with driving a motorcycle, but the risk is greatly reduced when all people using the roads make an effort to keep driving safe. Motorcyclists should always remember that their smaller vehicles can, at times, be harder to see. Make sure that you always have a form of reflective clothing on at night, and avoid lane-splitting (cutting between cars down the middle of two lanes) to remain safe.

Car drivers should make sure that they acknowledge that motorcycles use the roads too, and keep a look out for these smaller vehicles. Never drive too close behind a motorcycle, and avoid cutting in to close when passing. These simple steps by both parties can help keep the roads safer for everyone.

Georgina Clatworthy is a legal writer who regularly writes on topics relating to vehicle accidents and injury compensation. The Williams Law Association is a Florida based law firm which helps victims of road traffic accidents needing a Tampa FL motorcycle accident lawyer. Their determined approach to personal injury litigation ensures victims can get on with recovering without needing to worry about their claim.

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