Motorcycle Accident? Steps to Take – Know Your Rights


Negligent Driver Motorcycle Accident

Riding a motorcycle can offer both exhilaration and danger, especially when sharing the road with negligent drivers. Moreover, even if you possess excellent skill and responsibility as a motorcyclist, you rely on other drivers’ attention and responsible actions.

Unfortunately, despite taking necessary precautions, accidents still occur with devastating consequences. Moreover, negligence is a leading cause of motorcycle fatalities throughout the U.S. These drivers fail to yield to bikers with the right-of-way, cut off, or turn into riders, resulting in severe injuries or even wrongful deaths. In such cases, it becomes crucial for the injured victim or their family to seek legal assistance from a proficient motorcycle accident lawyer.

At Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, our law firm in Toledo, Ohio, serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, we specialize in handling motorcycle accident cases. Furthermore, our dedication lies in helping clients recover rightful damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

What is negligence?


Driver negligence in motorcycle accidents occurs when an individual fails to exercise reasonable care, resulting in injury to another person. The negligent driver breaches their duty of care by acting unreasonably under the given circumstances. Examples of such behavior include failure to signal a lane change, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or texting while driving. It is important to note that although negligent drivers may not have intended to cause harm, they are still accountable for any injuries they have caused. Below is how to determine negligence in motorcycle accidents.


1. Duty of Care


Drivers’ Obligation: Drivers must follow the rules of the road and drive responsibly, exercising caution to prevent accidents. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of duty.


2. Causation


Establishing the Other Driver’s Breach: The accident would not have occurred if the other driver had not acted negligently. Witness statements, police reports, and accident reconstruction specialists can assist in proving causation.


3. Damages


Physical and Financial Impact: Motorcycle riders can suffer various damages, including physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress. Evidentiary support is required to assess the extent of injuries and their impact on the rider’s life.


4. Absence of Intervening Factors


Identifying Contributing Factors: It is essential to demonstrate that no intervening factors caused the accident. For instance, the other driver may not be entirely responsible if the motorcycle has a mechanical issue. However, they remain liable if the mechanical problem results from the other driver’s actions.


Understanding driver negligence and its relevance to motorcycle accidents is crucial for establishing liability. By establishing a duty of care, causation, damages, and the absence of intervening factors, an attorney can build a strong case to hold negligent drivers accountable.



Holding the negligent driver responsible


Injured motorcyclists or their loved ones can file a personal injury lawsuit against negligent drivers responsible for their injuries. The lawsuit would seek to recover compensation for economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. However, the success of the lawsuit would depend on proving that the negligent driver breached their duty of care and caused the injuries sustained by the motorcyclist.


How Negligence Is Established in a Motorcycle Accident


Motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries because riders are not protected by a vehicle’s frame, seat belts, or airbags. The impact of a collision with a car or truck can cause severe injuries such as brain damage, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal bleeding. In most cases, motorcycle accidents occur due to the fault of another motorist who acted negligently. The motorcycle rider is entitled to compensation for their damages and losses if they can prove the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. However, determining liability in a motorcycle accident can be challenging.


Driver Inattention: A Growing Concern for Motorcyclists


Driver inattention has emerged as a rising concern among motorcyclists, representing a significant cause of motorcycle accidents. Raising awareness about the risks associated with distracted driving and emphasizing the need for preventive measures are crucial.


Accidents Caused by Other Drivers: An Alarming Statistic


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a majority of motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities result from accidents caused by other drivers. Specifically, 54% of all motorcycle accidents involve collisions with other vehicles. Factors contributing to these accidents include drivers’ failure to observe motorcycles on the road, incorrect judgment of motorcycle speed or distance, and inadequate space given to motorcycles.


Driver Inattention: A Compelling Issue


The problem of driver inattention, a leading cause of motorcycle accidents, is becoming increasingly pronounced and demands attention. One common factor among many motorcycle accidents is car drivers failing to notice motorcyclists on the road. Due to the vulnerability resulting from their smaller size and lack of protection, motorcyclists are at risk of collisions caused by driver inattention. Drivers who engage in activities such as texting, phone conversations, or other distractions pose a significant hazard to motorcyclists, often only noticing them when it is too late.


Recognizing Motorcyclists’ Rights on the Road


Distracted driving and driver inattention additionally contribute to a lack of understanding of motorcyclists’ rights on the road. Many drivers fail to recognize that motorcyclists possess equal road use rights. Drivers must respect motorcyclists as legitimate road users and acknowledge their entitlement to travel on the same roads as cars. However, accidents frequently happen because drivers do not pay attention and lack awareness of motorcyclists’ rights.


Increased Risk and Devastating Outcomes


Driver inattention can cause more severe consequences for motorcycles due to their speed, acceleration, and smaller size. Additionally, a car colliding with a motorcyclist often inflicts severe injuries such as broken bones, road rash, and traumatic brain injuries. Moreover, tragically, many of these accidents prove fatal. Therefore, driver inattention frequently plays a significant role in these accidents, resulting in devastating outcomes.


New Distracted Driving Legislation Benefits All, Including Motorcyclists


Distracted driving is a serious issue that has plagued drivers for decades. With the rise of technology and social media, an increasing number of drivers are becoming distracted behind the wheel, posing a significant risk to all road users, including motorcyclists. Here’s how distracted driving legislation benefits everyone:


1. Increased Road Safety


By reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers, distracted driving legislation can help improve road safety for all road users. Motorcyclists, who face a higher risk of being involved in accidents caused by distracted drivers due to their smaller size and decreased visibility, particularly benefit from this.


2. Public Awareness

Distracted driving legislation plays an essential role in raising public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. By imposing fines and penalties, drivers are reminded of the importance of paying attention to the road and keeping their focus on driving. This can lead to a cultural shift towards safer driving practices.


3. Legal Accountability


Distracted driving legislation establishes legal accountability for drivers who engage in distracted driving. This improves law enforcement efforts and ensures that drivers are held responsible for their actions. Sending a clear message that distracted driving will not be tolerated helps deter this dangerous behavior.


4. Support for Victims


Distracted driving legislation provides crucial support for victims of distracted driving accidents, including motorcyclists. These victims often face significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges. By offering legal and financial support, distracted driving legislation helps them recover and move forward.


5. Safer Roads for All


Ultimately, drunk driving legislation benefits all users by creating safer roads. Preventing injuries and saving lives is a goal that every road user, including motorcyclists, supports.


Secure the Compensation You Deserve: Get Experienced Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident


If a negligent driver causes a motorcycle accident resulting in your injury, you have the right to compensation for your injuries and damages. Moreover, to hold the negligent driver accountable and recover the necessary compensation for moving forward with your life, it is important to understand your rights and collaborate with an experienced personal injury attorney. Additionally, remember that time is crucial in Ohio and Michigan when it comes to your ability to recover compensation. Therefore, it is advisable not to delay seeking legal assistance. To find out more information or to schedule a free consultation online, reach out to one of our personal injury attorneys today at 419-843-6663.