Motorcycle Accidents – An Overview
Causes of action in motorcycle accident cases
Like other personal injury cases, a motorcycle accident case will generally be brought under the theory of negligence. To establish negligence, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that the defendant (the party the plaintiff is suing) owed the plaintiff a duty; breached that duty; caused the plaintiff’s injuries; and that the plaintiff suffered injury or damage. Negligence claims are common in situations in which another driver hits the motorcyclist.
If a person was injured because of a defective motorcycle or motorcycle part, he or she may be able to bring a strict liability claim against the manufacturer of the motorcycle or part. For example, if a motorcyclist is injured when the brakes on his or her bike fail, he may be able to assert product liability claims against the manufacturer of the brakes.
Building a motorcycle accident case
If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to take certain steps, in addition to consulting with an attorney, to protect your rights and build your case for recovery of damages. If the police arrive at the accident scene, give them basic information such as your name and address and the relevant facts about the accident. Do not admit blame or fault for the accident. After the accident, seek immediate medical help if needed and keep your medical records. In addition, keep any bills related to medical treatment, and keep track of any other expenses related to your accident such as repair expenses, rental vehicle costs and wages lost because of missed work. All of this information is relevant to the calculation of damages.
If you are able to do so, try to talk to other drivers or pedestrians who witnessed the accident. At the very least, try to write down their names and phone numbers before they leave the scene. While some witnesses may wait for the police to arrive and collect their information, others may leave before the police get there so it is important to obtain their contact information. In addition, exchange names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance information with the driver(s) of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. As soon after the accident as possible, take photographs of the scene to record evidence and the road conditions. Photographs of your injuries and damage to your motorcycle or other property are also important to have.
Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to engage expert witnesses to assist with building your case. Experts in crash reconstruction or motorcycle mechanics may be able to assist with determining the cause of the crash and the defendant’s potential fault.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
Motorcycles are extremely popular, and this popularity has led to an increased number of riders and an increased number of accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact David G. Smith in Oakland, CA, to schedule a consultation with an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle accident cases.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.