Who Can Be Sued in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents can be very dangerous for their riders, as bikers are not as protected as someone driving in a car. If you got injured in a motorcycle accident that was not even your fault, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. However, before you make a claim, you first need to decide who you need to sue. Here are the main categories that you may sue during a motorcycle accident.
1. The Other Driver
Very often, if you were in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, there is a good chance that it was another driver. It does not matter if they meant to cause you injury or not (car drivers dislike motorcyclists just as much as they dislike cyclists). If they caused the crash, they will be held liable for it.
California laws, for instance, say that if you did a split lane safely and prudently, then you may not be held liable for the accident. That being said, it is recommended to look into some good California motorcycle accident lawyers. They will have a better eye for the state law and will improve your chances of getting a settlement.
2. The Manufacturer of the Motorcycle
Very often, motorcycle accidents are not caused by their rider or another driver – they may simply be caused by a defection of the motorcycle. Your breaks might fail when they shouldn’t, or perhaps another part will start malfunctioning right after you bought it.
By filing a claim, the authorities can investigate the nature of the accident. They will find out who exactly was responsible and what went wrong. Bear in mind that this is typically the case with newer motorcycles and those who have undergone their due maintenance.
3. The Government
In certain circumstances, the government itself may hold full responsibility for your injuries. For instance, the accident may have been caused by an unmarked pothole or a road that has not been attended to by the local authorities.
For instance, a man once sued the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicle for not previously suspending the license of the person of a mass motorcycle crash. The one at fault was previously charged with a DUI, but a defect in the system caused the license suspension to fail – putting the driver back at the wheel. This led to an accident where many motorcyclists died, and the survivors sued the Massachusetts government.
Bear in mind that suing a government entity, no matter how small, is not as easy as suing one person. You need to get a good attorney to represent you. They require more in-depth knowledge of the law, so they can help you when you are suing a bigger entity.
4. The Motorcycle Dealer
In certain circumstances, you may be able to sue the dealer that sold you the motorcycle. For instance, the bike may have had a defect that the dealer knew about, but they sold it to you anyway while hiding the defect.
If they sold you such a bike and it led to an accident, then the dealer may be sued for damage. That being said, your attorney will need to gather proof, to see if the fault falls with the dealer or the manufacturer. An investigation needs to be done beforehand, and based on the results, you may file a lawsuit.
5. The Third-Party Owners
In some situations, the owners of the bike may not be the ones responsible for the accident, but third-party owners that were not there during the accident. For example, if you rented a motorcycle from a rental company and the motorcycle was defective, then you may sue the rental company for your losses.
As the motorcycle rider, you may also sue the company that rented the vehicle to the one you crashed in. If the rental was negligent (i.e., they rented to someone without a license or someone who was obviously under the influence), they may be sued for damage as a third-party owner.
6. The Passenger
People rarely sue passengers so they do not destroy friendships – still, this is also a possibility. As a motorcycle passenger, you sometimes need to veer along with the rider and maintain a certain behavior. If the movements of the passenger caused the accident and one can prove it, then the rider can sue.
The Bottom Line
Motorcycle accidents can lead not only to bodily injury but also to the loss of equipment. In the fortunate event that your injuries were minor, you will still have the bike repairs to keep in mind. If you were involved in such an accident, make sure to get an attorney.
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