Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of everyday life and it is always something you have to think about whenever you get behind the wheel. The majority of accidents take place between two four-wheeled vehicles, but there are instances when a car ends up hitting a motorcycle. If that happens to you, then what do you do next?
There are different possibilities and outcomes but one thing that you should absolutely do no matter the situation is to contact a motorcycle accident attorney. They can help you sort out the situation and get you back on your feet. If you live in the Jacksonville area, then you can contact motorcycle accident lawyers Fasig and Brooks to get the help you need.
The Aftermath of a Motorcycle Accident
Immediately after hitting a motorcycle you should check to see if you or any passengers in the vehicle are hurt. Even though a motorcycle is a smaller vehicle, it is still possible for the impact of the crash to cause an injury or for broken glass to cause lacerations. If you or anyone else with you are able to move freely, you should then contact emergency personnel so that they can take care of the injured and cordon off the accident scene.
You should also check on the motorcyclist; if they seem to be injured, then you should not try to move them as that could make any injuries worse. Make sure to take pictures of the accident scene including the damage to both vehicles and the general location. If it is possible, you should also exchange insurance information with the motorcyclist. One thing you absolutely should not do is admit fault for the accident. That includes apologizing to the motorcycle rider or any of the first responders. The admittance of fault could come back to hurt you later on.
Determining Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
The liability in any kind of vehicular accident comes down to a question of negligence. In other words, was one of the drivers or riders behaving in a careless, reckless manner that caused the injury of another person. In motorcycle accidents where a car hits a motorcycle, it is usually thought that the car’s driver is at fault since the car is a much larger vehicle than a motorcycle.
The smaller size of the motorcycle means that the driver of the car may be accidentally negligent since they might not anticipate the presence of a motorcycle near them and thus fail to drive in a more cautious manner. For example, many motorcycle accidents are caused when a driver fails to check their rear-view mirrors when making a left turn. However, the motorcyclist can be negligent as well if they were speeding, riding recklessly, or were inebriated at the time of the crash.
Negligence Claims in a Motorcycle Accident
In order for someone to make a negligence claim, their case must have the following elements:
- The person who caused the accident is required by law to act in a reasonable and careful way.
- The person failed to act in a careful manner. The law compares this to how a reasonable person would act in a similar situation.
- The person’s failure to act in a reasonable way caused an accident that resulted in injuries to someone else.
All of these elements need to be present for a negligence claim to be valid. It is possible for the two people involved in the accident to share the negligence if the state in which the accident occurred uses comparative negligence. If it is determined that both parties exhibited negligence leading up to the accident, then the responsibility of each party is represented by a percentage. That percentage determines the payout awarded to the person making the negligence claim. So if a person would have received $1000 in damages but they are deemed to be 25% responsible for the accident, then they will only receive $750.
Contact a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The reason is that the driver of the car is usually found to be at fault for the accident but a motorcycle accident lawyer can find out if the rider was at fault as well. That can save you money in the long run, so get in touch with an attorney after you have been in a motorcycle accident.