Motorcycles are exhilarating to ride, but an accident can be devastating due to the lack of enclosure and the rider’s direct contact with the road. Injuries in motorcycle accidents tend to be severe, including traumatic brain injuries, multiple fractures, and serious road-rash abrasions. Motorcycle riders are 24 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than motorists in passenger cars.
In fault-based insurance states like Connecticut, it matters who caused the accident. The state requires the responsible party to pay for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering through their insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurers assign adjusters to the case with the express purpose of finding ways to undervalue the claim, including assigning an often unfair percentage of fault to the motorcycle rider. When a motorcyclist was partly at fault for the accident, their payout on a claim for damages will reflect their percentage of fault. For example, if the injured motorcyclist is determined as 20% at fault and their damages add up to $100,000, they’ll only receive $80,000.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
It often takes a thorough investigation to document evidence of how an accident occurred and which party was at fault, or mostly at fault. Some sources of evidence available to accident victims and their lawyers include the following:
Evidence documented at the accident scene such as photos of the damaged motorcycle, the damage to a vehicle, skid marks in the road, traffic signs and signals, and anything else relevant to the accident. A cell phone camera can document this evidence at the scene. Gathering evidence immediately after the accident is critical since law enforcement quickly moves the crashed vehicles to accommodate traffic flow.
Eyewitness statements: It’s urgent to add the contact information of any eyewitnesses at the accident scene. Often these witnesses walk away without leaving any information about how they can be contacted
In some cases, video evidence might be available due to car dash cam videos, traffic cameras, and nearby surveillance videos from stores and homes.
The police report
Consultations with accident reconstruction specialists
Any or all of the above factors can prove to an insurance company or a judge and jury that the claim for damages is legitimate and the negligent driver is at fault. In less common cases, it could be the manufacturer of a defective motorcycle part or a negligent road maintenance crew who is the at-fault party in a motorcycle accident.
After Proving Fault You Must Prove You’ve Experienced Damages
There can be no case for damages if you were able to get up and walk away from a motorcycle accident without injury and didn’t see a doctor. However, motorcycle accidents without injuries are rare due to a biker’s vulnerability. Even when wearing a helmet, the rest of the biker’s body makes direct contact with the road or obstacles. A helmet cannot protect against all forms of brain injuries, such as those caused by the sudden jolt of the accident when the brain bumps against the inside of the skull from the force.
After a motorcycle accident, always go to a hospital immediately, either with the paramedics or by arranging transportation as soon as the police clear you to leave the accident scene. Have a thorough evaluation and tell the doctor about every symptom. Ask for a detailed medical report. This is critical evidence to prove fault by showing that the injuries occurred in the motorcycle accident and not at a later date due to some other cause.