Injuries to a Motorcycle Passenger – Who is Liable?
With year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, Florida is a great place for motorcyclists. All too often, however, reckless and careless driving leads to motorcycle accidents and often to catastrophic personal injuries.
Unfortunately, motorcycle passengers have little or no control over what happens in a motorcycle accident, as they are not in control of the bike. If you have sustained injuries as a motorcycle passenger as a result of someone else’s negligence, we can help.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys can review all of the facts and circumstances of your case, ascertain the identities of potential defendants, determine the appropriate claims and/or lawsuits to file and help you with obtaining the monetary compensation you may be entitled to under the law.
Liability for Personal Injuries and Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
Whenever a motorcycle passenger sustains injuries in an accident, the question of who is responsible for the accident always surfaces. In fact, any number of individuals or entities may be responsible for the motorcycle accident and could be a potential defendant in a lawsuit.
Under a negligence1 theory of recovery, the most common defendants include one or more of the following:
- The motorcycle operator (usually when he or she hits a bump, tree, or car – or is exceeding the posted speed limit and loses control of the motorcycle)
- The driver of the other vehicle (e.g., car, truck, or cyclist), if there was one
- Both the motorcycle operator and the driver of the other vehicle if there is shared fault
Under a products liability2 theory of recovery, an injured plaintiff may sue the motorcycle manufacturer or parts manufacturer. Some examples of defective products include the following:
- Defective brakes
- Faulty tires
- Malfunctioning fuel systems
- Faulty bike designs
Bases of Recovery
If claiming negligence, the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant (either the motorcycle operator, other driver, or both) breached the applicable duty of care to drive in a careful, reasonable, and prudent manner and that this breach factually and legally resulted in the injured plaintiff’s injuries and damages.
If claiming products liability, the injured plaintiff must prove that he or she sustained injuries and damages as a direct and proximate result of an improperly manufactured or defectively designed product. Under both theories of recovery, the injured plaintiff has the burden of proof. In serious motorcycle accident cases, the focus is almost always on the injuries to the operator of the motorcycle. However, motorcycle passengers often sustain injuries that are just as serious – if not more serious – than those of the motorcycle operator.
You should always keep in mind that in a personal injury accident in which where the motorcycle operator or vehicle operator’s insurance company is involved, the insurance company will likely be out to protect its own interests before admitting liability.
Contact a Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Our experienced Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys can identify the applicable defendants in your case, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and attempt to recover legal compensation from every available source. You can contact the experienced Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group by calling 727-451-6900, or contact us online.