Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle collisions are among the most devastating types of vehicle accidents in which a person can be involved. This is largely because riders are much more susceptible to injury, while motorcycles are also less maneuverable and resilient than standard passenger vehicles. As a result of these disadvantages, injuries sustained by riders tend to be particularly severe, often requiring years of painful treatment and accompanied by permanent disability and job loss. With so much at stake, it is especially important for motorcycle riders who are involved in accidents, to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney about seeking compensation for their losses.
Gathering and presenting convincing evidence is crucial to the outcome of a motorcycle accident case. This includes thoroughly photographing the scene of the accident, taking note of road and weather conditions, collecting the names and numbers of any witnesses who saw the accident, and collecting the names, phone numbers, and insurance information of those involved in the accident.
Making note of any visible surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, or ATMs (which are usually equipped with video recorders) is also important, as providing an objective view of an accident in real time can provide a clear cut picture of what happened on the day of the collision, which in turn, makes it much easier to demonstrate who was at fault. Obtaining copies of the medical records that detail a person’s injuries is also critical to the settlement or litigation process, as they can help determine how much a victim suffered in damages.
Collecting all accident-related evidence will put motorcycle accident victims in the best possible position to demonstrate another party’s fault. For instance, a video recording of a vehicle running a red light before colliding with a motorcycle rider can help establish that the driver violated a state traffic law. In fact, evidence of any traffic violation is one of the best ways to demonstrate fault in this type of accident. Examples of violations include speeding, making unsafe lane changes, impairment due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or making an illegal turn.
In many cases, the police officers who respond to an accident make note of traffic infractions and criminal liability in their police reports. These reports could also include the results of breathalyzer or blood tests, or contain notes about statements made by either party immediately following the accident. For these reasons, motorcycle accident victims are strongly encouraged to obtain a copy of the police report created after their accident as soon as possible after the collision.
Fortunately, even when a motorcycle rider was partially at fault for an accident, he or she won’t automatically be barred from recovering damages. This is because Florida adheres to the legal theory of pure comparative negligence, which allows those who are involved in accidents to recover damages in proportion to their degree of fault.
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