How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by any number of things, from car drivers not paying attention to motorcycles to motorcyclists driving too fast for the road or environmental conditions. Auto accidents do not even have to be caused by one motorist or rider but can be caused by the combination of errors and negligence. Determining fault can get tricky. It is, however, necessary to determine fault if you want compensation.

Here’s how fault is determined in motorcycle accidents.

Figuring Out How the Accident Occurred in New Hampshire

How the accident occurred can directly indicate who is at fault. As suggested, there are a number of factors that can contribute to motorcycle accidents, but some of the most common include:

  • improper left-turns
  • sudden stops
  • tailgating
  • distracted driving, whether its an electronic or food
  • failure to yield the right-of-way
  • failure to check blind spots
  • unsafe lane changes
  • swerving, whether it’s the motorcycle swerving into the late or in front of the vehicle or vice verse.

There could be more than one cause, therefore, all factors must be considered. Many times in more complex cases, an accident reconstruction report is necessary. This report outlines the technical and probable scenario of the accident to help identify the cause(s).

Once the cause is determined, it is a matter of linking the cause with the liable party or parties.

Considering All the Parties that Could be Liable in New Hampshire

Before compensation can be settled, the party linked to the cause must be identified. As in the case of the accident’s cause, there could be more than one party liable for the accident.

In motorcycle accidents, some of the more common liable parties include:

  • the motorcyclist
  • the driver of the vehicle
  • the maker of the motorcycle
  • the maker of the vehicle
  • the maker of components used in the motorcycle
  • the maker of components used in the vehicle
  • the renting company if the motorcycle or vehicle was rented
  • the repair shop that inspected or repaired the motorcycle or vehicle.

As you can see, the possibility of who may be held responsible exceeds the driver, and if it was a commercial truck involved in the accident, then the list of potentially liable parties expands.

Typically, though, the liable party if the driver of the passenger vehicle and to some extent and/or the rider of the motorcycle. New Hampshire follows a modified doctrine of comparative negligence. New Hampshire law allows a plaintiff to file for liability so long as his or her fault does not exceed the defendant(s) combined proportion of fault.

Thus, if there is only one defendant, the plaintiff can only be 49 percent at fault while the defendant is 51 percent at fault. On the other hand, if there are two defendants and one is 25 percent and the other one is 26 percent at fault, even though the plaintiff’s proportion exceeds  each of the defendants’ proportion, the plaintiff’s fault does not exceed the combined fault of the defendant and, therefore, can proceed with a lawsuit.

Once the cause has been attached to the liable party, you can determine fault in motorcycle accidents. If you have questions about fault in your motorcycle accident, contact the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, PA online or at (888) 332-5855 to get your questions answered today.

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