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How Is Fault Determined in Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries, so assessing who's at fault for the crash is essential for recovering damages. Determining fault in a motorcycle accident can be complicated, but it's necessary if you want to receive compensation for your injuries. Understanding how fault is determined will help you decide the best course of action if you were recently involved in a collision.

Who Can Be Found at Fault?

In some cases, only one party is found at fault for a motorcycle accident. In other situations, multiple parties share responsibility for the crash. Here are some of the parties who could be held liable:

  • Driver of the passenger vehicle
  • Motorcyclist
  • Manufacturer of the vehicle or motorcycle
  • Shop that inspected or repaired the vehicle or motorcycle
  • Rental company if the vehicle or motorcycle was rented

Car Accident Laws for Claiming Compensation

Car accident liability laws vary by state. Many states, including Iowa, use a comparative fault rule. This means that multiple parties can share fault for a motorcycle accident and that you can only receive compensation for the accident if you were found less at fault than the other parties involved.

Your monetary award is calculated based on your share of the fault for the crash. For example, if the court determines that you should receive $10,000 in compensation but are 10 percent responsible for the collision, your award will be reduced by 10 percent, leaving you with $9,000.

How Fault Is Determined

Motorcycle accidents happen quickly, and the cause isn't always immediately apparent. There are several factors and entities involved in determining fault.

Law enforcement who arrive on the scene will assess the accident and record their findings in their police report. They'll take photos of the scene of the crash, and they'll evaluate the damage on the vehicle and motorcycle to get information about what happened. If there were witnesses, police will ask them what they saw before and during the collision.

Insurance adjusters may use the police report in their determination, but they often make their own assessments of a motorcycle accident. The adjusters will talk to the people involved in the crash, and they'll use photos of the vehicles to determine which party is at fault. However, insurance adjusters don't want their policyholders to be found at fault for an accident, so they'll attempt to gather as much evidence as possible to blame the other party. For a fair and unbiased evaluation, the case may need to go to court.

Unless the at-fault party made a very obvious mistake that led to the motorcycle accident, determining fault can be tricky. Law enforcement, insurance agents, and courts use all the information available to them to decide which party carries more blame for the crash. This is why it's so important to work with an experienced injury attorney if you were involved in a motorcycle accident.

If you have any questions or concerns about your case, call our experienced accident attorneys at (515) 298-5056 today for a case consultation.