Motorcycles are fun, probably more exciting than cars, and that’s why they’re one of the best things to do while on vacation. With your hands on the grips, shoulders leaned forward, and the wind behind you, the rush of riding a motorbike is purely exhilarating.
However, it’s not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to occur while having fun in a wonderful destination. Regardless of the gear and helmet, crashing upon asphalt at 25 miles per hour can be catastrophic.
Fortunately, you’re entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit when involved in a motorcycle accident you believe was caused by someone else. You can do so whether you’re in your own state or not. If the law validates your claim, you will be awarded monetary compensation for your injuries and financial loss due to the accident.
But here is the problem: if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, who exactly should you sue? Who CAN you sue?
Why the question matters
One or more persons could be responsible for a motorcycle accident; it could be a car driver, pedestrian, or bike manufacturer due to faulty design. In short, several parties could be at fault at the same time. Whenever you’re riding a motorbike, you’re thinking about not only your safety but also that of others, including pedestrians.
For example, to avoid hitting a pedestrian, you may crash into a vehicle or lamp post. In such a case, can you sue the pedestrian you dodged or the driver who hit you? Whatever the case, your best step would be to contact a motorcycle accident law firm near you. Your attorney can evaluate your case, determine who the at-fault party (or parties) is, and recommend the next steps.
A motorcycle accident attorney may also represent you in court against your injurer and negotiate to ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries. Ensure you get one practicing in that city as they’d be more familiar with the laws and process.
Now, back to the question, who can you sue in a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
You can sue a negligent driver
A negligent driver may be responsible for the motorcycle accident and therefore be sued for personal injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that most accidents occur due to driver error or other driver-related causes.
A driver is considered negligent when they:
- Ignore traffic signs
- Drive when drunk
- Drive under the influence of hard drugs
- Drive recklessly
- Overspeed or drive above the speed limit
- Fall asleep on the wheel
- Attend to some distracting activities such as texting while driving.
If a driver that is overspeeding, drunk, or otherwise negligent causes your accident and injuries, you can sue them for personal injuries. Note that you’ll have to prove that they were negligent (acted in an unexpected and inappropriate way) to win the case. So it’s important to document as much information as possible on the accident scene. Take photos if possible.
You can sue a government agency
Not all accidents occur due to an individual’s negligence. Sometimes, it could be due to poor road conditions, such as potholes left unrepaired. Indeed, motorcycles are most vulnerable to potholes and cracks. Notably, the government is responsible for maintaining roads.
If a motorcycle accident occurred because of poor road conditions, you could sue the government agency responsible for maintaining that road. Going toe to toe with the government can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. However, having the right personal injury attorney on your side will be crucial to your success. It’s also helpful to be very timely about filing your claim.
You may sue a transport or logistics company
It’s not uncommon for collisions to occur between commercial vehicles — such as trucks and company cars — and motorcycles. While an accident with a goods-transporting truck can be ghastly, compensation for the injuries is usually pretty high, provided you can prove your case. When you believe the accident was caused by a commercial vehicle, you can go after any or all of the following:
- The driver of the vehicle
- The driver’s employer
- The company as a whole
The vehicle manufacturer may also be liable if the accident resulted from a faulty design. Since you wouldn’t naturally be aware, you can sue the company, which may take it on with the manufacturer.
The motorcycle manufacturer
In some cases, neither the injured motorcyclist nor another road user will be at fault. Accidents could result from faulty brakes, tires, or engines. You can sue a manufacturing company if you believe something was wrong with your motorcycle, leading to your accident.
It’s often difficult to determine who’s at fault for an accident at first glance. While on vacation, you may desire to just let it slide because you’re not in your home city.
Sometimes, you may even be inclined to take the blame or put it on coincidence. On careful evaluation, you may realize that’s not the case. It’s therefore in your best interest to consult an accident attorney to look into your situation before taking further steps.