Understanding Comparative Fault in Motorcycle Crashes

Understanding Comparative Fault in Motorcycle Crashes

Hurt in a motorcycle accident in Georgia? If someone else was responsible for the wreck, they could owe you compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But how much money you might receive can depend on several factors – including whether you also share fault for the accident.

In this helpful article, the motorcycle accident attorneys with Geiger Legal Group, LLC, explain what you need to know about comparative fault.

Understanding Comparative Fault

Many motorcycle crashes are the result of mistakes on the part of several different people. Even the motorcycle accident victims may have contributed to the wreck to some degree.

For example, a motorcyclist could get hurt when a careless motorist strikes them while making a left-hand turn. The driver might not have been paying attention and didn’t see the motorcyclist in their path.

The motorist may be liable here. However, perhaps evidence shows the motorcyclist could have avoided the collision had they also been more vigilant. Another scenario could be that the motorcyclist’s injuries were more severe than they could have been because they failed to wear proper safety gear.

In Georgia, victims in these circumstances may be completely ineligible to receive compensation if they could have avoided harm entirely by exercising “ordinary care.”

If they couldn’t avoid harm entirely but nevertheless contributed to their motorcycle accident injuries, they may be eligible to recover compensation — just as long as they were less than 50 percent to blame for the accident. For example, say a motorcycle rider is 25 percent to blame for their injuries. If so, whatever compensation they recover in court is reduced by 25 percent.

What percentage of motorcycle accidents are the rider’s fault? Answering this is challenging, as many accidents involve some degree of fault on the part of several different people. For example, a major study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety Research and Development found that the motorcyclist’s inattention was a contributing factor in 32 percent of all motorcycle accidents, while other drivers’ inattention was a factor in 43 percent of crashes.

That said, some types of motorcycle wrecks are more commonly the rider’s fault than others. For instance, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that motorcyclists get hurt in accidents while speeding at higher rates than other motorists. 

The Role of Evidence in Proving Your Case

Proving fault after a motorcycle wreck requires gathering such evidence as:

  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • Footage of the crash scene
  • If available, footage of the collision itself
  • Forensic evidence showing how a wreck occurred
  • Medical records
  • Witness statements

An insurance company will investigate to determine fault when you file a claim. However, it’s also wise to gather evidence yourself — or, better still, hire a motorcycle accident attorney to do so for you.

Damages Available in Georgia Motorcycle Accident Claims

The term “damages” refers to the money you receive in court through a successful motorcycle accident lawsuit. You may receive compensation in the form of a settlement if you don’t go to trial. Either way, your compensation from a personal injury claim could account for your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering from serious injuries
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Vehicle and other property damage

Contact Our Canton, GA, Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to Learn More

Navigating your options after a motorcycle wreck is often easier with proper legal representation. A motorcycle accident lawyer from Geiger Legal Group, LLC, can assist you in many ways, including gathering evidence to demonstrate who caused a crash.

We are a family-run, 5-star rated business serving accident victims in Canton, GA, and the surrounding area. Let our law firm help you demand the money you need to rebuild your life. Contact us today to get started with a free, no-obligation consultation about your options for filing a motorcycle accident claim.


About the Author: Geiger Legal Group, LLC

In 1981, attorney J. Christopher Geiger began practicing law in Canton, GA, determined to provide personalized legal service to the people of Cherokee County. His son Casey followed in his footsteps, first practicing law in Colorado before joining his father in 2017 to form the Geiger Legal Group, LLC. Together, the father and son team have built a law firm that revolves around clients, not cases.