While motorcycle riding can be a great hobby along the scenic roadways of San Diego, it can also be very dangerous. Motorcycle riders are 30 times as likely to be killed in a collision than people in cars and are five times as likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If a motorcycle accident causes injury or death this can forever change the lives of the victim and his family members.
In addition to physical and emotional pain, a motorcycle collision can also cause financial damage to victims. Hospital bills can be very expensive, the accident may prevent you from working, or you may lose the income from a family breadwinner killed in a collision. Because of the significant costs a crash can cause, it is important to understand who can sue when a motorcycle collision causes injury or death. A San Diego, CA motorcycle accident lawyer at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC can help you to understand your legal rights. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about whether you have a case to sue.
Know Your Rights After A Motorcycle Accident
When a motorcycle collision causes injury or death, a victim or his surviving family members can file a lawsuit. If the victim sues, he will make a personal injury claim. If family members sue after a motorcycle collision causes a fatality, they will file a wrongful death claim.
When a lawsuit is filed either by a victim or by family members of the deceased, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the case. The plaintiff must show that a jury or judge should award damages or compensation. There are several different things that the plaintiff has to show by a preponderance of the evidence for a jury to rule in the plaintiff’s favor. The plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant had a legal duty to the plaintiff. The defendant is usually another driver who struck the motorcyclist, but this is not always the case. Some victims have sued manufacturers of motorcycles that crashed due to defective parts. Others have even sued government agencies responsible for road maintenance after defective roads led to accidents. No matter who the defendant is, the first step is showing he had some obligation like the duty of drivers to obey safety rules or the duty of manufacturers to make safe products.
- The defendant failed to live up to his duty. You may hear that you must prove negligence to recover compensation but this is not always true. If you were injured by a driver who failed to obey safety rules, negligence is presumed and you don’t specifically have to prove the driver was unreasonably careless. If you are making a claim against a motorcycle manufacturer, you wouldn’t have to show negligence but instead would need to prove the bike was defective. The bottom line is, you must prove that the defendant did something wrong that caused the crash, either intentionally or through carelessness.
- The failure to live up to a legal duty was the direct cause of harm. You have to show the defendant’s actions caused you to experience losses for which you can be compensated.
Victims and family members who can prove these elements of a motorcycle accident claim can sue when a motorcycle collision causes injury or death. A San Diego injury attorney at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC can help you to make your case. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
Injury Trial Lawyers, APC
1230 Columbia Street #560
San Diego, CA 92101