Reports show that the annual cost of motorcycle accidents exceeds $78 billion. These costs include medical expenses, property damage, payment for pain and suffering, and other losses. Who is responsible for the payout of damages following a motorcycle accident?
Various parties could be liable and sued for motorcycle accident damages. It can be complicated to identify who was responsible for a motorcycle crash, especially if there were multiple parties involved. A skilled personal injury lawyer, though, is well prepared to investigate your accident, identify all liable parties, and help you file a claim against them.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages. At Kiley Law Group, we offer all potential clients a free case review. Schedule yours today by calling us 24/7 at (888) 435-1321 or filling out the online contact form.
Parties You Could Sue in a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Case
In order for your motorcycle accident lawsuit to be successful, you must be able to prove that the accident and your injuries were due to someone else’s negligence. Your personal injury lawyer will determine who was liable for the accident and help you file a claim or lawsuit against them.
The following are some examples of parties who are commonly sued in motorcycle accident cases.
All drivers have an obligation to obey the rules of the road and drive safely. Unfortunately, many people do not take this responsibility seriously. Most motorcycle accidents are caused by the driver of a car, van, truck, or another motorcycle.
Acts of negligence that could make them liable for your damages include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Improper lane changing
- Failing to obey traffic lights or signs
- Aggressive driving or road rage
Even if a driver was not intentionally reckless or negligent, he or she can still be held liable for actions that contributed to your injuries.
Vehicle parts manufacturer
Some accidents are caused by defective motorcycle or vehicle parts. All manufacturers in the US have a legal obligation to ensure their products are safe for their intended uses before releasing them to consumers. If a defective part caused your accident, you could potentially sue the manufacturer of the defective part.
However, these types of cases are complex and can be difficult to prove. For a lawsuit against a manufacturer to be successful, you will need to not only identify the defect and the party who made it but then also link the defective part to your accident. It is important to have a lawyer representing you who has experience in handling defective product cases.
Company or employer
Motorcycle crashes sometimes involve business vehicles, company cars, and commercial trucks. If the at-fault driver was on the job at the time of the accident, you may be able to sue that worker’s employer.
In motorcycle accidents involving commercial trucks, your lawyer could potentially help you file a lawsuit against multiple defendants, including:
- The driver
- The employer
- The vehicle manufacturer
- The company responsible for maintaining the vehicle
- The cargo loading company
Employers are responsible for the hiring and training of the drivers that work for them. Hiring a driver that does not have a valid driver’s license or someone who has a history of DUIs or other traffic violations could result in the employer being held accountable for the accident.
An employer could also be found liable for failing to maintain their company vehicles. If a tire blowout, brake failure, steering malfunction, or other maintenance issue caused the accident, the business owner could be found negligent.
Holding a business or employer responsible for a motorcycle accident takes a lot of legal knowledge, research, and skill. At Kiley Law Group, we have the experience and resources needed to win these types of lawsuits.
Not all motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver’s actions; some are a result of poor road conditions. Motorcycles are particularly vulnerable to potholes, cracks in the pavement, and other road defects. Roads in a state of disrepair can cause motorcycle accidents that leave victims suffering devastating injuries.
It is the responsibility of either the state or local government to maintain most of Massachusetts’ roadways and ensure they remain in a safe condition.
The following are signs that a roadway is not being properly maintained:
- Large potholes
- Worn road markings
- Illegible or missing road signs
- Crumbling roads
- Damaged or missing guardrails
Suing a government agency for a motorcycle accident can be challenging, but it is not impossible. There is usually a shorter statute of limitations when suing a government agency after an accident, so it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible after the collision.
How Liability is Established After a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident?
The parties that can be sued in a motorcycle accident case vary; this depends on the circumstances surrounding your collision. Accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, and it may not be immediately clear who is at fault and legally responsible.
Establishing liability can be especially difficult in collisions involving multiple vehicles. There may be multiple parties who could be sued for the accident.
In order to sue someone for a motorcycle accident, your lawyer will need to provide proof of the following four elements:
- Duty of care: It must be demonstrated that the other party had an obligation to act in a way that would not cause you harm
- Breach of duty: Then, you need to prove the defendant breached that duty by failing to take reasonable care to prevent an accident
- Causation: Next, you have to show that the breach of duty caused you harm
- Damages: Lastly, you will need to provide evidence that your injuries resulted in financial damages
A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You Sue All Liable Parties
In preparation for trial, your lawyer will take the steps needed to build a strong case on your behalf.
These may include:
- Gathering evidence: Eyewitness statements, video surveillance footage, medical records, police reports, and photos may be used to establish fault
- Determining the value of your claim: Your lawyer will calculate the value of the damages you suffered in the accident, which may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more
- Filing the lawsuit: While you focus on your recovery, your lawyer will take care of filing all necessary paperwork on time
- Take your case to trial: Your motorcycle accident lawyer will present your case in court when necessary and defend your legal rights
At Kiley Law Group, we believe in open and honest communication with our clients. Throughout the duration of the legal process, we will give you regular updates on how your case is progressing and be available to answer any questions you may have.
Do You Always Have to Sue to Recover Compensation After a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident?
No, you do not always need to sue or file a lawsuit to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident. In fact, the majority of motorcycle accident cases are handled outside of court through negotiations with the insurance company. This usually allows you to recover a settlement faster and with less stress.
It is beneficial to work with a motorcycle accident lawyer even if you do not go to trial. The insurance company most likely will not offer you a fair payout and may try to pressure you into accepting a lowball offer.
The reason insurers offer payouts is to prevent you from initiating any legal action against them. Their goal is to get you to accept as low of a compensation amount as possible. Before signing and accepting any offer, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer.
An attorney will know what your claim is worth and can handle all communications with the insurance company. They will be familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use and can make sure that you are not cheated out of the compensation you are entitled to receive.
Schedule a Free Case Review With a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
The days and weeks following a motorcycle accident can be physically, financially, and emotionally taxing. Our compassionate legal team can help you by managing your case, investigating the details of your accident, determining fault, and pursuing compensation for you. We can help you recover damages through negotiations with the insurance company or by suing all parties liable for your injuries.
Tom Kiley, Sr., has been a personal injury lawyer for over 40 years and riding motorcycles for even longer. He is proud to use his knowledge and experience to advocate for the legal rights of Massachusetts motorcyclists.
Our law firm takes motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe us any upfront costs or fees for our services. We only get paid if you are awarded a case settlement.
With no risk or obligation involved, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation with Kiley Law Group today. Fill out the online contact form or call us 24/7 at (888) 435-1321.