While any wreck can be scary, motorcycle crashes can cause much more devastating injuries to the bikers who have no protection between themselves and another vehicle, other objects, or the ground. If the victim is a passenger, he can face more complicated issues in deciding who could be responsible for reimbursing him for his expensive medical treatments, lost wages, and the emotional toll of his injuries. However, passengers need to consider all their legal options to obtain the best settlement—something they will need to get on with lives.
Who to Turn to for Compensation After a Motorcycle Crash
Often a passenger of a motorcycle will be riding with a family member or friend. This can cause him to feel conflicted about pursuing a claim for compensation if the motorcyclist was at all at fault in causing the crash. Who wants to sue a family member or friend? However, the passenger needs to put these feelings aside because he would really be suing an insurance company, not the friend or loved one.
The cause of the crash will determine which parties could face responsibility for compensating the victims. One or more of these parties could face liability:
- Motorcycle operator. Many crashes occur when motorcyclists make poor decisions or violate traffic laws. Speeding, making improper lane changes, and driving under the influence of alcohol can cause passengers to suffer horrific injuries. In addition, passengers should not overlook lack of maintenance as causes of their crash.
- Another driver. Negligent drivers can cause crashes for the same reasons as motorcycle operators. In addition, these crashes are often caused when a driver does not see the motorcyclist and pulls out in front of him or opens a car door into an oncoming motorcycle.
- Motorcycle manufacturer. If the crash occurred due a defect in the motorcycle’s design or manufacture, a passenger would need to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or designer, depending who was responsible for the defect.
- Repair facility. A mechanic or motorcycle repair shop could be the liable party if repairs—such as to the brakes—were not performed properly and caused the crash.
- Government entity. If a pothole or other defect in a road caused the operator to lose control of his bike, the passenger may have a claim against the city or county department responsible for the roadway. However, governments often cannot be sued, so passengers need to contact an experienced attorney who can advise them on these complicated issues.
Were you or a family member a passenger on a motorcycle that was involved a crash? Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.