Motorcycle riding can be both a favorite pastime and a cost-efficient means of travel. The wind and open road breezing past you as you travel down the highway and weave between cars is thrilling. Unfortunately, the dangers commonly associated with motorcycle riding are not overstated.
Motorcycle wrecks can be caused by anything from the failure of motorists on the road to see a motorcyclist to a malfunction in the motorcycle itself. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision, a skilled personal injury attorney could help you hold the at-fault party accountable. A Yakima motorcycle accident lawyer is prepared to investigate the circumstances of your crash and file a legal claim demanding comprehensive compensation for your losses.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
The dangers associated with riding motorcycles can include injury to the driver, property damage, and injury to those around the driver. While a multitude of factors can contribute to a serious motorcycle wreck, several circumstances are known to cause such catastrophes:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Lane splitting
- Reckless speeding
- Failure to yield
Given the many situations that can result in injury to a motorcyclist or surrounding drivers, it is important for individuals in Yakima who have been injured in a collision to contact a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer to help prove the ultimate cause.
Establishing Liability and Accounting for Comparative Negligence
Motorcycle accidents are commonly the result of negligence by one or both parties. A proactive Yakima motorcycle accident attorney could help individuals assess what they will need to prove in a lawsuit and how any potential negligence on their party might affect their overall compensation.
To proceed on a theory of negligence in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, an attorney must first show that the responsible party owed a duty of care to the injured victim. While individuals can take on specific legal duties under certain circumstances—such as by virtue of their profession—there is a general rule of law that everyone has the duty to act as a reasonable person and take reasonable care when going about their daily lives.
Once a lawyer has established that the responsible party owed the victim a duty of care, they must next prove that the duty was breached. A duty of care is breached when a responsible party falls beneath the specific standard of care set for them by law. Exactly what that duty is and what actions must be taken to meet the standard vary depending on the party and circumstances of the case.
If an attorney establishes that the responsible party fell beneath the standard of care, they must then prove that this failure was the cause of the injuries to the victim. This can also lead to the theory of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is the legal theory that if the victim of an accident took actions that ultimately contributed to their injuries, the amount of compensation they receive should be reduced accordingly.
Washington has adopted a form of comparative negligence called pure comparative negligence. Pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington § 4.22.005, if the court finds that the victim took actions that contributed to their injuries, their compensation is reduced proportionally to the percentage of their contribution. For example, if a victim sustained $100,000 in damages, but the court found them 30% at fault, they would only be entitled to $70,000.
The last step of proving a motorcycle crash case under a theory of negligence is to establish that the victim suffered damages as a result of their injuries. This is typically accomplished by records such as medical bills, therapy costs, etc.
Contact a Yakima Motorcycle Accident Attorney to Seek Damages
Motorcycle collisions are tragic and can lead to severe injuries to the driver and those surrounding the accident. Because there are often several parties involved and a multitude of factors contributing to injuries, a Yakima motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexity of proving your case.
Call today to take the first step toward recovering from your accident. By scheduling an initial appointment, you can gain a better understanding of the legal process and receive peace of mind knowing that someone will stand up for your right to recovery.