Who Could Be Liable to Pay Damages in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycles are among the smallest vehicles on the road, making them hard for other drivers to see and avoid. When collisions happen between a motorcycle and any other vehicle, the motorcyclist tends to bear the brunt of the damage because they don’t have any airbags or seat belts to protect them. After a motorcycle accident, the injured rider needs compensation and needs to know where it might come from.

Several different parties could be liable to pay damages to a motorcyclist who was injured in a crash in Texas. It all depends on the exact circumstances of your accident. These are a few of the possibilities:

  • The person driving the other vehicle: Drivers of cars and trucks can cause motorcycle accidents in numerous ways, like failing to pay attention, distracted driving, driving too aggressively, speeding, changing lanes without warning, texting while driving and more.
  • A driver’s employer: When a motorcycle rider is hit by someone who was driving a vehicle for work, the driver’s employer could bear liability. For example, if a delivery truck driver hits you, you may be able to sue the delivery company. This is possible due to a legal doctrine that says employers can be held responsible for the acts of their employees when the employee is acting in the course of their normal job duties.
  • Parts manufacturers: Defective motorcycle parts can cause crashes. So can defective parts on the vehicle that hit you. Tires, brakes and steering systems are just a few examples of frequently failed parts. In such cases, the company that designed or manufactured the part could be liable.
  • A government entity: Many motorcyclists get into crashes because of dangerous conditions on public roads. Poor road maintenance can lead to potholes, uneven lanes, missing guardrails and other hazards. Under certain circumstances the motorcyclist may be able to file a lawsuit against the government agency in charge of keeping the roadway safe.

Most often, the lawsuits that lead to the best results are those against the driver who struck you and/or the driver’s employer.

It’s also possible that more than one party could be held liable to pay damages. Your Dallas personal injury attorney will analyze the facts of your crash to determine whether you might have a claim against more than one person or entity.

What If You Were Partially at Fault?

For various reasons, motorcyclists are often blamed for their own injuries. The person you sue will almost certainly try to argue that the accident was your fault. But even if the judge or jury ultimately decides you were partially at fault, you may still recover compensation.

Texas uses a modified comparative fault system, which we’ve discussed in detail in this previous article. Basically, you can get compensation as long as you’re found 50% or less at fault. Your compensation gets reduced by your percentage of fault. So if you’re awarded $50,000 but found 25% at fault, your award would be reduced by 25%, leaving you with $38,500.

Hurt in a Texas Motorcycle Crash? Call Us for Help.

If you were injured while motorcycling in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, call Ted B. Lyon & Associates at 877-Ted-Lyon / 877-833-5966 or contact us online. Our experienced attorneys are ready to evaluate your potential case.