While Michigan motorcyclists relish the freedom of the open road, dangers lurk in unexpected corners. Unsafe passing maneuvers by other vehicles, for example, create hazardous conditions for bikers. These incidents can result in dangerous situations that are not just mere accidents; they are often a complex web of liability that requires the assistance of a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer to navigate. Understanding liability for these accidents is crucial for any motorcyclist involved in such preventable circumstances.
Understanding Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists face significant risks on the road. Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals a concerning number of motorcycle accidents, many stemming from unsafe passing by larger vehicles. These maneuvers can be perilous for motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable due to their vehicle’s size and exposure.
In motorcycle accident cases involving unsafe passes, understanding liability is crucial. Michigan’s laws outline the responsibilities of all parties involved in these accidents. For instance, if a vehicle performs an unsafe pass resulting in an accident with a motorcyclist, the driver of that vehicle could be held liable for reckless or negligent driving.
However, these scenarios are seldom black and white. Other factors that may be considered when determining liability include:
- Was the passing vehicle violating any traffic laws, such as overtaking in a no-pass zone or speeding?
- Was the motorcyclist riding within their lane correctly?
- Did the motorcyclist have their lights and signals working, making them visible to other road users?
Furthermore, in cases involving left-hand turns — a common scenario in motorcycle accidents — the liability often falls on the vehicle making the turn, as they are typically required to yield to oncoming traffic, including motorcycles.
The bottom line is that if the motorcyclist was speeding or violating any traffic laws, this could shift liability or cause it to be shared between the motorcyclist and the driver of the larger vehicle that hit them.
Comparative Negligence in Michigan
Under Michigan’s comparative negligence law, if both parties are found to be at fault for an accident, the court will assign a percentage of fault to each. This percentage can significantly impact the amount of compensation that the injured party can recover.
For instance, if a motorcyclist is found to be 20% at fault in an accident, their compensation will be reduced by that percentage. This underscores the importance of having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side who is well-versed in Michigan law and can ensure that all aspects of the accident are considered in building a strong case on your behalf.
The Role of Evidence in Building a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Case
Evidence plays a pivotal role in the outcome of a motorcycle accident claim, especially in cases involving unsafe passes. Solid, compelling evidence can effectively illustrate the circumstances of the accident and support the motorcyclist’s claim.
One of the most effective types of evidence in these cases is visual evidence. This includes photos and videos from the accident scene, showing the road conditions, the positions of the vehicles, and any skid marks or debris. Helmet-mounted cameras, increasingly used by riders, can provide firsthand footage of the accident, offering a clear view of the events leading up to the accident.
Eyewitness accounts are another valuable form of evidence. Witnesses can provide objective descriptions of the accident, which can be crucial in cases where the actions of the involved parties are disputed. Witness testimony can corroborate the motorcyclist’s account, adding weight to their version of events.
The Police Report
The police reports are also integral to building a strong case for compensation. These reports contain the responding officer’s observations and conclusions about the accident, and often include statements from the involved parties and witnesses, details of any traffic violations, and the officer’s assessment of the accident.
In addition to these, medical records play a significant role as they document the injuries sustained, tying them directly to the accident. This documentation is vital in proving the extent of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life. In addition, medical records form the basis for claiming compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and even non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
By hiring a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer, victims gain access to the lawyer’s experience and expertise in motorcycle accident cases, as well as their ability to utilize evidence to build the strongest possible case on behalf of their clients.
Why Choose Fieger Law for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim in Michigan?
Dealing with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident is often a David versus Goliath scenario. Insurance companies often try to pin the blame on the motorcyclist, citing reasons like inadequate visibility or lane positioning. With these tactics, insurance companies aim to reduce their payout, leaving the victim unfairly compensated.
This is where an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Michigan can step in. With our understanding of motorcycle accident law and fierce approach to challenging insurance companies, the personal injury lawyers at Fieger law are equipped to navigate the most complicated motorcycle accident cases. Our history of securing favorable outcomes for our clients speaks volumes about our capability and dedication.
Contact a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Fieger Law
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident involving an unsafe pass, do not navigate this complicated motorcycle accident claim alone. Reach out to Fieger Law. Our expertise in motorcycle accident law and our commitment to fighting for your rights and fair compensation make us your ideal ally. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming your freedom and justice.