How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycles are involved in thousands of serious motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States. These crashes can be absolutely devastating for motorcycle riders and their families. Even if the motorcyclist is fortunate enough to have survived the accident, he’s nowhere near out of the woods. Riders who survive motorcycle accidents often have serious injuries and may be facing a long road to recovery—while the medical bills pile up. A successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can help relieve financial burdens, but motorcyclists who are found to be at fault for the accident and thus, their injuries, may not be able to collect full compensation, if they’re able to collect any at all.

A variety of factors comes into play when an insurance company determines fault in a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, some of those factors may have nothing to do with whether they were actually responsible for causing the accident led to their injuries.

Having the representation of a seasoned personal injury lawyer is essential for motorcycle accident victims filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, particularly in cases where fault is in question.

Motorcycle Accidents Are Particularly Costly

With no protective barrier to shield riders from impact, motorcycle accidents are often extremely serious and exceptionally costly. In fact, the direct costs associated with motorcycle accidents were estimated at $16 billion for 2010 alone, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. These costs included property damage, emergency services, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of market and household productivity, and more.

Like any business, insurance companies are concerned with the bottom line. The desire to avoid paying potentially hefty settlements is good incentive for an insurance company to find fault with a motorcycle’s claim.

Building a Case

As soon as an accident is reported to an insurance company, an agent or adjuster begins an investigation and reviews all the available evidence, including police reports, physical evidence, and statements the motorcycle rider made at the scene, as well as statements from witnesses and other drivers and passengers. Throughout the investigation, insurance agents will look for information that allows them to build a case against the motorcyclist in order to justify denying a claim or offering a reduced settlement. Tactics like these can be extremely costly for motorcycle accident victims who are counting on receiving fair compensation for their injuries.

Indiana’s Law of Comparative Fault

Thanks to the Indiana Comparative Fault Act, responsibility for an accident can be divided among multiple parties. Consider the example of a driver of a passenger vehicle who ran a red light and crashed into a motorcyclist who wasn’t wearing a helmet. Under Indiana’s comparative fault laws, the jury might decide that while the driver of the passenger vehicle was primarily at fault for the accident, the motorcyclist is also somewhat responsible for his injuries because he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

In Indiana, as long as an accident victim is less than 50 percent at fault for an accident, he’s eligible to seek compensation for injuries. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help victims get every penny they deserve.

Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

If you were injured in a serious motorcycle accident, you know just how hard it can be to try to pick up the pieces after such a catastrophic event. With everything you’re facing, that last thing you should have to concern yourself with is whether an insurance company representative will resort to sneaky tactics to avoid paying you what you deserve. You need a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident cases.

Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law has helped Indiana accident victims and their families for decades. He’s also an avid motorcycle enthusiast who’s dedicated to helping motorcyclists both before and after an accident. For more information, contact Sevenish Law today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation, or request a copy of our free eBook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.