While motorcycles are often synonymous with fun and adventure, there’s a lot of risk in riding one down the average highway. Motorcycles are smaller and less well-protected than the average car, making them difficult to spot on the road and inherently dangerous for riders to operate.
While that shouldn’t discourage a rider from driving, motorcyclists do need to be aware of the increased risk they’re at while on the road. What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, though, and what steps can motorcyclists like you take to avoid them? Moreover, how can you respond if you get into an accident?
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents throughout Indiana include:
- Motorists’ failure to signal
- Motorists’ failure to stop completely
- Blindspot oversights
- Inappropriate designation of construction
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
That said, not all motorcycle accidents involve a motorist and a motorcycle. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and related parties can all play a role in a motorcyclist’s accident. You need to determine who was at the scene of your accident before you can name anyone responsible for the cost of your recovery.
Even then, the party liable for your accident might not physically be on the scene when your crash takes place. If a motorist drives on bad tires or your mechanic overlooks a dangerous flaw on your bike, the faulty product’s manufacturer may be responsible for your losses. You can turn to a motorcycle accident attorney in Indiana for help assigning fault after your accident.
While the specific force behind today’s motorcycle accidents varies from crash to crash, all of these causes tend to share an origin: negligence. It’s that negligence – or, more specifically, the violation of an owed duty of care – that entitles motorcycle accident survivors like you to legal action.
As such, you should take careful consideration of the scene of your accident while you’re waiting for first responders. What evidence of negligence do you see on hand? Talk to bystanders, take pictures of nearby debris, and communicate with other impacted parties to better understand why your accident took place.
You can later turn this evidence over to a motorcycle accident attorney and determine what damages it may entitle you to. The evidence most relevant to your case can include:
- Statements from bystanders regarding a liable party’s behavior at the time of your accident
- Video and photo footage of your accident
- Statements made on social media regarding your accident
- Black box data, if applicable
- Photos of debris or physical evidence from the scene of your accident
You can work alongside our attorneys to gather this evidence and analyze it before integrating it into a personal injury case.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Motorcycle Accident
So long as you can bring forward evidence indicating that someone else’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident, no matter what form that negligence takes, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against the party liable for your losses. Before you start building your claim, though, you should meet with an attorney and discuss:
- The identity of the party you believe to be liable for your motorcycle accident
- What duty of care you believe that the at-fault party owed you prior to your accident
- The ways in which you think the at-fault party violated that duty of care
- What evidence you have of a violated duty of care
You can additionally discuss what evidence you have relating to your accident and how you might use that evidence to defend your right to post-motorcycle accident damages.
No matter what evidence of fault you have on hand, you have a limited amount of time to bring a motorcycle accident civil claim forward. Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4 gives motorcycle accident survivors like you no more than two years to act on their losses. You cannot file your claim if your motorcycle accident statute of limitations expires.
If a Motorcycle Accident Stems from a Traffic Violation, Can a Related Case Appear in Criminal Court?
If your motorcycle accident stems from a traffic violation, the state can choose to open a criminal case against the offending party. You do not monetarily benefit from a criminal motorcycle accident case. That said, it’s important to keep an ear out for a criminal motorcycle accident case’s verdict.
If a criminal court determines that the person responsible for your accident violated Indiana state law, that guilty verdict could serve as proof of negligence in civil court. You can subsequently file a liable party’s guilty verdict to further emphasize your right to post-accident compensation.
How to Protect Yourself from a Motorcycle Accident
While you can’t control how other people behave on the road, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of getting into a dangerous motorcycle accident. You can abide by Indiana’s roadway laws and make an effort not to speed or otherwise endanger the people around you. You can also wear essential safety gear, including a helmet and skid-resistant jacket.
It’s also in your best interest to invest in motorcycle accident insurance. The more financial support systems you have in place after an accident, the more straightforward your recovery can be.
Talk to Our Attorneys About Your Motorcycle Accident Today
Motorcycle accident attorneys throughout Indiana understand that there are several unseen and uncontrollable forces that can leave you injured. That said, it’s our job to help you identify those forces and otherwise trace the fault for your accident back to a liable party. Together we can make sure that you get justice for your motorcycle accident losses.
If you’re ready to learn more about the steps you need to take to initiate a motorcycle accident investigation, call Vaughan & Vaughan today. Our personal injury attorneys can advocate for your right to motorcycle accident damages in negotiations or a civil trial. Contact us by calling our office or reaching out online to schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation.