If you were injured in a motorcycle accident where you share some responsibility for the crash, you may wonder how your fault impacts potential compensation. While comparative negligence laws reduce payouts proportionally based on your percentage of fault, accepting too much blame could cost you deserved support.
An experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney understands how liability determinations work and can ensure your interests are represented during negotiations with insurers. Even in partial-fault accidents, skilled counsel works to maximize your financial recovery.
By establishing the full details of your injuries objectively, identifying actions by other parties that increased risks, and leveraging legal strategies, legal guidance prevents you from underselling your damages and helps secure the fairest outcome, given your involvement and long-term needs.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that governs civil liability in motorcycle accident cases where more than one party may bear fault.
If a victim is partly responsible for their own injuries, comparative negligence systems allocate a percentage of blame to each negligent party rather than barring the victim from compensation entirely.
This allows injured people to at least partially recover costs even when they share some liability according to evidence and precedent. The goal is a balanced outcome, assigning responsibility comparatively based on the specifics of each case and situation.
How Comparative Negligence Affects Payouts
If fault is assigned to multiple parties in a motorcycle accident, comparative negligence laws come into play when determining compensation. These laws allocate a percentage of responsibility to each player and calculate payouts accordingly.
For example, if you are found 20% at fault and another motorist 80% responsible, you can still pursue a claim. However, your total damages would be reduced by 20% to account for your role. This preserves your right to recover costs from other negligent parties.
The Role of an Attorney
Insurance adjusters are highly skilled at analyzing fault based on evidence. They may try assigning you more than fair responsibility to lower your settlement. An attorney ensures a proper negligence analysis considering all factors like road conditions, behaviors of all users, and adherence to traffic laws.
Even if found partially at fault, total damages before reductions can still be sizable. Experienced advocates maximizing this package yield the strongest possible net recovery after comparative reductions are applied.
A lawyer understands leveraging strategies, so you receive the maximum compensation the circumstances allow.
Getting an Accurate Assessment of Fault
Adjusters have an incentive to assign more fault to the injured person in order to reduce settlement payouts. It’s important to have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer review the assessment to ensure it is objective and considers all factors.
An attorney will examine evidence like:
- Crash reports
- Witness statements
- Vehicle damage
- Road conditions
- Whether all drivers obeyed laws
- Traffic camera footage
Subtle details like precise vehicle positions, estimated speeds, visibility limitations, and traffic signal phases could impact liability assignments. A lawyer may also highlight additional actions by other parties that increased risks on the roadway.
Contesting an unfair fault evaluation is crucial because even small modifications to responsibility percentages directly alter the value of your compensation.
An accurate assessment formed by a skilled personal injury lawyer helps maximize the settlement you can achieve through negotiations.
Establishing the Extent of Your Injuries
Thoroughly documenting injuries is crucial when seeking compensation. A motorcycle accident lawyer meticulously reviews all medical records and utilizes experts to properly assess long-term impacts.
Insurers may downplay injuries to reduce payouts. An attorney counters this with objective evidence from diagnostic reports, surgery details, therapy notes, and doctor evaluations. This comprehensive injury profile determines appropriate damages for pain, suffering, missed work, and medical costs.
It also considers lifetime expenses, loss of normal life, and wages. Independent exams may confirm injuries if needed. Presenting an accurate injury status maximizes a fair settlement while protecting future treatment rights.
What Damages Are Available to Me in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim in Indiana?
Here are the main types of damages typically available in a motorcycle accident injury claim in Indiana:
- Medical expenses: Past and future costs for reasonable and necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation, prescriptions, devices, surgeries, etc.
- Lost wages: Past lost income from being unable to work due to injury. Also loss of future earning capacity if injuries permanently impact the ability to earn a living.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical and mental pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and impairment or disability caused by injuries.
- Property damage: Repairs or replacement value for a damaged motorcycle or other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful death: Death benefits for dependents if an accident results in fatal injuries, including funeral/burial costs and loss of financial support.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases involving intentional misconduct, additional damages may be awarded to punish egregious behavior.
It’s important to work with an experienced Indiana motorcycle accident attorney. We can help pursue all damages supported by evidence and ensure maximum compensation for injuries, losses, and future impacts under state law.
Timely medical treatment is also critical to documenting the full scope of harm.
Contact a Lawyer to Find Out What to Do If You Were Partially at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
If you were injured in a partial-fault motorcycle accident, it can feel stressful determining the best path forward. At Vaughan & Vaughan, our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience handling complex cases involving shared liability.
We understand how to analyze negligence determinations objectively and leverage legal strategies to maximize recovery within the bounds of comparative fault laws. Our role is to advocate fiercely on your behalf and guide you with clear, tailored advice.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your incident and get guidance on the best approach. Working with counsel ensures your rights and recovery are pursued to the fullest reasonable extent allowed.