How Motorcycle Damages Can Be Impacted by Comparative Fault
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and you believe the driver of an automobile was at fault, it can be devastating to learn that the at-fault driver is trying to argue that your damages award should be reduced or barred due to comparative fault. However, comparative fault is a relatively common defense strategy in motorcycle accident lawsuits. If the at-fault motorist believes that you—as the motorcyclist—are in any way at fault for the accident or for the severity of your injuries, that motorist might raise the issue of comparative fault.
What do you need to know if your motorcycle crash case involves the issue of comparative fault? We want to provide you with more information and to encourage you to seek advice from a Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Comparative Fault in a Motorcycle Crash Does Not Necessarily Mean You Will Be Barred from Recovery
According to Georgia’s comparative fault law, a motorcyclist who is partially at fault for a collision or for the severity of his or her injuries may still be eligible to obtain financial compensation in a civil lawsuit as long as that motorcyclist is not 50 percent or more at fault. When a motorcyclist is less than 50 percent at fault, that motorcyclist’s damages award will be reduced by his or her total percentage of fault.
For instance, if a motorcyclist is found to be 25 percent at fault after the defendant raises the issue of contributory negligence, then the motorcyclist’s damages award will be reduced by 25 percent. If that motorcyclist would have received $100,000 without the issue of comparative fault, that award will be reduced by 25 percent (which is $25,000 in this instance), and the motorcyclist would receive $75,000. However, if a motorcyclist is found to be 50 percent or more at fault, then that motorcyclist is barred from recovery.
Yet just because a defendant raises the issue of comparative fault does not mean that your award will necessarily be reduced. You can work with your Georgia motorcycle accident attorney to prove that the defendant’s claims of comparative fault are inaccurate, and you can prove that you are entitled to full compensation because the defendant bears 100 percent of the liability for the motorcycle crash.
Comparative Fault Issues That Can Arise in Motorcycle Accident Cases
When a defendant does raise the issue of comparative fault in a motorcycle accident case, what kinds of claims might that defendant make? The following are examples of some of the issues that a defendant might raise to show that a motorcyclist was also partially at fault for the collision:
- Motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet;
- Motorcyclist was speeding;
- Motorcyclist was intoxicated;
- Motorcyclist was lane-splitting; and/or
- Motorcyclist was following too closely.
Seek Advice from a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Do you need assistance with your Georgia motorcycle accident claim? One of the experienced Marietta motorcycle accident lawyers at our firm can get started on your case. Contact The Strickland Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.