Unlike passenger car accidents, motorcycle accidents usually result in significant damages and even in the wrongful death of the victim. This is mainly because of the lack of safety features such as seatbelt, enclosed structure, airbags, etc. Obviously, the victims are likely to suffer from emotional, physical, and financial damages in this case. In order to obtain fair compensation for all those damages and move on in your life, it is recommended to consult a credible motorcycle accident attorney and file a lawsuit against the at-fault person if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
Note that almost every motorcycle rider would have purchased a reliable insurance policy to avail coverage in case of such situations. Hence, your motorcycle injury lawyer will have to deal with the insurance company of the defendant to avail a fair settlement. However, they will always try to deny the claim or reduce the payout. For this, the insurance company may try to claim that there was comparative negligence and the plaintiff was at least partially responsible for the accident.
Comparative Negligence Law
Comparative negligence is the legal theory that is often used in personal injury claims. At times, every party involved in an accident would have contributed to it in some way or another. According to the comparative negligence law, every party will be blamed for the accident based on their share of fault. In California, the percentage of fault is assigned to both the plaintiff and defendant by a jury in case of comparative negligence. Then, the monetary compensation awarded to the victim is reduced depending on the share of fault assigned to him/her.
In a motorcycle accident claim, if 100% of the blame is assigned on the defendant and there is no fault on your side, you are eligible to obtain the maximum monetary compensation from the former. In case 40% of the blame is assigned on your by the jury, you will be able to collect compensation for only 60% of the damages caused by the accident.
Can the Comparative Negligence Law Hurt your Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Unlike many other American states, California boasts a pure comparative negligence policy. According to this, even if the victim is 99% liable for an accident, he/she is still eligible to collect 1% compensation form the defendant. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to put the blame on motorcycle accident victims since most people bears a negative stereotype of bike riders. Note that motorcyclists are often regarded as adventurous people who love to take risks. The insurance companies will try to use this negative misconception against the victims so that they can reduce the payout.