According to figures from the Motorcycle Legal Foundation, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than car drivers. With a mortality rate of 80% compared to 20% for car accidents, motorcyclists can often be left with injuries such as lower extremity injuries, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and internal bleeding.
If you have sustained injuries from a motorcycle accident which was not your fault, you may have the right to receive compensation for the harm and loss you suffered as a result of your accident by bringing a motorcycle accident injury claim. In order to be successful in your claim for compensation, certain legal aspects must be met. This article will outline these in more detail to help you build a strong case.
The basis of a motorcycle accident injury claim centers on establishing that the other party was negligent in their actions and that this negligence was the cause of the accident. The burden of proof will be on you to prove this. Negligence can be established by proving the following elements apply to your case:
• Duty of care: You must show that the other party had a duty of care to act reasonably and avoid causing harm to others. This can be easily established as motorcyclists have a duty to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly and to obey traffic laws.
• Breach of duty: The other party must be shown to have breached their duty of care. For example, reckless actions such as speeding or weaving in and out of traffic which put other road users at risk can be considered a breach of duty.
• Causation: To establish causation you must be able to prove that the other party’s breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries or damages.
• Damages: Your claim must relate to quantifiable damages for which you can be compensated. For example property damage, hospital and medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.
You must be able to establish each of these elements in order to succeed in a motorcycle accident injury claim.
Duty to Mitigate
In addition to establishing negligence you must also adhere to the doctrine of mitigation of damages. This requires you to take reasonable steps to minimize your losses following your accident. The doctrine is based on fairness and prohibits claimants from recovering losses which could have been reasonably avoided.
For example, if a motorcyclist is injured in an accident, their failure to seek medical attention or to follow their doctor’s advice could worsen their injuries. Their right to recover compensation for those injuries would then be limited to the amount that would have been reasonable had they sought medical attention and followed their doctor’s advice.
The duty to mitigate is often raised as a defense by the other party. While they may accept they were at fault for your injuries they may try to reduce the compensation they owe, claiming that losses you sustained could have been avoided or minimized through your reasonable efforts to mitigate your damages.
By ensuring your claim meets certain legal requirements you can ensure you have a solid case and receive the compensation you deserve.