While it’s true that motorcycle riders are at a greater risk of serious injury and death than drivers and passengers in cars and trucks, that doesn’t mean they aren’t owed the same duty of care by the people they share the road with. Unfortunately, drivers are often either unaware of bikers near them or are openly hostile towards them. When a driver’s actions cause the crash that injures a motorcyclist, he or she may be held liable and made to pay for the damages they have caused.
Driver Actions That Cause Motorcycle Crashes
Because of the lack of protection afforded by a motorcycle, riders are among the most vulnerable motorists on the road. This doesn’t mean they deserve special treatment, but they do deserve the same space and respect that drivers give one another. When drivers do the following, they can contribute to a potentially fatal motorcycle crash:
- Fail to yield. One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is being cut off by a car whose driver either doesn’t see the bike or simply refuses to yield. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars, so drivers must check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or merging onto the highway to look for motorcycles.
- Follow too closely. If anything, motorcycles require an even greater following distance than cars because they are designed to stop very quickly. If a much larger car or pickup truck rear-ends a motorcycle, the results could be deadly.
- Engage in distracted driving. Glancing down at a cell phone or GPS screen for even a second can mean a driver could miss a motorcycle that is turning, changing lanes, or merging onto the road in the car’s vicinity.
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An impaired driver is less observant and has slower reaction times, putting any motorcyclists near them at particular risk. Speeding and erratic driving is also a threat to motorcyclists as they are harder to see.
When a driver’s actions cause a motorcycle crash, he or she can be held liable for the injured rider’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
In some motorcycle crashes, no cars are involved at all. In these cases, if a motorcycle rider causes a crash that injures his passenger, he could be held liable for the passenger’s damages. If potholes, debris, road surface, construction zones, or other dangers cause a motorcyclist to crash, the municipality responsible for the road could be held liable.
Discuss Your Motorcycle Crash With Keller & Keller
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an Indiana motorcycle crash, talk to the attorneys at Keller & Keller in Indianapolis. We protect the rights of motorcycle riders in Indiana.