No matter the vehicle, traveling on the roads of Wakefield carries a risk of injury. However, that risk increases dramatically when it comes to motorcycle riders. Motorcycles only make up roughly 4 percent of all registered vehicles, but they account for 15 percent of all American traffic fatalities according to the NHTSA.
If you suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, an experienced personal injury attorney could help you fight for your legal rights. You are entitled to seek damages for your injuries from the negligent party. To begin your pursuit of compensation, call a Wakefield motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Liability in a Wakefield Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
To collect compensation on behalf of victims, a Wakefield motorcycle accident lawyer must show that the victim’s injuries are the fault of the other driver. To do that, they must demonstrate that the other driver was the negligent party in the accident. Four elements must be met to prove negligence:
- Duty of care
- Breach of the duty of care
The Duty of Care
In any injury accident lawsuit, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. Alternatively, if the defendant did not owe the plaintiff a duty, they would not have any liability for the plaintiff’s injuries. Establishing a duty of care is straight-forward in most motorcycle accidents. That is because everyone one road – drivers, cyclists, and bikers – owe each other a duty to operate their vehicle safely.
Breach of the Duty of Care
The next step towards establishing negligence is showing that the defendant violated their duty of care. This can occur in several ways in a motorcycle accident. Any violation of state or local traffic laws could constitute a breach. Likewise, a driver that was distracted or fatigued might violate their duty to drive safely if they cause an accident.
The third element of negligence involves causation. The plaintiff must do more than prove that the defendant caused a collision with the plaintiff. They must also establish that the collision resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
Finally, a Wakefield motorcycle crash lawyer should be able to prove that a victim’s injuries resulted in real damages. These damages could include medical bills, lost wages, or even pain and suffering.
When an Injured Rider is Partially at Fault
A plaintiff’s right to recover damages from a defendant in a motorcycle wreck case is not always clear-cut when a rider shares in the responsibility for the accident. In some states, any responsibility for the crash on behalf of the plaintiff will prevent them from recovering anything from the other driver. Thankfully, Massachusetts law is more forgiving.
According to Massachusetts Statute 231§85, a plaintiff may not recover damages if they are 51 percent at fault or greater. However, if the court determines the plaintiff’s degree of fault is below that threshold, they can recover monetary damages. It is important to note that in that situation, the court may reduce the plaintiff’s recovery by their degree of fault. For example, a plaintiff that is 25 percent at fault would only recover 75 percent of the damages they sustained. Fortunately, an accomplished lawyer could advocate on a claimant’s behalf to recover the compensation they deserve.
Reach out to a Wakefield Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Wakefield motorcycle riders share the same rights on the road as drivers. They would also have the right to pursue monetary compensation when a negligent person injures them in a collision. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision, contact a Wakefield motorcycle accident lawyer to schedule an initial consultation. Doing so could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful claim.