Motorcycle Crashes Typically Are Not An Accident.
Most crashes are caused by drivers or even other motorcyclists who are driving negligently.
In seeking full compensation for our clients, we are tenacious in conducting a full investigation on behalf of our clients to identify all those who may be liable. In bringing a personal injury case for damages (or for wrongful death), it is imperative to identify all those who may be legally responsible, as this is the only way to recover full damages.
The following examines the types of other possible defendants in a motorcycle crash.
It’s important to understand that the term “accidents” implies that no one is to blame. In most motorcycle injury and wrongful death cases, the term “accident” is typically not correct for describing what has occurred – “crash” is more appropriate.
Identifying Those Liable for Motorcycle Crashes
The individuals, companies, and other entities, that are often at fault for motorcycle crashes included the following:
- Drivers who hit motorcyclists.
Today, motorcyclists are likely more at risk than ever before, as the streets have become more congested, and drivers are increasingly engaging in reckless conduct, such as using cell phones for calls or even texting.
Additionally, studies have shown that Americans are now getting far less sleep than in past decades, and they are also working much longer. As a result of these factors, more drivers than ever are driving while extremely tired, which likely leads to crashes when they fall asleep at the wheel (even for only a couple of seconds), or their reaction time is decreased as a result of sleep deprivation.
When drivers choose to engage in such activities and they cause injury or death, we believe that they should be held fully accountable for their wrongful actions.
- Bars, restaurants, and other establishments that overserve intoxicated patrons.
Like many other states, Washington has adopted what are known as “dram shop” laws that allow bars, restaurants, and other establishments liable if they over-serve intoxicated patrons, and those patrons then drive drunk and injure or kill others.
Learn more about “Washington Dram Shop Law”
- Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers and their companies.
Uber and Lyft have exploded in terms of drivers and ridership in recent years. These companies, however, do not require any special training before a person can become a driver.
- Cities and municipalities.
Cities and municipalities are responsible for designing (or approving the design) of roadways, as well as making sure that roadways, and the adjoining properties, are properly maintained.
Failure to Maintain Roadways and Adjoining Properties
It’s important that traffic control devices function properly so that crashes do not occur. In downtown and other congested areas, often properly functioning street lights will be part of both the traffic control and safety functions. When traffic control devices and lights are not properly functioning, the city or municipality in charge of the same may be liable for resulting crashes.
Similarly, stop signs and other signs (like those warning of upcoming lane issues) must also be maintained. In some instances, however, these signs are removed, or are damaged in crashes and then not repaired, which can be the cause of a crash.
Improper vegetation maintenance along streets and roadways can also be the cause of crashes, usually as the result of overgrown vegetation that impairs the viewing of street signs, traffic control devices, and/or oncoming traffic. It is therefore important that vegetation be cut or trimmed to prevent dangerous overgrowth.
Dangerous Roadway Design
In some instances, the design of roadways may in itself be dangerous. As an example, on roads that are on hills, a side street that is just over the crest of a hill may be unduly dangerous if traffic from such side street cannot see oncoming traffic, and if there are no stop signs requiring the oncoming traffic to stop.
There are many instances in which a cities and municipalities do not properly account for the realities of how traffic operates. When they create dangerous conditions and crashes result, they can be held liable.
If it appears that a crash was the result of defective road design or maintenance, we work with road design and other experts to show how defective design or maintenance caused (or contributed to) a crash.
- Construction companies.
We’ve all been through street or highway construction zones. Such zones often contain traffic diversions, cones, cement dividers, lights, traffic control devices, reduced speed requirements, and traffic signal workers. When a construction company undertakes a street or highway project, it must ensure that the construction zone is safe, so that drivers, motorcyclists, and others can clearly understand the changes in traffic being required.
Many times, however, such changes are not clear. When confusion exists about what lanes should be used, drivers, motorcyclist, and others are in danger of being hit by each other, or becoming injured through hitting construction materials, such as concrete dividers.
Construction zones are especially dangerous at night, as it can be significantly harder for drivers and motorcyclists to determine the revised traffic pattern because of the decreased visibility. Further, when construction safety lights are not functioning at night, motorcyclists and drivers can easily not see signage and diversion routing, and run directly into concrete dividers or other matters.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Crash, We Invite You to Call Our Firm