Who Is Responsible for Passenger Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists can be seriously injured in a collision with another vehicle or in a single-vehicle accident. The lack of protection afforded to a cyclist means that even what may seem like a minor crash can result in severe bodily harm. However, in addition to the cyclist themselves, a passenger can also be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and due to their lack of control of the situation, these injuries may be even more devastating.
The harm that can come to motorcycle passengers is far from theoretical; two recent incidents demonstrate the potential injuries that can occur. On July 22, 2019, a 61-year-old woman was killed while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that collided with another vehicle in Ozaukee County, and on August 24, a 40-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman riding on a motorcycle were both seriously injured when the driver lost control and crashed.
Liability for Motorcycle Accidents
When determining how to receive financial compensation for injuries experienced in a motorcycle accident, a passenger will need to determine who was at fault. Liable parties may include:
·Drivers of other vehicles - If the driver of a car, truck, or other motorcycle caused a collision, that person may typically be held liable for injuries which occurred as a result. Coverage under the driver’s insurance policy may address the damages that a motorcycle passenger suffered, but in some cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to obtain compensation that fully addresses costs such as medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
· The motorcycle driver - In a single-vehicle crash or a collision caused by the driver of a motorcycle, that person’s passenger may be able to recover compensation. If a passenger does not wish to take legal action against a friend or family member they were riding with, Wisconsin’s direct action statute allows them to pursue a lawsuit against the driver’s insurance company to receive compensation up to the policy limits.
· Parts manufacturers - If an accident was caused by defective motorcycle parts such as brakes or tires, it may be possible to pursue compensation from the manufacturer through a products liability lawsuit.
· Government entities - If a single-vehicle or multiple-vehicle accident occurred because of unmarked roadway hazards, a dangerous intersection or interchange, or a road that was designed in a way that was unsafe, an injured motorcycle passenger may be able to take legal action against the city, state, or federal government body that was responsible for maintaining a safe road.
Contact a Green Bay Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been hurt while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, determining how to receive compensation for your injuries can be a complex matter. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we will work with you to identify the liable party or parties and help you determine your best options for recovering the financial damages you deserve. Contact an Appleton motorcycle injury attorney today by calling 920-739-7366 to arrange a free consultation.