In California, you can sue a negligent driver for losses and injuries you sustain in a motorcycle accident even if you were partially at fault. California applies a pure comparative negligence standard to allocate fault in vehicle collisions. This means you can recover damages from another driver, but they will be reduced in proportion to your relative responsibility.
A knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer can make the strongest arguments to show that your partial fault was relatively minor. Therefore, you are entitled to recover a greater percentage of your damages. The accident and injury lawyers at Salamati Law have represented Southern California riders in a motorcycle accident and injury lawsuits for more than 25 years. In every case, we fight tirelessly to demonstrate that the other driver in a collision was predominantly or entirely at fault.
When might a rider be partially at fault in a motorcycle accident?
Several factors might indicate that a rider bears some responsibility:
- Excessive speed
- Swerving or changing lanes without signaling
- Driving while under the influence of intoxicating substances
- Making a dangerous left-hand turn
- Failing to leave adequate room to stop in front of the bike
- Riding while distracted
- Failure to maintain a bike in safe operating condition (e.g., bad tires or brakes, burned-out lamps, etc.)
A skillful motorcycle accident lawyer will examine all of the facts surrounding the accident. Further, they will anticipate these and other challenges from the negligent party.
How does comparative negligence reduce a damages award if a rider was partially at fault in a motorcycle accident?
Relative fault is generally a question of fact resolved by a jury in a motorcycle accident negligence trial. For example, the injured rider’s attorney proves that the rider suffered $100,000 in damages. However, the jury determines that the rider was 25% at fault for the accident—therefore, the rider’s damages will be reduced to $75,000.
How can a rider reduce his level of fault in an accident?
In addition to riding safely and following all the rules of the road, riders can minimize their comparative fault in a motorcycle accident in several ways:
- Consider that you are effectively invisible to cars and take measures to alert them to your presence
- Practice 360-degree awareness of traffic conditions around you
- Avoid lane-splitting
- Wear a helmet to reduce the risk of head injuries
- Reduce speed in hazardous riding conditions (e.g., inclement weather, loose gravel or debris on roadways, etc.)
- Practice and maintain your riding skills, and ease back into riding after a long period away from your bike
- Ride a bike that matches your skill level
Contact our team of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers
Please see our website or call the Los Angeles offices of Salamati Law for a no-fee consultation of your motorcycle accident case. During this, we can provide an assessment of the possibility that you might be deemed to have been partially at fault. If you retain our firm and we accept your case, we will analyze the facts and evidence surrounding the accident. From there, we can develop the strongest arguments available to reduce your perceived responsibility. This enables you to recover the largest available damages award that you deserve to receive from a negligent motorist.