Yes, you can sue someone personally after a motorcycle accident. The person who caused the collision can get sued for the harm the crash causes. Victims typically make claims against automobile liability insurance policies of the at-fault parties. Victims could seek damages directly from the at-fault parties, though.
Most people contact their insurance company to handle the lawsuit when they get sued after a motor vehicle collision. You cannot prevent the defendant from having his insurer get involved in the lawsuit. The other party hiring representation does not mean you cannot secure fair damages, though.
How Do You Prove Who Was at Fault in a Motorcycle Collision?
The rules for establishing liability are the same whether you sue the defendant personally or make a claim against his insurance company. You will have to prove all four occurrences hold the defendant responsible for your losses:
Duty of Care
The defendant had the duty to keep you safe. Everyone who drives a car or truck on public streets must drive with caution and follow the rules. For example, driving with caution includes devoting one’s full attention to the road and the act of driving.
Breach of Duty
When someone violates a legal duty of care, they are negligent. A driver could have been arguing with a passenger instead of paying attention to the road, which is an act that could be negligent if it results in injury to another person.
Nearly every driver breaches the duty of care from time to time, but they do not cause accidents. For example, when you drive one mile per hour over the posted speed limit, you are technically negligent, but that negligence is unlikely to cause a collision.
The careless act must be the thing that causes the accident to satisfy this element of liability. The distracted driver could have crashed into a motorcycle driver from the rear because the arguing driver did not notice the traffic light had changed. The vehicle driver’s distracted driving caused the collision.
Physical harm is compensable. A victim could also sue for pain and suffering after a motorcycle accident. Lost wages could entitle you to compensation, as well.
If your motorcycle accident lawyer proves all four of these elements of liability, we could file a claim against the liable party’s insurance company or bring a lawsuit against the defendant personally.
What Should I Do If the Negligent Party had Liability Insurance?
It is your choice to make a car accident injury claim against the defendant’s insurer or file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant. The at-fault driver will probably bring the insurance company into the matter.
Sometimes, it is more effective to deal directly with the insurer rather than the driver because the insurance claims adjuster should be a professional who knows how to handle these claims.
Also, it is usually quicker and easier to get your damages paid up to the limits of the defendant’s policy coverage rather than expect the driver to pay out of his pocket.
What Kinds of Damages Can You Pursue After a Motorcycle Accident?
People injured in motorcycle collisions can seek the same kinds of compensation as those in other types of motor vehicle accidents. The amount you can go after in your claim or lawsuit will depend on the specific facts of your situation.
Our team cannot determine the monetary value of your claim until after we talk to you and investigate your circumstances. However, some money damages you could recover include:
- Lost income. If you missed paychecks while you could not work because of your wounds, you have lost income.
- Future lost income. You might not be able to make as much money after severe injuries. Diminished income capacity can be a part of your injury claim.
- Pain and suffering. This category is for the physical discomfort and psychological distress you endured because of the accident.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing or witnessing an accident with catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. This applies when the injured person can no longer perform the activities that brought joy before the accident, like riding his motorcycle or walking or seeing.
- Disfigurement. Significant scars can be compensable after a motorcycle collision.
Be sure not to wait too long to take legal action. IC § 34-11-2-4 limits you to only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The American Bar Association affirms that you will forever lose the right to seek compensation for your losses if you miss the deadline.
Reach Out to Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. to Get a Free Consultation
If your close relative died because of wounds from a motorcycle collision, we might be able to seek additional compensation for the eligible beneficiaries. You can call the Sevenish Law Firm, P.C., at 317-720-3229 today for a free consultation.
All we do is help people who get harmed by the carelessness of others. Our staff could help you sue someone personally after a motorcycle accident.