If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident and is considering filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, comparative negligence in motorcycle law could affect your compensation. Basically, comparative negligence laws recognize the possibility of multiple parties being at fault, even possibly the victim, and the compensation awarded is reflected by each party’s degree of fault. It is often used as a tactic by defendants who are trying to avoid paying compensation for the accidents they cause.
These laws should not discourage you from pursuing a claim. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you with your legal claim, explain whether comparative negligence may apply in your case, and help protect your compensation amount. During a free consultation, they can go over your case with you and tell you more about what they can do for you and your legal claim.
What Is the Meaning of Comparative Negligence?
Since your motorcycle accident, you may be convinced the other party is entirely responsible for it. You could be right, but another party may share some of the responsibility. For example, the local government may hold fault if they neglected to clear the road of debris, which caused a driver to lose control of their car. You may even share some responsibility for the accident if you were negligent in some way, such as by speeding or lane-splitting.
In Indiana and other comparative negligence states, when more than one party was negligent during an accident and shares responsibility, each party is held legally liable for it. Additionally, when a partially responsible claimant files a claim or lawsuit for compensation, the compensation amount they receive depends on their percentage of responsibility.
For instance, if you’re found 20% responsible for causing your accident, your compensation amount will be reduced by 20%. The other party will be responsible for only the remaining 80% of your damages.
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What Are Comparative Negligence Laws in Indiana?
According to IC § 34-51-2-6, Indiana is a modified comparative negligence state that lets a claimant recover compensation only if they are less than 51% responsible for an accident. So, if you’re found mostly responsible for your accident, you may not be able to recover your damages.
Unfortunately, comparative negligence is used against motorcyclists too often. It’s possible for an insurance company or an opposing attorney to partially or totally blame a motorcyclist, which can lead to a reduced payout.
How a Lawyer Can Help You with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
An Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer can fight for fair compensation and work to protect you from the insurer and any opposing attorneys. If they accuse you of any responsibility for your accident, your lawyer will respond by showing:
- Evidence that you hold little or no responsibility for your accident, such as the police report and traffic camera footage
- Corroborating evidence, such as testimony from an eyewitness or an accident reconstructionist
- Evidence of the other party’s (or parties’) responsibility
- The components of negligence and liability in your case
- What your damages are, including your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering (or any wrongful death damages if you lost a loved one in an accident)
- The monetary values of your damages
- That they are willing to negotiate a settlement but just as willing to litigate your case
Helping You Meet the Deadline for a Potential Lawsuit
If your injuries are severe, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of an insurance claim. Your Indiana personal injury attorney can help you file a motorcycle accident lawsuit and meet the deadline, which is generally two years from the date of your accident, per IC § 34-11-2-4.
If you wait too long to file your lawsuit, the court may bar you from holding the other party accountable for your losses.
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Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Indiana
You deserve an attorney who’s experienced in motorcycle law, personal injury law, and comparative negligence cases. That attorney is Randy Sevenish. He’s known as the Lawyer Who Rides because he’s a motorcyclist himself and a motorcycle accident and personal injury attorney. He understands motorcycle law and how often comparative negligence is manipulated in motorcycle cases, so he knows what to expect in your case and how to handle it.
Randy has helped many clients like you. They appreciate having a motorcycle accident attorney on their team, especially for their motorcycle accident case involving comparative negligence. His clients also appreciate how he can work for them on a contingency basis, meaning a client doesn’t have to pay anything at all unless he recovers compensation for them.
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Learn More About Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Law Today
To learn more about working with our motorcycle accident attorney in Indiana, contact Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. today.
When you call, we’ll offer you a complimentary consultation and tell you more about how he will help you (or your loved one) with your insurance claim or lawsuit and help protect your due compensation. We offer our services on contingency, so you won’t have to pay anything unless and until we recover compensation for you.