Motorcycle accidents can result in devastating consequences, including serious injuries and sometimes even death. When a motorcycle accident occurs, it is important to determine who is liable for the damages that result. Liability means legal responsibility for an accident, and determining liability is crucial for those involved in the accident, including victims and their families. Finding and proving liability after a motorcycle crash is what motorcycle injury attorneys excel in. With our resources and years of experience helping riders, we know how to find the truth and win your case.
Definition of liability in motorcycle accidents
In a motorcycle accident, liability refers to legal responsibility for the accident and damages that result. Liability can be attributed to one or more parties involved in the accident, including the motorcycle rider, other drivers, and even vehicle manufacturers in some instances.
Importance of determining liability after a motorcycle crash
Determining liability after a motorcycle accident is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to ensure that the responsible party or parties are held accountable for their actions. This can provide victims and their families with the financial compensation they need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.
In addition, determining liability is important for insurance purposes. Insurance companies need to know who is at fault in an accident in order to properly evaluate and settle claims. Finally, determining liability can also help prevent future accidents by identifying any safety issues that may have contributed to the accident, such as poor road conditions or defective motorcycle parts.
Factors to Consider in any liability analysis
Traffic laws and regulations
- Were any traffic laws or regulations violated by either the motorcycle rider or other drivers involved in the accident?
- Did any traffic violations contribute to the accident?
- Were the road conditions a contributing factor to the accident?
- Were there any defects in the road that may have caused the accident?
- Were there any warning signs or signals that were not properly visible or functioning?
- How did weather conditions at the time of the accident contribute to the accident?
- Were weather conditions a factor in the accident?
- Was the motorcycle and/or other vehicles involved in the accident properly maintained?
- Did any mechanical failures or malfunctions contribute to the accident?
- Did the motorcycle rider engage in any behavior that contributed to the accident?
- Was the rider wearing proper safety gear at the time of the accident?
- Did the rider have proper training and a valid motorcycle license?
Car drivers’ behavior
- Did the other drivers involved in the accident engage in any behavior that contributed to the accident?
- Were other drivers distracted, intoxicated, or driving recklessly at the time of the accident?
Determining Liability in a New Mexico Motorcycle Accident
Determining liability in a motorcycle accident can be a complex process. In New Mexico, liability can be determined under several legal theories, including negligence, recklessness, and strict liability.
Negligence is the most common legal theory used to determine liability in motorcycle accidents. In a negligence claim, the injured party must prove that the other party owed them a duty of care, the other party breached that duty, and the breach caused the injury.
For example, if a driver fails to yield the right of way to a motorcycle and causes an accident, the injured motorcyclist may be able to bring a negligence claim against the driver. We see this happen ALL THE TIME with car drivers making left-hand turns in front of motorcycle riders. Afterwards the story is always the same: “I didn’t see them.” That’s negligence.
Recklessness is a higher standard of fault than negligence. In a recklessness claim, the injured party must prove that the other party acted with a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
For example, if a driver is speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and causes an accident with a motorcycle, the injured motorcyclist may be able to bring a recklessness claim against the driver.
Strict liability is a legal theory that imposes liability on a party without requiring proof of fault. In New Mexico, strict liability may apply in cases involving defective products, such as faulty motorcycle parts.
For example, if a motorcycle manufacturer produces a faulty brake system that causes an accident, the injured party may be able to bring a strict liability claim against the manufacturer.
It is important to note that multiple legal theories may apply in a motorcycle accident case. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine the appropriate legal theories and build a strong case for the injured party.
Steps to Determine Liability
The first step in determining liability in a New Mexico motorcycle accident is to collect evidence. This can include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, and medical reports. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible to establish a clear picture of what happened.
Analyze the evidence
Once you have collected all of the evidence, the next step is to analyze it. Look for any inconsistencies or gaps in the evidence that may need further investigation. This can help you determine who was at fault for the accident and whether any parties involved were negligent.
Consult with an attorney
It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced New Mexico motorcycle accident attorney to help you determine liability. An attorney can help you analyze the evidence, identify potential legal claims, and provide guidance on how to proceed.
Negotiate a settlement or go to court
After analyzing the evidence and consulting with an attorney, you can either negotiate a settlement with the other parties involved or go to court. If you are not able to reach a settlement, your attorney can represent you in court and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
New Mexico Motorcycle Laws
New Mexico law requires that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet that meets certain safety standards. Failure to comply with the helmet law could result in fines and other penalties.
Lane splitting laws
New Mexico does not currently allow for lane splitting. However, just because you were splitting lanes does not automatically make you liable for the accident.
Like all states, New Mexico requires all motorcycle riders to carry liability insurance. This insurance must meet certain minimum coverage requirements, including:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons
- $10,000 for property damage
Riders should also consider purchasing additional insurance coverage, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, to protect themselves in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, hiring an experienced attorney can help protect your legal rights and best interests. Here are some benefits of hiring an attorney from Roadrunner Law Firm:
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
- An attorney can help determine liability using resources not available to the average person.
- An attorney can identify and and hold those responsible accountable.
- An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for damages and injuries.
- An attorney can handle all legal aspects of the case, including paperwork, court appearances, and negotiations, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- An attorney can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the entire legal process, helping you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
What to Look for in an Attorney
When choosing an attorney to represent you in a motorcycle accident case, it’s important to look for someone who:
- Has experience and a proven track record of success in handling motorcycle accident cases.
- Communicates clearly and effectively with you throughout the legal process.
- Has a strong understanding of New Mexico motorcycle laws and regulations.
- Is passionate about protecting the legal rights and best interests of their clients.
- Offers a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.
By hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you can increase your chances of obtaining the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and begin the process of protecting your legal rights.
After a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, determining liability is crucial to securing the compensation you deserve. Without establishing fault, you may not be able to receive any damages for your injuries or property damage.
Liability can be determined through a variety of factors, including police reports, witness statements, and expert testimony. It is important to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that all possible avenues for compensation are explored.
At Roadrunner Law Firm, we understand the complexities of motorcycle accident cases and the importance of determining liability. Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.