The steps to prove negligence in a motorcycle crash
Ask any motorcycle rider, and they’ll tell you there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get from hopping on a Harley and hitting the open road. Thousands of Portland residents are avid riders and take every precaution to make sure they can keep enjoying a motorcycle lifestyle for many years.
However, because they have much less protection than a car or a truck driver, motorcycle riders face enhanced dangers every time the climb aboard their bikes. Inattentive drivers, road and construction hazards, poor signage and a host of other things can lead to severe injuries, and in some cases, death, despite motorcycle riders being among the safest drivers on the road.
When a motorcycle crash happens, and it appears to be through the fault of someone else, it’s imperative that the rider or his family members retain the services of an attorney who specializes in these types of accidents.
While every accident is different, to collect damages for pain, suffering, medical bills and lost wages, an attorney will need to prove that another party was negligent when it came to the motorcycle rider.
There is a basic four-part formula for proving negligence:
- The attorney must show that a defendant had to exercise reasonable care while they are driving. This is generally a given and does not require much effort to prove. For example, a driver shall be considered negligent if they drink too much and get behind the wheel of a car.
- Did the driver exercise a reasonable standard of care while driving? If a person knows they are drunk, then did they do the right thing and turn over their keys to a friend, or call a taxi? In other words, a driver is responsible to do what a reasonable person would do in a given situation.
- The attorney must link the lack of reasonable care to the motorcycle rider’s injuries. This is the basis of the theory of negligence which is at the core of every kind of personal injury case. Driving drunk is a negligent activity. Driving drunk resulted in an accident. That accident produced the motorcycle rider’s injuries.
- Did the accident and resulting injuries create losses for the rider? The answer has to be “yes” in all cases. But the real question is what were those losses, and how can the motorcycle rider be compensated for them.
Dawson Law Group serves Portland and surrounding Oregon communities.