By their nature, motorcycles are less visible to other motorists, yet more exposed to hazardous conditions and vehicles, leaving motorcyclists more vulnerable to being injured while on the road.
Based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 there were 5,014 fatal motorcycle traffic accidents motorcyclists making motorcyclists 29 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident compared to passenger vehicle occupants. In the same year, motorcyclists were also four times as likely to be injured.
According to personal injury law firm Gina Corena & Associates, many of the injuries sustained by motorcyclists can lead to long-lasting pain, disfigurement, loss of income, and quality of life. Such injuries can include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), road rash, and lower limb, spinal cord or chest injuries.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident through the fault of another, you may wish to hire a personal injury attorney to help you pursue a claim on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. In order to be successful, you must be able to prove the other party’s (the defendant’s) negligence was the cause of your injuries. In this article, we will look further into the elements needed to establish negligence.
The Elements of Negligence
Negligence occurs when a person acts or fails to act with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. In order to prove negligence in a motorcycle accident the following four elements must be established:
1. The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care:
You must be able to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care towards you, meaning they had a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure you would not be harmed or injured. All road users have a duty of care to drive safely, and with regard to other motorists while abiding by traffic laws and the rules of the road. If the defendant is a government agency or company, they may have had a duty to ensure the conditions of the road were safe for motorists.
2. The Defendant Breached Their Duty of Care:
After a duty of care has been established it must be shown that the defendant breached this duty. This could be the case if the defendant was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, ran a red light, or was texting while driving. A breach of duty of care will arise if the defendant acted or failed to act in a way that a reasonably prudent person would not have, under similar circumstances.
3. The Defendant’s Breach Caused Your Injuries:
Here you will need to demonstrate that the injuries you sustained were as a direct consequence of your accident. This concept is referred to as ‘causation’ and may be supported by evidence such as your medical records, photographs of your injuries, and testimony from expert witnesses in the medical field.
4. You Suffered Damages As a Result of the Breach:
You must be able to prove you suffered quantifiable loss as a result of your injuries for which you can be compensated. This can include medical bills, loss of earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering.
If you can meet the criteria set out in this article you will have a strong basis for receiving compensation from your personal injury claim.