Riding on the back of your friend or partner’s motorcycle can be a thrilling experience.
You get to benefit from all of the joys of motorcycle riding without any responsibilities of safely maneuvering the bike. However, if involved in an accident, do you as a passenger innocently along for the ride have any rights to seek compensation? You didn’t do anything wrong, so why would you have to pay for your own damages, right?
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a Connecticut motorcycle crash, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Bridgeport, CT. During a free consultation, one of their experienced and caring attorneys will assess your situation and guide you towards compensation.
Motorcycle Crash Passengers’ Rights
Unless under incredibly strange circumstances, you as the passenger on a motorcycle most likely have a close friendship with its owner. Motorcycle riding can be dangerous and has exponentially more risks of being injured than being a passenger in a passenger vehicle.
All of the fun of being a motorcycle passenger – the wind on your face and the feeling of freedom – comes with the risks of being violently ejected from the bike if involved in a crash. If you’ve been injured, you probably have no clue as to who is responsible for your damages. And does it break the “friend code” to seek compensation after an accident?
The answer to this question is a resounding no. Despite being the passenger on a motorcycle and not the operator, you still have the right to seek compensation for your damages. The question at this point is to determine who was the negligent party in the accident. There are a few possibilities as to who could be at fault.
- The motorcycle operator – Unfortunately, some passengers on motorcycles are injured due to the operator’s negligence. This could be due to inexperience in riding with a passenger on the back which can greatly influence balance and breaking.
- The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash – Since motorcycles have a low profile of visibility, the negligent party in a motorcycle crash is oftentimes the driver of the car. In this case, you would seek compensation directly from the driver’s insurance company.
- The motorcycle’s manufacturer – In rare instances, the manufacturer of the motorcycle could be the negligent party in a motorcycle accident if it was caused by a malfunctioning part.
- A government entity – If the cause of the accident is determined to be a government entity that failed to maintain the integrity of its public roads, it would be held as the negligent party.
- You – Unfortunately, you could also be the negligent party. This could happen if you did something that caused the motorcycle operator to crash. If this is the case, you could possibly lose all rights to compensation since some states, Connecticut included, don’t have no-fault accident laws.
How Do You Obtain Compensation as an Injured Passenger in a Motorcycle Accident?
Regardless of who is at fault, as the passenger of a motorcycle who was injured, you have the legal right to seek compensation for any damages you received as a result of the crash.
This type of personal injury case isn’t one that you want to take on without an experienced legal team. Even if the negligent party’s insurance company has already contacted you and is offering a settlement, it’s most likely nowhere near what your case is worth.
As the plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you’ll have the burden of proving the following:
- Who was negligent and caused the accident
- That you received serious injuries as a result of the accident
- Your injuries have caused you damages
Next, you’ll have to provide proof of your damages. A minor injury that’s easily treated with a fast recovery time isn’t enough to file a claim for compensation. However, victims with severe injuries and long recovery times are encouraged to seek compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. This is accomplished by gathering evidence to prove negligence, injury, and damages. Typical personal injury evidence can include:
- First responders notes
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Police accident reports
- Medical bills
- Proof of lost wages
- Receipts for out-of-pocket medical expenses
Addressing the Needs and Rights of Passengers in Motorcycle Crashes: Key Takeaways
Injured passengers in motorcycle crashes have the right to seek justice and compensation if they’ve been injured due to no fault of their own. This falls under the umbrella of a personal injury lawsuit.
One of its challenges is to determine and prove who was at fault. Unfortunately, the culprit could in fact be the operator of the motorcycle. Regardless of who is at fault, you do have the right to file a claim.
The best way to receive maximum compensation from a personal injury lawsuit is to retain an experienced lawyer who has the savvy to ensure that you aren’t offered a lowball settlement amount. Never attempt to seek compensation without a strong legal team on your side.
Arnab Dey is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.