When A Motorcyclist Is At Fault In An Accident
Many crashes involving a motorcycle and other vehicles are the result of a car driver’s error. However, there are some cases when a motorcyclist is at fault for causing the crash.
Statistically speaking, bikers in Missouri are also involved in more single-vehicle accidents than other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, single-vehicle motorcycle crashes account for more than 40% of all motorcyclist fatalities, of which 55% are caused by alcohol impairment.
Regardless of whether a motorcycle rider was involved in a single-vehicle or multivehicle accident, the question of fault becomes critical. Discuss your case with a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer from Mayer & Associates, P.C., to determine liability in your case.
Is Missouri A No-Fault Or At-Fault Insurance State?
Missouri is an at-fault motorcycle insurance state. Meaning, if a motorcyclist has purchased the right coverage and was found at fault for causing a crash, he or she will face penalties, fines, license suspension and even a jail sentence.
Missouri law requires motorcyclists to carry the following types of insurance coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person in a motorcycle crash
- $50,000 for bodily injury for all persons in the crash
- $10,000 for property damage
In addition to these, a motorcyclist in Missouri is required to carry uninsured motorist coverage (UIM).
Can A Motorcyclist Be Blamed For The Crash?
Since many car drivers and insurance companies are biased against motorcycle riders, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to be falsely accused of causing a motorcycle accident. A motorcyclist who is being blamed for a crash must keep in mind the following two things:
The presumption of fault by police or insurance adjusters is not the final word. It will be up to your Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney and the court to make the final determination.
Missouri is a comparative fault state, which splits the damages caused by a motorcycle crash among all parties involved, including the victim. Therefore, a motorcyclist’s fault can reduce his or her compensation by the percentage of his/her own fault in the crash.
In a single-vehicle crash, the motorcyclist is usually presumed to be at fault for causing the accident, though an experienced lawyer by his/her side can prove that another party, i.e., a government entity, was at fault for the accident (for example, for failure to maintain the road in a safe condition).
What To Do If They Say The Motorcycle Crash Was Your Fault?
If you are a motorcyclist who has just been in a motorcycle crash and you are being blamed for what happened, there are certain things you should and should not do to protect your legal rights.
- Be careful of what you say: Insurance adjusters are trained to get motorcycle accident victims to admit fault even if they were not at fault, especially when the victim is giving a recorded statement. First of all, never should you ever give recorded statements to insurers. Second of all, before speaking to insurance adjusters, witnesses or the other driver, it is vital to consult with a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer.
- Do not overreact: Overreacting and being aggressive are the top mistakes a motorcyclist can make when someone says that he or she is at fault for the crash. Instead, remain calm and do not panic. It can be extremely difficult to control your emotions when you are facing injustice, which is why it is recommended to be represented by an experienced attorney.
- Appeal the decision: If an insurance company’s accident report says that you were at fault, but you think that the other party should be blamed for the crash, you should appeal the decision by filing an objection. An insurance company will then be required to reassess your situation. If appealing the decision does not help, filing a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer is most likely the only option available to protect your legal right and prove the other party’s fault.
Discuss your particular situation with the motorcycle accident attorney at Mayer & Associates, P.C. Let us help you establish fault in your case. Receive a free evaluation of your case.
Call at 816-692-2877 or complete our online contact form.