Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit: What Must The Plaintiff Prove?
A motorcycle accident lawsuit is a specific type of personal injury case, which generally requires that the victim show that the defendant was negligent. Certain elements must be proven in order to establish that the defendant was negligent. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care. In the content of a motorcycle crash, the legal duty of care requires that a driver to operate his or her motor vehicle exercising the same ordinary care and skill that a reasonably prudent driver under like conditions and circumstances would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
Next, the motorcycle accident victim must prove that the defendant breached the requisite duty of care. Because motorcycles are generally smaller than other vehicles, motorists often fail to see them. Drivers are required drive cautiously when passing motorcycles and must also avoid driving too close. Too often, motorcyclists are injured as a direct result of a motorist’s failure to pay reasonable attention.
The plaintiff must also show the defendant’s breach was the actual and proximate cause of his or her injuries. This means that but for the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care, the plaintiff would not have been injured. It also must be shown that the collision was a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s breach.
A motorcycle rider typically sustains serious injuries in a motorcycle accident because the motorcyclist is not adequately protected by a vehicle’s exterior and frame. Examples of serious injuries that are sustained in motorcycle accidents include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and other internal injuries.
It is common that motorcyclists are unable to work for a significant period of time after a motorcycle wreck. In some cases they are never able to return to their job in the same pre-accident capacity. Damages that are often recoverable in a motorcycle accident lawsuit include pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and future medical treatment expenses.