Our Clarkdale accident attorneys have handled hundreds, if not thousands, of accident cases, including motorcycle accident claims. In very few of these cases was the other driver 100% at fault. There is usually something the defendant can point to showing that you were partially at fault.
Here, we’ll discuss what happens if you are partly at fault for your motorcycle crash.
Our Clarkdale Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Know That Very Rarely Is One Party 100% at Fault
If you pay careful attention to any driver, you’ll be able to find fault with the way they drive. The same thing is true for motorcycle riders.
Most people already have a negative opinion of bikers. It’s not a far stretch to imagine the other driver saying that you were the one who caused the crash. In our experience, some of the claims made about our clients have included:
- They were weaving in and out of traffic.
- The biker was speeding at the time of the crash.
- You were riding on the shoulder trying to bypass traffic.
- You were tailgating.
- You were lane-splitting.
If you were engaged in any of these things, the defendant will raise it as a defense. The question will be whether you were more than 50% at fault.
Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Clarkdale Must Prove the Defendant Was Negligent
In order for you to collect damages, your motorcycle accident lawyer in Clarkdale must prove that the other driver was negligent. This is the same standard applied in almost all personal injury cases.
To prove negligence, your Clarkdale motorcycle accident attorney needs to demonstrate the following four (4) things.
- The other driver owed you a duty of care. This isn’t difficult to prove. All drivers, regardless of what kind of vehicle they’re driving, owe a duty of care to other motorists.
- The defendant breached this duty. You’ll have to show that the defendant did something negligent. For example, if you can prove they were texting and driving, that would be sufficient.
- Your Clarkdale accident attorney must show that you were injured. This can be achieved by submitting a copy of your medical records.
- You must show that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions. This is where the defendant will argue that you caused the crash and, therefore, are liable for your own injuries.
The way the law works in Georgia is that a plaintiff can collect damages even if they were partially at fault. However, there are limitations.
The Defendant’s Lawyer Will Argue That You Caused the Crash
The defendant’s attorney is working just as hard as your attorney. Their goal is to prove that you were the one primarily responsible for the crash. This means they’ll have to show that their client’s role in the accident was minor.
They’ll point out that you were guilty of one of the behaviors listed above. What your motorcycle accident lawyer in Clarkdale will do is poke holes in their case and demonstrate that their client was the one primarily responsible.
The Insurance Company Isn’t Going to Just Admit Defeat
No matter how confident you are that the other driver was at fault, that doesn’t mean the defendant will admit defeat. The insurance company has nothing to lose. Once you file suit, they’re going to have to put up a defense.
The difference between the insurance company and an individual defendant is that the insurance company has an in-house legal team. It isn’t going to cost them any additional monies to argue that you were at fault.
There’s a Chance the Court Will Find You Were Partially at Fault
Your Clarkdale accident attorney will have to presume that you may be found partially at fault. When they enter settlement negotiations, they have to put themselves in the mind of the defendant.
If the other side puts up a good case for your being partly at fault, it’s safe to presume the court will see things the same way. This means that you’ll need to be willing to compromise a little when it comes time to negotiate a settlement.
Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Clarkdale Can Still Demand Damages
This in no way means that you won’t be entitled to damages. In Georgia, a plaintiff can still collect damages even if they’re partly at fault. According to OCGA §51-11-7, as long as the plaintiff was not primarily at fault, they can demand damages.
Essentially, your Clarkdale accident attorney must demonstrate that you were less than 50% at fault. As long as they can do that, you will technically still be entitled to damages. However, the amount of damages you can collect at that point will be reduced.
Your Damages Will Be Reduced by Your Percentage of Fault
The way the law works when you’re partially at fault is quite simple. As long as you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still collect damages. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Imagine that you sue the other driver for $200,000. The defendant is able to prove that you were 30% at fault. This means that your damages will be reduced by $60,000, or 30%.
Your Clarkdale Accident Attorney Will Try to Negotiate a Settlement on Your Behalf
In the days following your motorcycle accident, you’ll likely be in the hospital. People involved in motorcycle accidents often suffer life-threatening injuries. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, your Clarkdale accident attorney will work on getting your claim filed.
Ideally, the other driver’s insurance company will pay your claim in full. However, there is a chance they’ll claim that you were the one at fault. Even if they think you were only partially at fault, they won’t pay your entire claim.
What if Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Clarkdale Cannot Reach a Settlement?
Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Clarkdale will work hard to negotiate a settlement. If this isn’t possible, they’ll have no problem filing suit against the other driver.
We recommend you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. If you were partly at fault, let your Clarkdale accident attorney right away. This way, they’re prepared for whatever comes their way.