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Motorcycle Accidents

What if an Indiana Motorcyclist Shares Liability for an Accident?

Posted May 09, 2022 by Matt Boulton

Indiana has nearly 250,904 registered motorcycle users, and in 2018, the state had a record-high number of motorcyclists involved in accidents that resulted in severe and/or fatal injuries.

While blame is sometimes attributed to the motorcyclists’ actions, other entities may also be liable for the accident. This blog explores scenarios when an Indiana motorcycle and other party share liability for an accident.

Why Is it Important to Establish Fault for Motorcyclists in Indiana?

Indiana operates under Indiana Code IC 34-51-2, also know as a comparative fault system. If a motorcyclist (or other motorist) wishes to seek compensation, the law requires them to prove that they were no more than 50% at fault for the accident. In a motorcycle case, the guilty parties may include:

Negligent Drivers

Careless driving is the leading cause of Indiana motorcycle accidents, including negligent acts such as:

  • Impaired driving: A car or truck driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been a known source of liability for the harm caused in a motorcycle accident.
  • Distracted driving: Distractions can take many forms, including electronic device(s), passenger disruption, etc, causing a driver to not see or fail to give the right of way to a motorcyclist.
  • Aggressive driving: Speeding, tailgating, making illegal turns, and failure to use signals are all characteristics of aggressive drivers that can be cause for a motorcycle accident.
  • Driving while fatigued: Drivers who fall asleep or doze off behind the wheel have been found liable for motorcycle accidents. 

Dram Shops

Other entities that may be held responsible for a motorcycle accident in Indiana are establishments such as bars, restaurants, grocery stores, or places that serve or sell alcohol to consumers, resulting in a dram shop case.

The Indiana Code section 7.1-5-10-15.5 strictly prohibits bars and restaurants from selling alcohol to people who appear intoxicated. As such, if an accident occurs due to a breach of this rule, these institutions and/or the drunken driver can be held liable for any injuries caused to a motorcyclist.

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Third-Party Liability

Motorcycle accidents don’t occur only due to careless or intoxicated driving. Sometimes, it can be outside factors, such as defective parts or poor road construction, leading to an accident.

In such cases, you can file a claim for compensation from the third-party agencies such as the original part designers or the road agency in charge.

Types of Compensation Injured Indiana Motorcyclists Receive

Indiana motorcyclists involved in accidents may receive various types of compensation, provided they can prove they share no more than 50% of the liability:

Medical Bills

Motorcyclist injuries are usually expensive to treat, especially if they’re long-term. Compensation from insurance companies sorts out the cost of present and future treatment.

Pain and Suffering

Victims of motorcycle accidents can endure physical as well as psychological after-effects. The primary compensation a biker receives after a motorcycle accident is known as pain and suffering. Some of the documents used to back up pain and suffering are doctors’ reports and personal documentation such as pictures of wounds.

Lost Wages

If an injury is so severe that it forces you to take leave from work, then the party responsible will cover part or total wages during your time off work. 

Factors that Determine the Value of a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Several factors go into consideration when evaluating the value of an injury claim. These include:

Injury Type

The type of injury you get from a motorcycle accident will determine what you receive as compensation. Insurance companies won’t pay for undocumented injuries, so try to be as detailed as possible with your symptoms, regardless of how minor they seem.

Treatment for the Motorcyclists

Motorcycle injuries can be severe and require long-term care. Therefore, the more extensive the treatment an injury requires, the more value allocated to a particular claim. This is, however, on the condition that you attend all doctor appointments and provide regular progress reports.

If you miss an appointment or fail to follow a set treatment, the insurance company may use that as a ground to devalue your claim.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Insurance providers look much closer at cases involving injured motorcyclists with pre-existing conditions. This is done in an attempt to prove that your condition is not related to the accident, thus lowering the overall claim value.


Motorcyclists who get injured and can prove they’re not more than 50% at fault for the accident can receive compensation for their injuries. These victims receive coverage based on the percentage of their contribution to the accident.

For example, if the value of a claim is set at $50,000 and you contributed to 10% of fault in an accident, the value of your lawsuit will be reduced to $40,000.

Insurance Policies

Indiana requires every driver and motorcyclist to have liability cover up to a specific limit. These include:

  • $25,000/person & $50,000/accident Uninsured Motorists Bodily Injury Coverage
  • $10,000 for Property damage
  • $50,000 for Underinsured Motorists Bodily Injury Coverage

If all parties involved in an accident have the minimum policies and the extent of injuries is severe, these limits may be exceeded.

Seek Help From a Professional Personal Injury Attorney Today

Have you or a loved one been in a motorcycle accident in Indiana? Let us help you present the best possible case for your compensation claim. Boulton Law Group has the knowledge and experience to handle personal injury cases like yours.

Matt Boulton

Author Matt Boulton

Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana. He designed his firm for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.

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