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:
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.
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.
Talk to Attorney Matt Boulton Today
Schedule your free case consultation with one of Indiana’s most experienced personal injury attorneysFree Case Review
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.