How Is Negligence Established in a Motorcycle Accident?

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To establish negligence in a motorcycle accident, you must prove the four legal elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of care
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

When a motorcycle accident lawyer represents you, they will handle evidence collection for you and work to prove the required components of negligence. They will also ensure you file your case within the allotted time to protect your right to financial compensation.

The Four Legal Components of Negligence

Sometimes an accident is just an accident, and no one will receive compensation for any resulting injuries or property damage. In other cases, the at-fault party could allege that you caused or contributed to the accident. To pursue financial recovery, your personal injury attorney will collect evidence that proves the at-fault party’s actions and your right to compensation.

According to the Legal Information Institute, the four legal elements of negligence include:

Duty of Care

Every driver on the road owes a reasonable duty of care to all other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. In essence, it is a driver’s responsibility not to engage in actions that put you or others at risk of injury.

Breach of Duty

The at-fault driver is considered to have breached their duty of care if they exposed you to harm. Examples include driving while intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy. Breach of duty can also include driving recklessly, speeding, disobeying traffic laws, and engaging in other dangerous activities.


Causation means the at-fault driver was responsible for the chain of events or actions that led to your accident. In essence, it means that if not for their actions, you would not have been injured.


Damages refer to the financial harm you suffered due to the accident, your injuries, and their related expenses and losses. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will explain the connection between cause and effect and assign a financial value to your case.

Evidence that Proves the At-Fault Driver’s Negligence

Your lawyer will handle evidence collection for you and build a case file that aims to prove your right to recover damages. It can also help drive your case toward a financial settlement versus a trial.

Motorcycle Accident Report

Your motorcycle accident report is a valuable and objective form of evidence. It will contain notes and diagrams from the investigating officer and key contact information. It will also note the accident’s suspected causes and contributing factors.

Medical Records and Bills

Your medical records do double duty as evidence. They prove the cause of your injuries and their physical and financial impact. Combined with your medical bills, they help substantiate your case and your damages.

Expert and Eyewitness Statements

Expert statements that support your case can include accident scene reconstruction and expert testimony. Eyewitnesses can provide objective recollections of the accident from varying points of view.

Damages You May Recover After a Motorcycle Accident

The difference in size and weight between cars and motorcycles, coupled with a motorcycle rider’s lack of protection in an accident, can lead to serious injuries and long recovery times. Some injuries may permanently alter your physical ability and appearance.

The at-fault driver may be held financially accountable for all your necessary medical care until you reach maximum medical improvement. In addition to medical care, you may recover the following economic damages:

  • Past and future lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Property loss
  • Diminished property value

You may also recover a range of non-economic damages. These include lasting disabilities, impairments, and disfiguring injuries. Non-economic damages also include physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Wrongful Death Damages for Surviving Families

Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and lead to immediate or eventual fatalities. If your family lost a loved one, you could be entitled to collect wrongful death damages. They can include:

  • Reasonable funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of your loved one’s income
  • Loss of their contributions to your family
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Loss of guidance and support

Wrongful death lawsuits are a type of personal injury case. This means the lawyer who represents you will work to prove that the same elements of negligence caused your loved one’s death. Your lawyer will also ensure the appropriate family members seek wrongful death compensation and file their lawsuit within the allotted time.

Contact a Member of Our Motorcycle Accident Case Review Team Today

If you or someone you love was injured in a recent motorcycle accident, our legal team will explain how negligence is established after your accident. We will review your case at no cost or obligation to you and explain our strategy for recovering compensation.

Contact one of our case review team members at Schiller & Hamilton to start fighting for the financial recovery you need and deserve.

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