How is Fault Determined in a Ellicott City Motorcycle Crash?
In the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you may be in pain and in shock. However, after you get medical attention and learn the extent of your injuries, you may start to worry. Motorcyclists are vulnerable and they can suffer extensive injuries. You may, therefore, have to face high medical bills and weeks or months away from work. Not being able to earn your usual wages can cause lots of hardship and anxiety. Fortunately, if the accident was not your fault, you can recover compensation. However, you’ll need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that another party was solely responsible. You need to get help from a Ellicott City motorcycle crash lawyer in proving fault. Some accidents are straightforward and it’s undeniable that a certain party is at fault. However, in other cases, it’s not immediately clear. Each motorist may blame the other. If it’s obvious that the other driver is at fault, their insurance company may settle. However, sometimes, extensive investigations are required, and you’ll need to file a lawsuit to get what you deserve.
The Process of Determining Fault After an AccidentWhile the testimony of the people involved in the crash is important, a lot more goes into determining fault. The more serious your injuries are, the more likely it is that the insurance company will fight back. Insurers never want to pay out large sums so they may try to blame you for the accident. If you were speeding, being reckless or riding under the influence, this will be used against you. Because of Maryland’s contributory negligence principles, if you’re even slightly at fault, the case will be thrown out. You and your attorney will, therefore, have to present as much evidence as possible against the other motorist. Maryland is one of only a few states which practice this negligence rule. Most jurisdictions practice comparative negligence which is more lenient. Even if you were partly at fault for the accident, you can recover damages under such a system. However, the amount would be reduced by your degree of fault. While several changes have been proposed to Maryland’s negligence system, none have taken effect. As soon as possible after you get injured, you need to contact a Ellicott City motorcycle accident lawyer. Your attorney will look for evidence that someone else was at fault. They may use:
- Police reports. If the police went to the scene, they will file a report. It may include the officers’ opinion on who was at fault or indicate that a citation was issued. Some reports are more detailed than others, but they can be helpful in determining who was at fault.
- Eyewitness testimony. Often, another motorist or a pedestrian sees what happened. If they are willing to give a statement, this can help you to prove your case.
- Video evidence. There are more cameras around than ever. A security camera on a home or business may have caught the crash.
- Violations of traffic laws. If the driver broke a traffic rule, this can be used to prove that they were at fault.