There are two parties to a motorcycle accident — the at-fault party and the injured party. Along with other individuals issued with a driver’s license, both parties must observe extraordinary diligence while on the road. The reason behind such a degree of required diligence is that traveling on a highway poses many risks like possible damage to property or injury to other human beings. However, if you catch yourself in the middle of a collision, your focus should shift more on how to prove negligence in a motorcycle crash.
What is negligence, and why is it essential to prove them?
Negligence is the failure of an individual to observe the degree of diligence required in a specific circumstance. It could be committed overtly or through failure to perform what is incumbent upon the person. Negligence only arises if there is an obligation. For example, in vehicular collisions, there is negligence by one or both parties because of their obligation to avoid causing any kind of harm or damage.
The fact that vehicles collided is prima facie evidence of reneging from such obligation. In this case, it is incumbent upon the parties to prove who among them was negligent. Once proven, the negligent party could be liable for damages, imprisonment, or both, depending on the circumstances of the case.
What kinds of negligence are applicable in motorcycle accident claims?
Since collisions can either be a civil or criminal case, or both, the degree of evidence required to prove it would depend on the nature of the cause of action. If, for example, the injured motorcycle accidentparty files a civil case, then the degree of evidence required is only a preponderance of the evidence. On the other hand, if the injured party files a criminal case, then the degree of evidence required to merit a guilty verdict is ‘guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.’
But before you can file any case or gather evidence, you need to know first the different kinds of negligence. Through this, you will know what kind of damages you should state in your prayer.
Among the four main types of negligence, gross negligence is the most serious. It often refers to medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the doctors or medical professionals are bound by their moral obligation and Hippocratic Oath to ‘not harm their patient. So, if it’s proven that they caused an injury or accidentally killed a patient under their care, they are liable for gross negligence. Examples of these are deliberately starving the patient or operating under the influence of drugs.
When you say that someone is guilty of contributory negligence, this means that although they are not 100% liable for the injury, damage, or crime, they had a hand in its commission. For example, the other driver collided with your vehicle, but you were also using your phone while driving. In this case, the other party is solely liable for damages because you were also guilty of a different offense that led to the accident.
You can say that a party is guilty of comparative negligence when partly responsible for the damage, injury, or crime. Although the definition is quite similar to contributory negligence because there is shared guilt, they are not entirely the same. In the former, the partly guilty party is barred from instituting an action for damages. On the other hand, under comparative negligence, fault and negligence can be shared. As such, the damages can also be awarded depending on the guilt of the party.
The application of these two similar types of negligence is dependent on the state where the civil action has been instituted or is pending.
This is the type of negligence when a person is indirectly responsible for the damage or injury. A classic example of this kind of negligence is when Person A’s unleashed pet dog strolled around the subdivision and bit Person B, a passer-by. Since the law cannot hold the dog liable, the pet owner will assume the vicarious liability and compensate the victim for the damage.
In motorcycle accidents, vicarious liability is applicable when a minor driver causes an injury while driving their parents’ vehicle. Since they are not of age, their parents or guardians will answer for the damages they caused.
Laypeople can represent themselves in a civil action for damages due to a motorcycle accident. However, in this case, their life, liberty, and property are at stake. They only have one shot to prove that they’re not guilty of the offense, so it’s best to let the experts take charge. This means that the best course of action is to hire a lawyer.