How does comparative negligence apply to motorcycle accidents?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2019 | Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle fatalities in or nation take place 27 times more frequently than deaths in crashes involving other types of vehicles. This is significant, as the pleasant summer weather in Cincinnati generally means there will be more motorcyclists on the road, and thus, a greater potential for motorcycle accidents.

According to the Highway Patrol, motorcyclists report having to “dodge cars” when motorists are not paying attention and do not know that the motorcyclist is near them. Motorists need to practice motorcycle awareness, and they must make complete stops at stop signs and traffic signals to ensure intersections are clear before proceeding. Motorists must also yield to a motorcyclist’s right of way when necessary and should not speed.

However, motorcyclists must also practice safe riding habits. They should never assume that other motorists know they are there and they should keep a safe distance between themselves and other vehicles on the road. Speeding should be avoided. Also, although it is not a legal requirement in Ohio, motorcyclists should wear a helmet when riding.

So, when it comes to motorcycle accidents, sometimes both the motorist and the motorcyclist have played a role in the crash. However, if a motorcyclist is partly at-fault for a collision, does this mean he or she cannot pursue compensation from the motorist who was also responsible for the crash?

It used to be the case that if a person was partially at-fault in a motor vehicle accident, they could not recover damages, even if their role in the crash was minor. However, Ohio now follows the law of “comparative negligence.” This means that a motorcyclist who was partially at-fault can receive compensation minus the percentage he or she was negligent, if the motorcyclist’s negligence was 50% or less than the negligence of the other party.

So, motorcyclists and motorists should do all they can this summer to avoid motorcycle accidents. And, if a motorcyclist wants to pursue a claim against the motorist, they may be able to do so under certain circumstances, if they were less negligent than the other party. Keep in mind the information in this post is not legal advice and cannot promise a specific result in any legal filing. Those who want to seek compensation following a motorcycle accident will want to bring the matter up to a professional for legal advice.

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