Two first responders at the scene of a motorcycle accident.

Does Comparative Negligence Apply to Motorcycle Accidents?

As the spring and summer weather is upon us, more and more people will be lacing up their boots and hopping on the back of their motorcycles. But while riding a motorcycle can be a very enjoyable activity, more motorcycles on the road mean a greater likelihood of motorcycle accidents

Oftentimes motorcyclists must be on the defensive in trying to circumvent motorists who fail to pay attention to them. But while motorists need to pay greater attention to motorcyclists around them, motorcyclists must also learn safer riding habits. It is always important for motorcyclists to assume that motorists cannot see them and to maintain a safe space between their bikes and other vehicles on the road. Likewise, it is also exceptionally important that motorcyclists always wear a helmet and avoid speeding.

Imagine that the driver of a car goes to exit the highway but is currently in the left lane. As he signals and moves to the right lane on the highway, he fails to see the motorcycle there. He hits the motorcycle, causing the driver to crash into the guardrail and sustain serious injuries. It is very likely that the motorist will be held liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries and damages. 

But while motorcyclists and motorists can be at fault for different accidents, sometimes they are both responsible for contributing to the same one. 

Now imagine the same scenario, except the only difference is that the motorcycle sped up to about 20 miles per hour above the speed limit. If a motorcyclist is partially at fault for an accident, can he or she still obtain compensation from the motorist who was also responsible? The answer: It depends. 

The Doctrine of Comparative Negligence

While Ohio used to ban those even partially at-fault from recovery, the state now follows the law of “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence means that even when a motorcyclist is partially at-fault for an accident, he or she can still recover so long as his or her contribution to the accident was 50 percent or less than the other party. 

As the summer rapidly approaches, it is extremely important that both motorcyclists and motorists drive with the utmost caution and do their part in preventing accidents. However, if an accident does occur, a motorcyclist has the right to bring a claim against the motorist so long as he or she was less negligent for the accident than the other person. 

The Attorneys at Jones Kahan Law, LLC Can Help Those in Ohio Who Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it can greatly impact many parts of your life. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Motorcycle Attorney. 

At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our Cincinnati Personal Injury attorneys have a long history of dealing with motorcycle accidents and have helped our clients to recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight for what is in your best interest. We don’t charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!