Pretty much any way you look at the numbers, the breakdown is about 60-40. Four-wheel vehicle operators cause about 60 percent of the motorcycle wrecks in Missouri. Most of the other 40 percent of crashes are motorcycle-only accidents.
So, if your motorcycle collided with a vehicle, there’s a good chance that a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer can obtain fair compensation for your serious injuries. The amount of compensation usually depends on the facts of the case and the strength of any insurance company defenses, such as comparative fault. More on that below.
Types of Driver Negligence
“Cause” is an element of negligence, and negligence is basically a lack of care. Most noncommercial operators have a duty of reasonable care. They must obey the rules of the road, drive defensively, and avoid accidents if possible. Some common breaches of care include:
- Behavioral Negligence: Substance impairment is the largest behavioral negligence. Typically, the substance is legal, or at least semi-legal, to consume, such as alcohol or marijuana. Nevertheless, it’s always dangerous to drive under the influence of these substances.
- Operational Negligence: Common traffic violations which often cause vehicle collisions include speeding, changing lanes unsafely, and running a stop light. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate such laws could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
- Environmental Negligence: All drivers have a legal responsibility to slow down when the sky is dark, the road is wet, or conditions are otherwise less than ideal. But many motorists ignore this duty.
Truck drivers, Uber drivers, and other commercial operators usually have a higher duty of care. So, it’s generally easier to prove negligence, or a lack of care, in these situations.
The Comparative Fault Defense
Contributory negligence shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. For example, the insurance company might admit the driver was speeding and blame the accident on the motorcycle rider’s substance use. In these situations, jurors must divide fault on a percentage basis, such as 50-50 or 80-20.
Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the tortfeasor is still liable for a proportionate share of damages. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Vehicle operators cause most motorcycle crashes. For a free consultation with a Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer, contact the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.
How many motorcycle crash claims settle out of court?
Less than 5 percent of negligence claims, including motorcycle wreck claims, go to trial.
What is negligence?
Negligence is basically a lack of care. Speeding 1mph over the limit probably is not negligence.
How long does a motorcycle crash case last?
Most cases settle in about six months, but the amount of time varies significantly.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.