Injured Motorcycle Passengers

Obviously, just like a motorcycle driver, a motorcycle passenger can be hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident, and a passenger on a motorcycle may have claims against several different types of people or entities. First, the passenger may have a claim against the motorcycle operator if he or she negligently caused the crash.  For example, if the driver of the motorcycle ran a red light and caused an accident, the passenger on the motorcycle will have a claim against the driver of the motorcycle.  Of course, the motorcycle driver and the passenger almost certainly know each other and this can be awkward.  But, this is exactly why all of us, including the motorcycle driver, buy insurance: so we can adequately compensate someone we negligently injure.

The second claim the passenger may have is if another vehicle was involved and the driver of that vehicle negligently caused or contributed to cause the crash.  Under that scenario, the passenger may also have a claim against the driver of that vehicle.  Third, if the driver of the other vehicle did not own the vehicle involved, the passenger may have a claim against the owner of that vehicle based on a negligent entrustment theory.

Fourth, it is possible that there may have been other causes of the crash.  For example, a property owner may have contributed to cause the wreck.  A product liability claim may be possible if the motorcycle was defective in some way. A repair shop may have negligently repaired the motorcycle and that caused the accident.   A dram shop claim may be appropriate against a bar if a drunk driver caused the crash. 

An another point about passengers: every motorcycle passenger has the duty to exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety. Therefore, when a motorcycle crash is the fault of the motorcycle operator, it is not uncommon for the motorcyclist’s insurance company to argue the passenger contributed to his or her own injuries by continuing to ride with a driver who was operating erratically.  But even if the passenger is found to have been negligent by continuing to ride with the operator, the passenger can still recover damages from the motorcycle operator so long as the passenger’s conduct was less than 50% of the cause of the crash.

If you were a passenger in a motorcycle crash and would like to discuss your legal options, give us a call.  Our office offers a free, no-obligation consultation, and our award-winning lawyers can help determine who is responsible for the wreck.  Our office handles all motorcycle wrecks on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we recover money for you.  And unlike a lot of injury attorneys, we advance all case expenses interest-free so you do not pay anything out of pocket to pursue your legal rights.  To get started, call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787.  And as always, if you are unable to come to us for any reason, our attorneys will be happy to come to you.

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