What Does Comparative Negligence Mean in a Motorcycle Accident? By Chanfrau & Chanfrau on November 08, 2021

Shaking hands at legal consultation with scales in the foregroundHave you ever been involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered injuries? You aren't alone. Motorcycles are fun to ride and give you a lot of freedom when you ride them. However, many motorcyclists in Palm Coast and Daytona Beach, FL, experience collisions with larger vehicles like trucks, vans, and cars.

Here at Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our attorneys have extensive legal knowledge to help you get legal compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. We understand the basics and challenges involved in comparative negligence in a motorcycle accident.

What is Comparative Negligence?

In a motorcycle accident, most people constantly pin the blame on the person operating the motorcycle due to stereotypes associated with motorcyclists. When you file a motorcycle accident insurance claim or lawsuit, you can receive a payout to help you recover from your injuries.

However, the accident has to be examined to determine who was at fault and at what percentage. This is where comparative negligence comes in.

Comparative negligence is a rule of law in Florida that assesses the parties involved in a motorcycle accident. A judge or jury allocates a percentage of their fault based on the evidence presented.

The percentage of fault totals 100%, and every party at fault is assigned a certain percentage. For instance, a judge can hold the plaintiff at 30% fault for injuries and damages suffered, and state that the defendant is 70% at fault, totaling 100% responsibility.

What About the Above 50 Rule?

An "above 50" law states that if a plaintiff is 51% or more liable for their injuries, they are not entitled to any compensation from the defendant.

While most states use the "above 50" rule for comparative negligence cases, Florida does not.

Pure Comparative Negligence

Florida uses the pure comparative negligence rule for personal injury cases like motorcycle accidents. Pure comparative negligence allows the claimant to collect damages that are equal to their percentage of fault.

Even if the plaintiff is determined to be 99% at fault, they can claim damages for the 1% they weren't at fault.

For example, John and Peter are involved in a motorcycle accident. If John was found to be 80% at fault for reckless driving, and Peter was found to be 20% at fault for distracted driving, John could still recover 20% of his damages.

How Fault is Determined in a Motorcycle Accident

Determining fault in a motorcycle accident can be complicated. Most of the time, riders and other parties involved blame each other for causing the collision. Fault and negligence in a motorcycle accident are calculated the same as a car accident.

One is required to observe and maintain traffic rules and always to keep a safe distance. You are also required to wear a helmet to decrease the impact of head injuries. Riding recklessly, at top speeds, and changing lanes in an unsafe manner will put you at fault. You might end up losing any compensation from the defendant.

Let the Attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau Help

Proving negligence in a motorcycle accident is complicated. What's worse, there is a possibility of a countersuit which can leave you with no compensation for injuries and damages suffered. It's imperative to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you in court and fight diligently for the rightful compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation about the basics of your motorcycle accident. You can also reach our Daytona Beach office by phone at (386) 258-7313.

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Attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau has been serving Floridians in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas since 1976. With three attorneys and two locations, we have the resources to help you after an accident or injury. We are proud of our many achievements, including inclusion in:

  • America's Top 100 Attorneys
  • The National Trial Attorneys Top 100 List
  • Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite

For more information about our legal services, contact our firm online or call (386) 258-7313 today.

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