Motorcycle Passenger Rights: Do I Have a Lawsuit if I Was a Passenger in a Motorcycle Accident in Indiana?

June 29, 2016 | Motorcycle Accidents

If you are a passenger on a motorcycle that gets into an accident, you likely sustained some serious or even life-threatening injuries. Depending on the specifics of the crash, a passenger might have the ability to recover accident damages against the motorcycle operator or other vehicle that was involved.

Passenger Injury Where the Motorcycle is the Only Vehicle Involved in the Indianapolis Accident

Where the motorcycle is the only vehicle involved in the accident, the passenger’s claim is typically against the motorcycle operator. However, it could also be against the motorcycle maker and/or a governmental agency.

As in any negligence case, the individual bringing the insurance claim needs to be able to show two things in order to win the case: who was at fault (liability) and how badly they were injured (damages).

There are two primary causes of one-vehicle motorcycle mishaps:

  • The motorcyclist negligently crashes or strikes an object such as a tree or a highway barrier wall;
  • The motorcycle crashes or hits something because of a mechanical problem or fault in the motorcycle. In these instances, where there is a mechanical defect or issue with the road or surrounding signs, an injured traveler likely has an insurance claim against the motorcycle manufacturer, the governmental agency or both.

Two-Vehicle Motorcycle Accidents in Indianapolis

A two-vehicle motorbike accident can occur even when the motorbike does not really hit another vehicle such as when a vehicle cuts off the path of the bike in traffic and causes the motorcyclist to crash. In that case, the car driver is most likely liable for any damages owed to the motorcyclist and any traveler.

What Should a Motorcycle Passenger Do After a Marion County Accident?

  • Police: The first thing for a motorcyclist or his passenger to do is to contact the regional authorities for help. The authorities can create an incident report of the accident and can request medical support to the scene.
  • Information: A motorcycle passenger needs to then get the names and contact information of all of the witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can be critical in a motorcycle crash claim.
  • Photographs: The third thing an Indianapolis motorcycle accident passenger should do is, take photos. If you have a still photo camera or video camera (most cell phones now have the camera feature), take numerous photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved in the accident. Photograph or video as many angles as you can before you leave the scene. If you do not have a camera, ask if anybody else has a camera and can email you the pictures.

Indianapolis Motorcycle Passenger Injuries

Due to the severe nature of motorcycle accidents, a passenger will likely sustain severe injury even in a small accident including:

  • Road rash
  • Concussion
  • Brain Injury
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Skin abrasions

Marion County Passengers Injured in Motorcycle Accidents

On a per mile basis, motorcyclists are around 16 times more likely than the passengers of an automobile to suffer deadly injuries in an accident, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [1] (NHTSA). According to the Centers for Disease Control [2] (CDC), nearly 200,000 people are treated in emergency centers each year for injuries suffered while riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists have a 4 times higher risk of suffering injuries. Head injury is the leading reason for disability or casualty in motorbike crashes, highlighting the importance for both a motorcyclist and their passenger to wear a helmet while riding.

Contact an Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you were a passenger who was injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak to an Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Any motorcycle accident can result in serious and life-long injuries making it important for the victim to receive all of the compensation to which they are entitled. At the Fountain Law Firm, P.C., Merry Fountain has helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses. Lawyer Merry Fountain is an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer who is ready to help you today by meeting in her office or in your home. Call Merry Fountain anytime at 1-888- 242-HURT (4878) for a free consultation.