It may sound strange to consider that a motorcycle could cause a larger vehicle to crash, but it does happen. Often, but not always, accidents between a motorcycle and a car where the motorcycle was at fault are near-miss accidents, where one vehicle forces the other into a collision without actually hitting it. This type of accident is frequently caused by reckless riding behaviors, like lane-splitting or excessive speeding. A motorcyclist who causes a car to crash may be liable for the injuries of its occupants.
Because proving fault in this type of accident can sometimes be difficult, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as you are able to. There is a limited amount of time to preserve certain types of evidence, particularly physical evidence from where the crash happened such as tire tracks in the road.
When is a Motorcyclist At-Fault for a Car Accident?
Just like drivers, motorcyclists have a duty to ride in a reasonably safe manner so as to avoid causing danger to others. It can be easy for riders to forget that they can create a danger for cars just as cars can create a danger for them. Although there are many ways negligent motorcyclists may cause car accidents, some common causes include:
- Lane-splitting – Lane-splitting is when a motorcyclist chooses to ride between two lanes, cutting through the narrow space between vehicles. This can prevent motorcyclists from being rear-ended in congested traffic, but is dangerous at higher speeds in free-flowing traffic, particularly when the rider is going significantly faster than other traffic. The motorcyclist need only veer slightly off course to either collide with a vehicle or force a driver out of his lane.
- Skipping the line – People at busy intersections may try to take advantage of their bike’s small size by squeezing through traffic to get closer to the front. Drivers generally are not expecting this, and the sudden presence of a motorcycle where it should not be can cause accidents when startled drivers abruptly maneuver to avoid it.
- Group recklessness – While most groups who ride together do so with safety in mind, others appear to treat the road and everyone on it as part of their own personal obstacle course. While a single rider weaving in and out of traffic is capable of causing an accident, this is even more likely if there are multiple motorcyclists doing so at once. Drivers simply cannot keep track of multiple speeding or swerving riders and are more likely to be forced into an accident by someone they could not see until it was too late.
- Loss of control – When a careless rider loses control due to excessive speed or other problems, he may cause an accident as other cars seek to avoid him.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by a careless motorcyclist, it is important that you speak to an attorney without delay. Proving the rider’s liability can be a challenge, so an investigation will need to begin quickly to maximize the available evidence.
Call a Wisconsin Auto Accidents Attorney
Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. is skilled at proving liability in even the most complex motor vehicle accidents. Our Appleton auto accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to help you prove your case and recover compensation. Call 920-739-7366 for a free consultation.