Every year, thousands of riders are hurt or lose their lives in motorcycle accidents. In 2020 alone, over 180,000 riders were treated for injuries across the US. Motorcyclists are especially at risk of accidents, such as slip incidents, during the icy winter months.
When motorcyclists are involved in snowy motorcycle accidents, they need to know how to protect their rights and whether they will be held liable. Thus, if you are a motorcycle rider, it is important to understand what to do if such an incident ever happens.
Are you unfamiliar with your rights under Utah law? Do you need help determining fault in a personal injury case? Siegfried & Jensen motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help you. This blog post will help you understand how fault is determined in a motorcycle slip accident involving snow or ice.
Factors Influencing Liability in a Motorcycle Fall Accident
Suppose a motorcyclist slips on snow, loses traction, and falls along with his or her motorcycle. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help hold the right party responsible for the rider’s injuries.
Motorcycle accidents are not always clean-cut. Thus, motorcycle accident lawyers must uncover all contributing factors to determine who is liable for a single motorcyclist snow accident.
Knowing these points can help motorcyclists understand how a personal injury claim works. The factors below can help you determine whether your accident happened due to someone else’s negligence.
State negligence laws
In cases of pure contributory negligence, plaintiffs are not entitled to receive damages if they are proven to be even 1 percent at fault. Comparative negligence splits the fault for an accident between the parties involved based on their degrees of negligence. This means compensation may be reduced depending on the percentage of fault on the part of the plaintiff and defendant.
There are two subdivisions of comparative negligence:
- Pure comparative negligence: Do you live in a state with pure comparative negligence laws in place? If so, you may be eligible to receive compensation regardless of how much fault you share for the accident.
- Modified comparative negligence: What if you contributed to the accident? Can you still receive compensation? The answer depends on where your accident took place. Some states have modified comparative negligence laws. In these states, such as Utah, plaintiffs cannot receive damages if they are judged to be 50 percent (or 51 percent) at fault or higher.
Depending on the state you live in, you may have to share liability for a motorcycle accident. To learn more about the negligence laws in your state, contact one of our motorcycle accident lawyers.
Personal responsibility as a motorcycle rider
All drivers have a personal responsibility to maintain caution on the icy roads during the winter. If a motorcycle rider slips on the snow, his or her contribution to the accident becomes an important consideration.
After you file a claim, a motorcycle accident lawyer or the insurance companies may consider the following:
- Was the motorcycle rider wearing proper protective gear?
- Did the rider follow all traffic laws, including speed limits and winter driving regulations?
- Was the motorcyclist aware of specific areas prone to icy patches, and did he or she take extra care to avoid those areas?
- Did the motorcyclist adapt his or her riding style, such as using gentle turns, to account for the reduced stability on snow or ice?
Property owner or government liability
Another key factor in determining liability is road maintenance. Those responsible for maintaining the road where the motorcycle accident occurred may also be liable.
However, complications can arise in cases involving government-maintained roads or property. You may run into governmental immunity issues when seeking compensation for your injuries.
In view of these potential complications, it is always ideal to consult an experienced attorney before filing a claim or lawsuit. Motorcycle accident lawyers can help you after an accident on government-owned property.
Weather conditions at the time of the accident
Many places in the US experience harsh winter weather and regular snowfall. If the weather on the day of the accident was extreme and unpredictable, this could be taken into consideration. Still, extreme weather is no excuse for property owners to neglect the roads they are responsible for maintaining.
In several states, owners have to put in place safety precautions in response to changing weather conditions. If a property owner is negligent in this way, he or she may be held liable for a weather-related accident.
Motorcycle insurance policies and coverage
Motorcycle riders need to be familiar with the terms of their insurance policies. Most include coverage of accidents caused by weather conditions. But there are limits on how much in damages you can receive.
Be sure to review your insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage for accidents related to snow or ice. Also, seek the insight of a motorcycle accident lawyer to find out how to maximize your compensation.
How Can I Recover Damages?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, there are some challenges you may face with your personal injury claim.
Many stigmas that could be working against you. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to automatically assume that a motorcycle rider is responsible for an accident. The property owner’s lawyer or the insurance companies may try to dismiss your claim or reduce your compensation.
Even if the insurance company questions your claim, a lawyer can help you prove the circumstances of the accident. The right lawyer can help you prove that you were an invited guest on the premises or that the property owner neglected to address known hazards.
Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At Siegfried & Jensen, we understand that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road – especially during Utah’s snowy and icy winters. But you may still be eligible for legal reparation in the event of a slip accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle slip accident caused by snow, ice, or even something else, Siegfried & Jensen are here to help. We believe that holding responsible parties accountable is the best way to protect families and our community.
In our 30+ years of helping Utah residents receive compensation, we have recovered over $1.2 billion for our clients. Our motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to answer your questions, evaluate your case, and even fight for you in court. Contact us at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case review or fill in the online contact form.
Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.