September 27, 2015

A lot of people assume that motorcyclists are not at fault when they are driving straight and drivers turn left, cutting them off and causing accidents. While it’s true that this is one of the leading causes of motorcycle wrecks in Pennsylvania, and that motorcyclists are often not at fault, it’s important to know that they sometimes can be blamed. This is why establishing fault, officially, is so important.

The thing to keep in mind is that the biker also has some obligation to try to avoid the crash if possible. In many cases, it all happens so fast that the biker can’t get out of the way, but this is not always the case.

If a car turned left 50 feet in front of a bike, for instance, and the biker made no attempt to slow down or stop, he or she could also be blamed. It’s been said that most bikers can stop in about 40 feet in an emergency, and they should definitely try to do so.

Additionally, bikers can be blamed if they are speeding. Someone driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone may not have hit a left-turning car if he or she was going at the proper speed. In fact, some drivers say that they thought it was safe to turn because they assumed the bike was going slower than it actually was.

All of these factors must be considered by police and reconstruction teams. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, never assume you know where fault lies. Instead, look into how it is established and be sure you know everything you can about this crucial part of the legal process, which could significantly impact your ability to seek compensation.

Source: Motorcycle Safety Group, “CASE STUDY Left Turner in front of motorcyclist,” accessed Sep. 17, 2015