What if I Am Partly to Blame for My Motorcycle Accident?

December 7, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
What if I Am Partly to Blame for My Motorcycle Accident?

Some motorcycle accident victims believe they partly caused their motorcycle accident merely because an insurance company says they did. Often, the insurance company is wrong—either intentionally or unwittingly.

An insurance company may lack all the facts about the accident, leading the company to make the wrong conclusion about your accident. In other cases, an insurance company may intentionally blame a victim for financial reasons.

In either case, hiring a capable Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer can protect you from unfair allegations of fault.

Your Attorney Will Ensure That the Insurance Company Has All the Facts and Evidence

What if I Am Partly to Blame for My Motorcycle Accident

An insurance company may assign you fault for your accident merely because the insurer does not have all relevant facts or information.

Insurance companies may lack important information about your motorcycle accident because:

  • It relied too heavily on certain evidence: Certain evidence can be misleading. For example, a witness might claim that you caused a motorcycle accident, but that witness can be mistaken. If the insurance company puts too much stock in faulty evidence, it can derail the outcome of the investigation.
  • It investigated with bias: If the insurance company investigated your motorcycle accident with a predetermined narrative (namely, that you were at fault), this can lead insurance investigators to take shortcuts. An investigator might even intentionally avoid securing evidence that contradicts the insurer’s predetermined outcome. 
  • It did not conduct a comprehensive investigation: If an insurance company did not conduct a complete, thorough investigation for any reason, it may miss essential evidence. Even if the insurer has the best intentions, it may fall short of the investigative standards that your lawyer can uphold.
  • Certain evidence was not available to the insurance company: Not all evidence may be available at the time of the insurance company’s investigation. For instance, if your attorney uncovers video footage from a business’ security camera, it may be footage the insurance company did not uncover just after the accident.

Before an insurance company (or anyone else) can officially lay fault for a motorcycle accident, it must have all relevant information. Therefore, your lawyer will contest a premature or inaccurate decision.

Your attorney will ensure the insurance company has all the information it needs to accurately assign fault.

First, your lawyer must gather all relevant information for themselves, which may require:

  • Interviewing all witnesses to the motorcycle accident
  • Seeking video footage of the collision from dash cameras, security cameras, cell phones, and any other sources
  • Photographs of damage to the motorcycle, as well as any vehicles involved in the accident
  • Securing a copy of the police report that details the collision
  • Hiring an expert to reconstruct the accident (and assign fault)
  • Obtain any other evidence that is relevant to your case—especially if that evidence speaks to fault

A lawyer’s experience is invaluable when documenting a motorcycle accident and dealing with insurers. Don’t hesitate to ask for a motorcycle accident attorney’s help, as you alone may be no match for insurers.

Blaming the Motorcycle Accident Victim Is a Common Negotiating Tactic by Insurers

The question of fault is critical to every motorcycle accident case. If you face accusations of fault for the accident, it affects whether insurance covers your losses, how much insurance coverage you are entitled to, and whether you can sue liable parties for your damages (or vice versa).

Insurance companies may also benefit greatly if you are at fault for the motorcycle accident. If you are the at-fault party, one or more insurers may not have to pay for your losses.

Ideally, every insurance company will deal with motorcycle accident victims in good faith. Unfortunately, not every insurance company does act with such good faith. Some insurers will knowingly blame the motorcycle accident victim if it benefits that company financially.

The Insurance Company May Use Several Other Bad-Faith Tactics Against You

Blaming you for your accident is just one of multiple bad-faith tactics you may encounter from insurers.

You may also face:

  • A lowball settlement offer: An insurance company may offer you a cheap settlement following your accident. You should recognize that auto accidents can cost the victim immensely, depending on the severity of your injuries. Insurers’ initial settlements are often insufficient to cover a motorcycle accident victim’s damages.
  • Pressure to accept the offer: Once the insurance company offers a lowball settlement, it may pressure you to accept. Among other pressure tactics, the insurance company may claim it will not offer you a better settlement, and you will receive one offer and one offer only. Don’t believe these claims, as a motorcycle accident attorney will negotiate further with the insurance company.
  • Delays in the claims process: If an insurance company drags its feet during the claims process, it may be attempting to pressure you. Knowing that you may be under financial stress, the insurer may hope that you’ll cave and accept its lowball settlement.

These are just three of the many potential bad-faith tactics insurance companies use. These tactics can be distressing and financially devastating—but only if you fail to protect yourself. The surest form of protection is hiring a motorcycle accident attorney.

How You Can Avoid Being Unjustly Blamed for Your Motorcycle Accident (Hire a Lawyer)

Your lawyer will immediately take over dealings with insurers.

A motorcycle accident attorney can ensure that you do not face unjust blame for your motorcycle accident by:

  • Making it clear to insurers that deception, pressure, or false allegations will not sway you 
  • Obtaining all available evidence related to the motorcycle accident
  • Reviewing all insurance policies that apply to your case
  • Helping you craft any necessary statement to provide insurers
  • Hiring any experts who can help establish that you are not at fault for the motorcycle accident

Every case is different, every insurer is different, and every insurance representative is different. Your attorney will respond appropriately to insurance companies, and the insurance company’s approach will dictate your lawyer’s response.

How Your Lawyer May Prove You Did Not Cause the Motorcycle Accident

Your lawyer must prove specifically that someone else caused the motorcycle accident, and may do so using:

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Video footage
  • The words of all motorists involved in the collision
  • Photographic evidence

Motorcyclists are heavily overrepresented in fatal traffic accidents because motorcyclists are difficult to see. Your attorney will work to prove that a motorist’s failure to see (or merely respect) you as a motorcyclist caused your accident.

What Will a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Do for Me?

Establishing fault is only one of a motorcycle accident lawyer’s many duties. Your attorney will also:

Handle All Paperwork and Communications

Motorcycle accident lawyers and their teams handle every aspect of clients’ cases.

Your lawyer will:

  • Draft all case-related documents and ensure accuracy
  • File all paperwork with appropriate parties (like an insurance company or court)
  • Review and respond to correspondence from insurers

Paperwork and communications are vital aspects of motorcycle accident cases. With your lawyer handling these duties, there should be no errors or delays.

Detail Damages from Your Motorcycle Accident

Attorneys must document their clients’ damages, as your lawyer will.

Proof of damages from your motorcycle accident may include:

  • Images of your injuries (including X-rays and MRIs)
  • Medical bills for accident-related care
  • Proof of lost income
  • Experts’ diagnoses of your pain and suffering
  • Invoices for temporary transportation, motorcycle repairs, and other property-related expenses

Your attorney will enter settlement negotiations with ample proof of your damages.

Every lawyer must know exactly how much their client’s motorcycle accident costs. Your attorney will research each of your damages, total their cost, and determine the value of a fair settlement.

Collaborate with Experts

One benefit of hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer is that a law firm can hire experts.

An expert may serve several purposes, including:

  • Testifying about who caused the motorcycle accident
  • Identifying future medical care needs, mental healthcare needs, and lost income
  • Helping your attorney calculate the exact monetary value of your damages

An expert’s opinion carries weight. When you hire an attorney, they will retain any experts who can strengthen your case.

Seek a Settlement for You

Lawyers typically try to settle motorcycle accident cases. A settlement is typically the quickest way for motorcyclists (or their loved ones) to obtain money. Your lawyer will not sacrifice fair compensation for speedy compensation, though.

After exhausting all negotiation opportunities with liable parties, your lawyer will evaluate the best offer you have received. If you and your lawyer agree that the settlement is not enough to cover your damages, you may move forward to court.

Complete a Trial, if Necessary

If going to trial is the appropriate course of action in your case, that is what your lawyer will do. Though trial comes with some risk and additional cost, many motorcycle accident lawyers have secured compensation for their clients by going to court.

Your Lawyer WIll Proceed to Fight for the Money You Deserve (Including for These Damages)

Your Lawyer WIll Proceed to Fight for the Money You Deserve

Your lawyer will create a detailed record of your damages accompanied by the financial value of each. This record may include:

Medical Costs

Motorcycle accidents commonly lead to head injuries, which can often be catastrophic.

Whether you suffer a head injury or other health conditions, your lawyer will seek compensation for:

  • Any emergency transport you received from the accident scene
  • Emergency medical services
  • Surgery
  • Hospital services
  • Medications
  • All other accident-related medical items and services

Your attorney will work with qualified medical experts to identify your healthcare needs and value the cost of your treatment.

Pain and Suffering

Motorcycle accident victims are entitled to fair compensation for pain and suffering, which may include:

  • Psychological distress
  • Emotional anguish
  • Physical pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other conditions diagnosed by mental health professionals
  • Lost quality of life
  • Sleep problems
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Your lawyer will also determine the cost of treating these kinds of symptoms.

Property Damage

Your attorney will demand that liable parties cover motorcycle repairs or the replacement of a totaled motorcycle. You should also receive money for repairing or replacing clothing, accessories, personal electronics, and any other property damaged during your accident.

Professional Harm

When motorcycle accident victims can’t work as they normally do (due to injuries), they may:

  • Lose income 
  • Lose earning power (which can happen if a motorcycle accident victim returns to work in a diminished capacity)
  • Miss performance bonuses
  • Lose status (which may negatively affect your progress toward promotions and other career milestones)
  • Lose the psychological and emotional benefits of working

Attorneys regularly represent clients who are unable to work. Your lawyer will know how to calculate the complete cost of your professional damages.

A Loved One’s Wrongful Death

Tragically, as many as 5,500 motorcyclists (or more) have died in a single year due to traffic accidents.

Motorcycle accident lawyers represent the family members affected by these fatal accidents, seeking compensation for:

  • Your pain and suffering, including grief
  • Any pain and suffering the decedent experienced before their passing
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of a spouse’s companionship
  • Loss of a parent’s guidance
  • Loss of the decedent’s handiwork, security, financial services, and other contributions to their household
  • Loss of the decedent’s income

Each victim of a motorcycle accident is a unique person. Whether the victim survives their collision or passes away, it is an attorney’s job to determine what victims have lost because of the accident.

You deserve to focus on your physical and psychological health, and hiring a lawyer will ensure that you can.

Can I Afford a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

You can afford to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. Most attorneys in this space use contingency fees, which means the firm only receives a fee if it wins for you. The fee will come from your settlement or judgment rather than your bank account.

Do not wait to hire a Las Vegas personal injury attorney for your case, as they may face an upcoming deadline to file it. Get a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation to ask all your questions and learn about your legal options.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.