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What are the rights of the victim of a motorcycle accident?

One of the attractions that comes with riding a motorcycle is the feeling of freedom that bike riders experience. At the same time, what provides this feeling of freedom is also the reason why bike riders are at a higher risk of suffering severe injuries or even dying in an accident than other vehicle operators -- things like the lack of substantial protection and the decreased visibility due to the size of a bike. Louisiana motorcyclists have important legal rights when involved in a motorcycle accident.

Just as in the case of other accidents, negligence must be proved as the root cause of the accident for a personal injury claim to be successful. In cases where a motorcyclist contributed to the fault, no damages can be awarded by the court. On the other hand, comparative negligence principles may lead to a situation where the court calculates the degree of fault attributed to the plaintiff and then uses that in the calculation of the damages that should be paid to the plaintiff.

Some motorcycle accidents are caused by what is known as a speed wobble. This means that the motorbike's front end begins to shake when traveling at a high speed and may lead to the manufacturer being held financially liable in a product liability claim. Product liability claims can either be due to a design defect or a fault in the manufacturing. In the case of a design defect, the design of the bike is faulty, leading to the possibility of accidents resulting in serious injuries. A manufacturing defect means that when the bike was manufactured, changes from the original design led to the bike not being as safe as it should be.

Louisiana victims of a motorcycle accident should consider obtaining legal advice in order to establish what their legal position is. A free first consultation allows for a review of a possible claim, as well as the steps to take. Hereafter, victims can decide if they want to file a personal injury claim to recover damages arising from the accident.

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview", , Sept. 7, 2014

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The Law Offices of W.A. “Chip” Forstall, Jr.

Chip Forstall
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New Orleans, LA 70119

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