Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Breaking Down a Kent Motorcycle Accident Claim

Posted Friday, November 11, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Over the years, cars and trucks have advanced by leaps and bounds, especially in terms of safety. However, today’s motorcycles are not much different from the one Lawrence of Arabia rode when he died in a 1935 motorcycle accident. Additionally, even more than a century later, the facts surrounding Thomas Lawrence’s motorcycle wreck are still unclear. This uncertainty underscores the conflicting fact issues that affect many motorcycle crash claims in Washington.

Regardless of vehicle engineering, witness statements, or anything else, a Kent personal injury lawyer is committed to maximum compensation for motorcycle accident victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some extreme situations.

*What Causes Motorcycle Wrecks?* Driver error causes about 98% of motorcycle wrecks and other vehicle collisions in Washington. Normally, this driver error is:

A defective product, like a defective tire, causes most of the other 2% of the motorcycle wrecks in the United States.

*Establishing Liability* Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. This defect could be a design or manufacturing defect.

In driver error claims, a Kent personal injury attorney must establish negligence, ro a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.

Usually, the lack of care is a lack of ordinary care. Under Washington law, motorists have a duty of reasonable care. They must be at their best, mentally, physically, and otherwise, when they start their cars. Additionally, as they drive, they must avoid accidents whenever possible, not drive in such a way that increases the risk of a wreck.

The negligence per se doctrine, which is a lack of statutory care, applies in a few cases. If a tortfeasor violates a safety law and that violation substantially causes injury, the tortfeasor could be responsible for damages as a matter of law.

In both cases, a third party, like an employer or a commercial alcohol provider, could be financially responsible for the aforementioned damages.

*Possible Defenses* Comparative fault and the helmet defense are the two most common insurance company defenses in motorcycle crash claims.

Basically, comparative fault shifts blame for an accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. For example, an insurance company lawyer might admit the tortfeasor was intoxicated, and blame the wreck on the victim’s unsafe lane change. Washington law is quite complex in this area.

The helmet defense is even more complex. Washington is one of the few states with a universal helmet requirement. However, under R.C.W.A. § 46.61.688(6), that non-use may not be admissible in court, at least for the purposes of reducing or denying compensation.

*Reach Out to a Diligent King County Attorney* Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Bellevue, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.