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.

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Who is at Fault in Most Kent Motorcycle Accidents?

Posted Friday, October 14, 2022 by Chris Thayer

In most cases, it does not matter who was at fault for a motorcycle accident. There is a difference between fault, which is a preliminary determination, and liability, which is a final determination, just like there is a difference between a halftime score and a final score. An investigator, often an insurance adjuster, determines fault based solely on the evidence immediately available at the scene. A jury determines liability, or legal responsibility for damages, based not only on all evidence but also on applicable legal theories.

Frequently, often because of aggressive driving or driver impairment, four-wheel vehicle operators do not see cyclists in a sea of pickups, SUVs, and other large vehicles. If the other driver was legally responsible for damages, which is usually the case, a Kent personal injury attorney can obtain substantial compensation for victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

*First Party Liability* Driver error causes over 98% of motorcycle wrecks in Washington. Defective products, such as defective brakes or tires, cause most of the other 2%. Generally, this driver error is:

Sometimes, the motorcycle rider and vehicle operator are partially at fault for a crash. Washington is a pure comparative fault state. If a tortfeasor (negligent driver) is only 1% responsible for a wreck, a Kent personal injury lawyer can still obtain a proportionate share of compensation.

Other car crash defenses include sudden emergency and last clear chance. Comparative fault usually shifts some of the blame. These defenses, if they apply, shift all of the blame.

*Third-Party Liability* Individuals are liable (legally responsible) for wrecks. Frequently, third parties are financially responsible for compensation.

Respondeat superior employer liability is a good example. This theory usually applies in taxi driver, Uber driver, and other commercial operator collisions. Employers are responsible for damages if their employees were negligent during the course and scope of their employment.

Washington law defines key terms, like “employee,” in broad, victim-friendly ways. For example, Uber drivers are normally independent contractors for most purposes. However, these drivers are usually employees for negligence purposes.

Other vicarious liability theories in motorcycle wrecks include negligent entrustment owner liability and dram shop alcohol provider liability.

*Reach Out to a Thorough King County Attorney* Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Kent, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.