Who is at Fault in Motorcycle Accidents in Missouri?


When a motorcycle crashes with a car, the motorcyclist is almost always the more severely injured party. This is because the rider does not enjoy the level of protection that the driver or passenger in the vehicle has, even if they adhere to all laws, ride carefully, and wear protective gear.

Statistics show that most accidents in Missouri that involve a motorcycle and a car are caused by the negligence of the driver of the car. This means that however careful you are on your motorcycle, you may not be able to prevent getting in a crash.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Missouri, it is important to have a Schultz and Myers personal injury attorney by your side to help you maneuver the court process with ease. In any accident, regardless of the types of vehicles involved, the first thing courts do is investigate the incident and try to determine the party responsible. This, of course, is unless one of the parties accepts fault and agrees to pay for property damage and injuries.

Usually, it doesn’t go so smoothly and investigations have to be conducted to establish who is to be held responsible for the collision. The final decision is based on both the circumstances of the accident and state laws. State laws fall into one of these two theories of liability:

  • Comparative fault
  • No fault

In Missouri the comparative fault theory applies.

Comparative fault system

The comparative fault system can be broken down further into pure comparative fault, pure contributory fault, and modified comparative fault systems. In all three systems, fault is determined by reviewing factors such how fast the motorcyclist and the other vehicles involved in the crash were driving, road and weather conditions at the time of the accident, and whether any of the drivers was distracted or impaired in any way.

Missouri uses the pure comparative fault system.

The pure comparative fault system

In states that follow this system, the accident is investigated and each motorist’s contribution to the accident is determine and recorded as a percentage. Each driver is then compensated for the portion of the damage they did not cause. For instance, if John and Jane were involved in a motorcycle accident and it was found that John was 60% at fault and Jane 40%, then John will recover 40 percent of the damages and Jane 60. If the injuries and property damage were worth $20,000, the two parties will be awarded $8,000 and $12,000 respectively.

In many cases, it is only one of the motorists who is found to be at fault. Ensure you have an experienced attorney by your side to help you understand these laws and conduct independent investigations for you. It is not uncommon for the court or the other party’s insurance to be wrong with their inferences and calculations. A lawyer will throw in an appeal whenever they feel you are being exploited and fight to ensure you are awarded exactly what you deserve.

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