Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers

When Is a Motorcycle Rider Liable for a Traffic Accident?

Motorcycle rider falling off bike at intersection

A motorcycle is a joy ride; any motorcycle rider will testify to feeling a deep sense of freedom when they get on the two-wheeled drive. Riding a bike also has several mental and health benefits. For example, it helps develop a positive outlook in life and improves cognitive function.

Riding a motorcycle also improves core and neck strength and helps to burn calories. But sadly, as beneficial as riding a bike is, it also has devastating consequences when an accident happens. Traffic accidents involving motorcycles happen for different reasons, and one of them is when riders throw caution to the wind.

A motorcycle rider does this when they ride recklessly and engage in dangerous behavior on the road. This article looks at when a motorcycle rider is responsible for a traffic accident. If a motorcyclist causes an accident you’re involved in, our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers at Calvin Smith Law can help you get compensation. Contact us today.

When Will a Motorcycle Rider Be at Fault for a Traffic Accident? 

When an auto-motorcycle collision happens, most people assume that the car driver is at fault. But, admittedly, a motor vehicle driver would likely be the fault party in collisions of this nature. One of such instances is where the motorist is distracted, failed to yield, or opened their car door into a lane.

However, there are instances where the car driver would not be the responsible party. It simply means that a motorcycle rider can be the fault party for an accident. This happens where the motorcycle rider speeds, fails to yield, makes turns illegally, or dangerously weaves in and out of traffic.

Left-turn accidents are one common type of traffic collision where the motorcycle rider would be the liable party. This crash type happens mostly at intersections where bikers attempt to pass cars making a left turn. In such a situation, the motorcyclist would be liable for any accident resulting from such action.

Another example of where a motorcycle rider would be liable for an accident is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So, suppose a drunk motorcyclist runs a red light at an intersection. A car with the right of way then strikes the bike, and the impact sends it into another vehicle. Again, the motorcycle rider would be liable to a third-party action because their negligent act caused the accident.

How Do You Prove the Motorcycle Rider’s Fault? 

Proving the fault of a motorcycle rider is the same as that of a car driver. This is because all accident cases result from the negligent actions of the at-fault party. Thus, to prove the motorcycle rider’s fault, you must establish:

Duty of Care:

Bikers like car drivers owe road users a duty of care. This duty mandates them to ride carefully and in a way that will not endanger other people on the roadway.

Breach of Duty:

Next, you have to show that the motorcycle rider breached the duty of care by engaging in an act that caused the accident. An excellent example of a breached duty is causing an accident when impaired or running a red light.


You also need to prove that the accident caused your injuries. There are instances where a person might get involved in a solo accident before the one they’re claiming for. Then they’ll try to get compensation for their injuries in a claim arising from the second accident. This is wrong, and the claim would likely fail once the fault party proves that your injuries came from the earlier crash. So, you need to link your wounds to the accident you’re claiming for.


Lastly, you must show that you suffered losses from the accident. These losses are medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, etc.

How Do Motorcycle Riders Pay Compensation? 

Under Georgia law, a motorcycle rider must have motorcycle insurance to operate the two-wheeled drive legally. Below is the minimum coverage a motorcyclist should have.

  • $25,000 liability insurance per person for injuries or death
  • $50,000 per accident for injuries or death
  • $25,000 in property damage liability insurance per accident

When the motorcyclist is the fault party in the traffic accident, they will use either of the above to compensate the victim. The settlement covers economic and non-economic damages.

Let Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Calvin Smith Law Help You!

At Calvin Smith Law, our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys will help you prove the motorcyclist’s fault and get you maximum compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us until we win. Call today to schedule a free case review.

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