When a motorcycle passenger is injured or killed in an accident, who can be held financially responsible?
Where the accident involves another vehicle, the first place to look for recovery is the other driver. Everyone on the road has a duty not to create an unreasonable risk of danger to other drivers. And when a driver breaches that duty, causing injuries to another driver or their passengers, they can be held financially responsible for the other person’s injuries.
In a Houston motorcycle accident from January of this year, the rider was injured and a passenger was killed when the motorcycle slammed into the back of a van.
But when a motorcycle passenger is injured in an accident that doesn’t involve another vehicle, who is responsible for the passenger’s injuries? If the accident happened because the driver was negligent, the passenger may have a cause of action against the rider. For instance, if the rider causes the accident by going too fast for conditions, passes against a double-yellow line or fails to properly maintain the motorcycle, the rider may be financially responsible for the passenger’s injuries.
There is also the possibility that both the rider and the driver of another vehicle are responsible for causing the motorcycle passenger’s injuries. Where both are negligent, leading to the passenger’s injuries, how much of the liability will be apportioned to each defendant depends on their degree of fault.
Under Texas personal injury law, when multiple parties are legally responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries, a defendant who is 50 or less at fault in an accident is responsible only to the extent that they were at fault. But a defendant who is more than 50 percent responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries can be held liable for all of the plaintiff’s injuries.
The question of liability for a passenger’s injuries in motorcycle accidents is complex and best handled by an experienced Sugar Land, TX motorcycle accident attorney who understands the intricacies of Texas personal injury law.
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