Responsibility for compensating an injured accident victim is based on the legal principle of negligence. Conduct that deviates from an accepted standard of care so as to place others in jeopardy of harm is characterized as negligence. Examples of driver negligence might include a speeding driver who is unable to stop in time to avoid a collision with another vehicle, a distracted driver looking at a cell phone instead of watching the road and a motorist whose failure to yield the right-of-way causes a motorcycle accident.
Negligence on the part of the injured operator of a motorcycle does not necessarily prevent that person from recovering damages against a negligent motorist in Texas. State law apportions liability in motor vehicle accidents according to the percentage of negligent conduct of the parties involved in the accident.
For example, a speeding motorcyclist who is unable to stop in time to avoid a car making an illegal turn into the path of the motorcycle might be able to sue for compensation for injuries suffered in the accident. The amount the injured rider could recover from the other driver would be reduced by the percentage of fault the court or the jury places on the fact that the motorcycle was exceeding the speed limit.
There is a limit to the ability of a negligent rider to recover damages in a motorcycle accident where there is both a negligent driver and a negligent accident victim. If the negligence of the injured rider is greater than 50 percent, then he or she cannot recover damages.
Negligence as it pertains to personal injury claims is a complex area of the law. This post is intended as an informative overview, but it should not be relied upon on legal advice. Legal advice about motorcycle accident injuries should only be obtained from a personal injury attorney.