Motorcycle Accident FAQs

The answer depends on who has the “Right of Way.” Each state has rules of the road laws to make it clear what each person’s obligation is when proceeding through an intersection.

If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in a left turn motorcycle accident, you need the help of an attorney to know what your rights are. Contact Washington Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at MaxPower Law today.

Right of way in Washington State?

Washington state statute RCW 46.61.185 states that any driver intending to turn left at an intersection “shall yield the right of way” to any oncoming vehicle approaching from the opposite direction that is an immediate hazard.

However, the right is not absolute. The duty to exercise ordinary care to avoid collisions at intersections rests upon both drivers. It is the left-turning driver’s primary duty and responsibility to maintain “a fair margin of safety at all times.”

What does this mean in the real world? Liability for a left-hand turn would usually rest on the driver making that turn as long as that driver does NOT have a green arrow traffic signal. The motorcycle must have the primary right of way, for example, at a green light.

What evidence do you need to prove a motorcycle is not at fault in a left turn accident?

If the other driver admits fault, that is usually enough evidence. If the other driver believes he had the right of way, other evidence will help determine who’s at fault. Evidence to support the determination of which party was responsible for the accident often includes:

  • Photos of the scene of the accident and vehicle damage
  • Witness statements
  • Surveillance video from nearby businesses
  • Testimony from drivers and passengers
What should you do if the other driver is disputing fault?

Left turn motorcycle accidents are the most common type of accident riders face. The injuries from these accidents are often serious and severe. When the other driver is blaming the motorcycle rider it’s time to speak with an experienced motorcycle Accident Attorney.

If you or someone you care about was hurt in a left turn motorcycle accident, contact MaxPower Law at 425-970-9300 for a free consultation.

Washington law requires riders to have a valid motorcycle license (endorsement).

However, your lack of a valid motorcycle endorsement does not automatically mean you have no rights following accident. You may still have rights to make claims for your bike damage and injuries depending on the circumstances of how the accident happened.

Who caused the motorcycle accident?

If the accident was less than 100 percent your fault, then Washington State’s comparative negligence laws permit you to recover damages. If the accident was 100 percent your fault, then you may be out of luck and barred from recovering damages.

In Washington, any recovery you get can be reduced by the percentage of fault you have for causing the accident. In other words, you can file a claim, but if you were 25 percent at fault, then your damages award will be reduced by 25 percent. This is true even if you had a valid motorcycle endorsement.

The other driver will have to prove that your lack of a valid motorcycle endorsement caused in whole or part of the accident. This can be difficult and often depends on the experience level of the rider.

How do you prove the other driver was at fault?

You’ll have to show the other driver was doing something negligent that lead to the accident happening. Common examples of negligence in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Failure to yield right of way by left turning vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Following too closely
  • DUI – Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving too fast for the conditions

Evidence needs to be collected to prove negligence. Types of evidence that should be collected:

  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Photos of damage to all vehicles involved
  • Police report
  • Witness statements
  • Surveillance video from nearby businesses
  • Testimony from drivers and passengers

If you can show the other driver was at fault, at least partially at fault, then you may be able to successfully recover compensation for your bike damage and injuries.

How can you get help from a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Even if you believe that the other driver was 100% at fault, an insurance company may try to pin the responsibility for the accident on you based on the fact that you didn’t have a motorcycle endorsement / license at the time of crash. When this happens, more often than not, your only hope of recovery requires the help of an experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney.

For assistance with your motorcycle accident call the MaxPower Law team at 425-970-9300.

Yes, Yes, Yes! Motorcycle insurance is not required in Washington state. However, we highly recommend you buy it and make sure you have as much Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage as possible.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage is insurance designed to protect you and your family against vehicles that have too little or no insurance coverage.  Many cars on Washington state roadways do not buy enough auto insurance to cover all the damages caused in a car accident, let alone a motorcycle accident where injuries are often catastrophic.

If you’re seriously injured in a motorcycle accident your ER and hospital bills can quickly exceed the Washington state minimum insurance requirements of 25,000.  A trip to the ER with broken bones or a serious head injury can easily cost over $50,000. If you require surgery and a week or more days in the hospital your medical bills can quickly be over $250,000.

When the driver that caused the motorcycle accident does not have enough insurance, your UIM coverage is design to step in and supplement the at-fault party’s insurance.  It’s designed to be an additional layer of protection for you and your family.

For example, assume you’re seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and suffer a broken wrist and broken leg which both require surgery to repair at Harborview Medical Center and you have to stay in the hospital for 10 days.  You could easily have $300,000 in hospital bills and likely will miss three months of work resulting in significant lost wages.

If you have UIM insurance with a limit of $500,000 and the at-fault driver only had $25,000 of liability insurance, then the at-fault driver’s insurance will likely pay its policy limits of $25,000 to you. (Assuming you have no fault in the accident.)  At that point your UIM insurance will step in and be responsible for paying the remaining medical bills, lost wages, other out-of-pocket expense, and fairly compensate you for all other harms and losses.

Please note this differs from Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, which covers you if the at-fault driver has no insurance or leaves the scene of the accident.

If you’re in a serious motorcycle accident and don’t know if there’s adequate insurance to pay your medical bills, you should call an experienced Washington Motorcycle Accident attorney now to learn more about your legal rights. Call the MaxPower Law team now at 425-970-9300.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

When an accident happens, your number one question is “how will I pay all these medical bills?” We’re here to lift the burden during a catastrophe and are committed to providing the support and peace of mind when you need it most, to figure out the best way to avoid financial ruin.

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