Passenger in motorcycle accident may have to claim against family member

September 02, 2014, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The Waterloo Region Record recently reported that two residents from Kitchener were in hospital recovering from serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident.  The motorcycle they were both riding on struck a car in Wilmot Township on Sunday August 31, 2014.  The motorcycle was heading westbound on Erbs Road.  The driver is reported to have crossed the centre line and hit an eastbound Ford car driven by a woman from Wellesley.  There was a passenger on the back of the motorcycle.  The female passenger was thrown from the motorcycle.  Both people on the motorcycle were taken to hospital with serious injuries. 

When you are a passenger injured in an accident, whether involving a car or motorcycle or other vehicle, you are generally not at fault.  Fault will rest with one or both of the drivers of the vehicles.  Where you have an incident where liability or fault is not clear, then the passenger will have to consider bringing a claim against both drivers.  This includes the driver of the other vehicle.  More importantly, and perhaps most delicately, the driver of your vehicle could be a family member, friend or even a spouse.  This can certainly lead to some awkward situations.  However, as the passenger was seriously injured in the accident, through no fault of their own, they are the one that will have to suffer the consequences of the injuries sustained.   An injury in a car or motorcycle accident, for example, can have very serious consequences for the injured person’s future ability to earn an income and provide assistance with housekeeping and home maintenance tasks for example.  The reason that both drivers will have to be added is that liability sometimes is not clear.   Out of an abundance of caution, the passenger will name both drivers in order to ensure that the injured person’s right to fair compensation and damages for the injuries is not jeopardized.  Liability for the car or motorcycle accident may be shared between two parties, resulting in a percentage of liability falling on each driver.  If only one driver is named in the claim, then the injured person will only recover that percentage of damages equal to the percentage of liability assigned to the one defendant.  However, if you name all parties then you do not have to worry about the division of liability as you will have 100 percent compensation and damages, no matter how liability or fault is divided between the two drivers. It can be awkward and uncomfortable when considering whether you have to name someone known to you as a defendant in a claim.  Consult with our personal injury lawyer who can help advise you about your options and guide you through the process.  

Posted under Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Paraplegia, Personal Injury

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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