Who Is Most Often at Fault in Wisconsin Motorcycle Crashes?

In Wisconsin, you may seek compensation for medical bills and other losses after a motorcycle wreck if you can show someone else caused it. Thus, determining fault after a Wisconsin motorcycle crash is essential.

Who is most often to blame in these circumstances? Who’s at fault in a Wisconsin motorcycle crash depends on various factors.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Wisconsin Motorcycle Wrecks?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle wrecks involve a motorist turning into the path of a motorcyclist. In these circumstances, it may seem obvious that the motorist who turned into a motorcyclist’s path is at fault.

That may be the case. However, as the NHTSA points out, motorcyclist riders must also exercise caution. Knowing they’re vulnerable on the road, motorcyclists must anticipate circumstances in which other drivers may not see them.

Other relevant facts and points from the NHTSA include:

  • Alcohol plays a role in nearly half of all fatal motorcycle crashes.
  • Nearly one-third of motorcycle operators who lose their lives in crashes lack the proper licenses to operate motorcycles.
  • Sixty-seven percent of motorcycle fatalities occur in urban areas.
  • Only 35 percent of motorcycle wrecks occurred at intersections.
  • About 75 percent of motorcycle crashes involving two vehicles involve vehicles striking motorcycles from the front. Only eight percent involve rear-end collisions.
  • Fatal motorcycle crashes involving collisions with fixed objects are significantly more common than other types of vehicle collisions with fixed objects.
  • Thirty-three percent of motorcyclists involved in crashes are speeding when wrecks occur. Comparatively, only about 22 percent of car drivers are found to be speeding when crashes happen.

Data such as this indicates that multiple parties can be at fault in Wisconsin motorcycle crashes. Even if larger vehicles have greater potential to cause serious damage, motorcyclists must also be cautious to avoid harm on the road.

How Wisconsin’s Contributory Negligence Law May Affect Fault in a Motorcycle Wreck Case

The above points indicate how some motorcycle crashes can involve a degree of shared fault. For example, perhaps a motorcycle crash occurred because a driver turned into a motorcyclist’s path without checking for their presence.

The motorist who turned into a motorcyclist’s path without checking may primarily be at fault in this scenario. However, perhaps evidence shows the motorcyclist could have stopped in time to avoid a collision.

They may have failed to do so because they weren’t paying attention to the road. Or, maybe their injuries are more severe than they could have been because they weren’t wearing safety gear at the time of the crash.

Wisconsin’s contributory negligence law may apply in this situation. According to this law, a crash victim can seek compensation even when they are partially to blame for a wreck. They can seek compensation as long as someone else is at fault to a greater degree than they are. However, the amount of compensation they receive may depend on how much blame they share for their injuries.

Perhaps the motorcyclist is determined to be 20 percent at fault. That means the most compensation they could receive would be 80 percent of their total compensable losses.

Contact a Wisconsin Motorcycle Crash Lawyer

Determining who is at fault in a Wisconsin motorcycle wreck may require conducting an investigation. That’s one of many tasks an Oshkosh, Wisconsin, motorcycle crash lawyer at Sparr, Belville & Brown, LLC can handle on your behalf. Learn more about how we may help with your case by contacting us online or calling us at (920) 236-3838 for a free case review.