When a car driver hits a motorcyclist it is obvious that he or she will be responsible for the biker’s injuries. This will likely involve insurance payouts and possibly a personal lawsuit. People are often confused, however, about the legal rights of an injured motorcycle passenger.
A motorcycle passenger is in a different legal situation than the person operating the bike. The passenger may not only sue a negligent car driver but may sue the person who he or she was riding with, if they were driving negligently. This is an important consideration when both the car driver and the motorcyclist share blame for a collision.
Every accident is different, and there may be many parties sharing responsibility. It is important for motorcycle passengers to understand that their legal rights and interests do not necessarily align with those of the biker’s.
Sometimes, the motorcycle passenger – or his or her surviving family – has no option but to pursue a claim against the motorcycle’s operator.
An example of this may be a recent fatal motorcycle accident in Queens on Grand Central Parkway. A 21-year-old male lost control of his motorcycle and his 20-year-old female passenger died.
The motorcyclist is purportedly responsible and could be held liable to the young woman’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: NY Post, “Woman Dies In Motorcycle Crash,” Natasha Velez, Aug. 12, 2014