The issue of how passenger accident injuries will be covered in the event of a motorcycle accident is a complicated one. A variety of different factors will impact whether or not you as the driver will be held liable.
A passenger who agrees to ride with you accepts some level of risk that an accident will occur while you are driving. In the case of passenger motorcycle injuries, usually the passenger is not at fault in the incident and is merely an innocent bystander. As such, the passenger will seek compensation for his or her injuries from another party.
The following three factors will influence how the passenger can acquire coverage:
The motorcyclist's vehicle insurance policy
Some motorcycle insurance policies include coverage for guest passenger liability. However, this is not automatically included in all policies.
You may have opted to forego guest passenger coverage on your policy if you felt that you were unlikely to ride with a passenger. However, motorcyclists without guest passenger coverage built in to their bodily injury liability coverage are taking a significant risk if they invite a passenger along.
You could be sued for injury damages by a passenger who rides along with you and be forced to pay out of pocket if your insurance will not provide the coverage.
Who is involved in the accident
If multiple drivers are involved in an accident, one of these drivers could be held liable for the injuries to your passenger. Of course, you need to prove another driver's negligence if you wish to avoid having to cover medical treatment costs yourself through your insurance or out of pocket.
The party determined "at fault" for the accident
The party judged to be at fault in an accident could be either you, the motorcyclist, or another motorist involved in the accident.
In addition, a motorcycle manufacturer is sometimes held liable for injury coverage for a guest passenger. If the accident in question occurred because of a defect with the motorcycle, a lawsuit can be filed seeking compensation from the manufacturer.
In rarer instances, a passenger could be judged liable for an accident if he or she was distracting you while you drove the motorcycle or otherwise inhibiting you from operating the motorcycle properly.
If you are being forced to cover accident injuries for a guest passenger and you feel that the passenger was responsible, you will probably need to seek the advice of a motorcycle accident attorney to avoid being held liable.
To learn more, contact a company like Scherline And Associates.