Motorcycle accidents are common across Pennsylvania. When an accident occurs, the victims and their families can file a personal injury case to receive compensation for the injuries and damages. To do that, however, negligence needs to be shown on the part of the person who caused the accident. Motorcycle accident cases, and indeed, all personal injury claims are based on proving or showing negligence. Negligence is when someone causes harm to others through their actions. Personal injury claims involve duty of care, referring to the responsibility an individual has to not cause harm to others through their actions. For example, when driving, drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely as to not harm others. This means that all drivers should drive sober, stay alert, obey all traffic rules and laws, and not drive in an erratic manner. It is important to know that duty of care also extends to the entities that take care of the roads and highways in Pennsylvania and to manufacturers. Often, negligence is a complex issue to determine. In motorcycle accidents, the biker may have contributed to the circumstances that resulted in the crash. This is known as contributory negligence. Such contributory negligence is always factored into any motorcycle accident settlement. One example of contributory negligence is speeding. If the biker was speeding the defendant can claim that speed was a contributory cause to the severity of the crash. Contributory negligence can be illustrated through other examples. In a situation where a car is backing out of a driveway and it hits a motorcycle, the biker can be partially responsible if it is found that they were speeding. If contributory negligence is determined, then the final compensation award will be reduced to account for the contributory negligence of the plaintiff. A compensation award can be lessened if the plaintiff is found to be partially responsible by the accident. The award will be decreased by the percentage of fault of the plaintiff. For example, if the biker is found to be 10 percent responsible for the accident then the award would be reduced by 10 percent. A plaintiff’s contributory negligence is not a bar to seeking compensation for damages, as long as they are less negligent than the defendant. Pennsylvania follows a 51 percent comparative negligence rule. This means that if you are less than 51 percent responsible for the motorcycle accident you can still recover damages. At Melaragno, Placidi & Parini we stand behind you from start to finish to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, reach out and connect with the well-known and respected motorcycle accident attorneys at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini. You may have a right to recover funds for your medical expenses, other losses and possibly file a wrongful death lawsuit if the accident resulted in a fatality. Melaragno, Placidi & Parini know how to navigate the complicated legal process to obtain the compensation you deserve.