Can a motorcyclist be charged after a car crash?

In a collision between the driver of a car and a motorcyclist, there can be little doubt as to which party will emerge the worse for wear. Many in Massachusetts assume that a car crash is always the fault of the automobile driver, and a result of either negligent driving practices or the failure of a driver to see a motorcycle within the immediate area. In reality, however, those who operate motorcycles are not without fault when it comes to causing car accidents, as the following example demonstrates.

Following a recent crash, a man has been charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, speeding and operation of a motor vehicle without lights. The collision took place between an enclosed vehicle and a motorcycle. While many would assume that the driver of the car was at fault in the incident, it was actually the 32-year-old man riding the motorcycle who was charged.

As a 21-year-old woman was driving her car eastbound on Route 57 through Agawam, a motorcycle approached her from the rear. The motorcyclist ran into the back of the woman's car, bringing injury to both drivers. The woman sustained minor injuries in the accident, while the motorcyclist remained in critical condition as of the time of this report.

In cases such as this, the individual who is at fault in the collision can be sued for damages that result, whether to people or property. Just because this man suffered more serious injury than the woman who was rear-ended does not absolve him from responsibility for any damage caused by his actions. Additionally, although the woman's injuries were initially reported as minor, it is not uncommon for more serious issues to arise in the days and weeks following a car crash. Should this driver find that she is forced to endure pain and suffering as a result of this Massachusetts crash, she has the right to pursue the motorcyclist with a personal injury lawsuit.

Source:, "Motorcyclist Charged Following Agawam Crash", Ryan Trowbridge, Sept. 15, 2014