Motorcycle accidents can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. When such accidents occur, determining who is responsible for the damages is critical. Liability refers to legal responsibility for the accident, and identifying the liable parties is essential for victims and their families. At New Mexico Biker Lawyer, our attorneys are experts in uncovering and proving liability. With extensive resources and years of experience, we know how to discover the truth and secure your case’s success.

Understanding Liability in Motorcycle Accidents

Liability in a motorcycle accident context means legal accountability for the crash and the resulting damages. This can involve the motorcycle rider, other drivers, and, in some cases, vehicle manufacturers.

Why Determining Liability After a Motorcycle Accident is Crucial

Establishing liability is vital for several reasons. It ensures the responsible party is held accountable, providing victims and their families with financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Liability determination is also essential for insurance claims, as insurers need to identify the at-fault party to properly evaluate and settle claims. Moreover, identifying liability can help prevent future accidents by addressing safety issues like poor road conditions or defective motorcycle parts.

A group of people working together to determine liability in a motorcycle accident, with paperwork and a map spread out on the table in front of them.

Key Factors in Analyzing Liability

Traffic Laws and Regulations

  • Were any traffic laws violated by the motorcycle rider or other drivers?
  • Did these violations contribute to the accident?

Road Conditions

  • Did road conditions play a role in the accident?
  • Were there any defects in the road that could have caused the accident?
  • Were warning signs or signals properly visible and functioning?

Weather Conditions

  • How did the weather at the time contribute to the accident?
  • Were weather conditions significant in causing the crash?

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Were the motorcycle and other vehicles involved properly maintained?
  • Did any mechanical failures contribute to the accident?

Rider Behavior

  • Did the motorcycle rider’s behavior contribute to the accident?
  • Was the rider wearing proper safety gear?
  • Did the rider have the necessary training and a valid motorcycle license?

Behavior of Other Drivers

  • Did the other drivers’ actions contribute to the accident?
  • Were other drivers distracted, intoxicated, or driving recklessly?

Determining Liability in a New Mexico Motorcycle Accident

Determining liability in a motorcycle accident can be complex. In New Mexico, liability can be established under various legal theories, including negligence, recklessness, and strict liability.


Negligence is the most common legal theory in motorcycle accidents. To prove negligence, the injured party must show that the other party owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused the injury.

For example, if a driver fails to yield the right of way to a motorcycle and causes an accident, the injured motorcyclist can file a negligence claim against the driver. This frequently happens when car drivers make left-hand turns in front of motorcyclists and later claim, “I didn’t see them.” That’s a clear case of negligence.


Recklessness involves a higher standard of fault than negligence. To prove recklessness, the injured party must show that the other party acted with a conscious disregard for the safety of others.

For example, if a driver is speeding, weaving through traffic, and causes an accident with a motorcycle, the injured motorcyclist can pursue a recklessness claim against the driver.

Strict Liability

Strict liability imposes responsibility without needing to prove fault. In New Mexico, strict liability may apply to cases involving defective products, such as faulty motorcycle parts.

For instance, if a motorcycle manufacturer produces a defective brake system that causes an accident, the injured party can file a strict liability claim against the manufacturer.

It’s important to note that multiple legal theories can apply in a motorcycle accident case. An experienced personal injury lawyer can identify the appropriate legal theories and build a strong case for the injured party.

a mangled motorcycle lays on the ground after a New Mexico motorcycle crash

Steps to Establish Liability

Gather Evidence

The first step in determining liability in a New Mexico motorcycle accident is to gather evidence. This includes police reports, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, and medical reports. Gathering as much evidence as possible is crucial to paint a clear picture of what happened.

Analyze the Evidence

After gathering evidence, the next step is to analyze it. Look for inconsistencies or gaps that may need further investigation. This analysis helps determine who was at fault and whether any parties were negligent.

Consult with an Attorney

Consulting with an experienced New Mexico motorcycle accident attorney is highly recommended. An attorney can help analyze the evidence, identify potential legal claims, and provide guidance on how to proceed.

Negotiate a Settlement or Go to Court

After analyzing the evidence and consulting with an attorney, you can negotiate a settlement with the other parties or go to court. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can represent you in court to fight for the compensation you deserve.

New Mexico Motorcycle Laws

Helmet Laws

New Mexico law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet that meets safety standards. Failure to comply can result in fines and other penalties.

Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is not currently allowed in New Mexico. However, this does not automatically make a rider liable for an accident if they were lane splitting.

Insurance Laws

New Mexico mandates that all motorcycle riders carry liability insurance with minimum coverage of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons
  • $10,000 for property damage

Riders should also consider additional coverage, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, to safeguard against accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers.

A group of legal professionals intently reviewing documents related to a New Mexico motorcycle accident to determine liability.

Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, hiring an experienced attorney can protect your legal rights and interests. Here are some benefits of hiring an attorney from New Mexico Biker Lawyer:

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

  • An attorney can determine liability using specialized resources not available to the average person.
  • An attorney can identify and hold responsible parties accountable.
  • An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure fair compensation for damages and injuries.
  • An attorney can handle all legal aspects of the case, including paperwork, court appearances, and negotiations, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  • An attorney provides valuable guidance and support throughout the entire legal process, helping you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

What to Look for in an Attorney

When selecting an attorney for your motorcycle accident case, look for someone who:

  • Has experience and a successful track record with motorcycle accident cases.
  • Communicates clearly and effectively throughout the legal process.
  • Has a deep understanding of New Mexico motorcycle laws and regulations.
  • Is passionate about protecting clients’ legal rights and interests.
  • Offers a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions.

By hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you can improve your chances of securing the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and start protecting your legal rights.


After a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, determining liability is essential for securing the compensation you deserve. Without establishing fault, you may not be able to recover damages for your injuries or property damage.

Liability can be established through various factors, including police reports, witness

statements, and expert testimony. Consulting with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney ensures that your rights are protected and all possible avenues for compensation are explored.

At New Mexico Biker Lawyer, we understand the complexities of motorcycle accident cases and the importance of determining liability. Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to helping clients receive the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.