Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Serving Cook and DuPage Counties

Motorcycle Accidents and Jury Bias

While motorcycle accidents are less frequent than other types of roadway accidents, they are more likely to result in serious injury or death. In Illinois (2014 statistics), motorcycle accidents accounted for only 1.2% of all crashes yet 13% of all traffic deaths. If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident, they could potentially face double the issues that confront normal motorists.

Riders face more severe injuries with higher medical costs and they have to deal with a jury that might already look at them unfavorably and assign more blame than is warranted by the evidence. Insurance claim adjusters are aware of jury bias and typically reduce motorcycle accident settlements appropriately. Proving a case and assigning fault requires an experienced personal injury attorney.

Motorcycle Accidents Liability

Similar to any other road accident, determining liability for a motorcycle accident relies on finding out who was negligent in the accident. Legal negligence is defined as a lack of due care that caused the accident. When a person or a company is found to be negligent, they may be held responsible or “at fault” for paying compensation to the injured party. After a motorcycle accident, the first step that your Chicago personal injury attorney will take is to determine who was liable for the accident. Areas of investigation may include the following:

  • Locating a witness who will testify that the accident was caused by the other driver.
  • Getting a copy of the police report.
  • Determining if the motorcycle accident was avoidable.
  • Reviewing event details such as weather conditions, time of day when the accident occurred, and understanding the travel details of those involved in the accident.
  • Other areas of investigation will include whether or not drivers were drinking prior to the accident and, were they being reasonably careful while driving the vehicle or riding the motorcycle.

For further consideration regarding any motorcycle accident and being reasonably careful when riding and/or caring for equipment, refer to the Illinois Motorcycle 2019 Operator Manual.

Illinois Motorcycle Comparative Fault Laws and Personal Injury Claims

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence or fault, you have the right to seek financial compensation via a personal injury claim against the person and/or their insurance company. Should you fail to resolve the personal injury claim with the at-fault party, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you seek in a court of law.

In order to achieve a successful outcome in any personal injury case, you must prove that the other party was at fault for your injuries. Whether the case gets settled through the insurance claims process, a private settlement, or in court, the assignment of liability depends on who was more at fault. In Illinois, a comparative fault state, anyone who is less than 50% responsible for an accident can recover injuries and property damage.

  • Comparative Fault: Determines how the blame will be divided for any personal injuries or property damage for a given accident, as well as how the victim’s compensation will be impacted if he or she were judged to have contributed to the accident in some way.
  • Modified Comparative Negligence: A theory of comparative fault that holds that Plaintiff (injured) can obtain damages from a Defendant provided that the Plaintiff’s degree of fault is not more than 50%. If a Plaintiff is determined to have been 50% or more of fault for the incident, then he or she would not be able to obtain compensation for personal injuries from the defendant.

Furthermore, Illinois’ modified comparative negligence laws will also reduce an injured Plaintiff’s compensation in proportion to his or her degree of fault.

Recovering Damages from Motorcycle Accident

There are many different types of damages that can happen in a motorcycle accident. Damages range from property damage to personal injury and can include medical bills, loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering, and mental anguish, as well as punitive damages.

  • Motorcycle repairs (or fair market value if deemed a Total Loss)
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of earning capacity (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering (physical and emotional stress as a result of injury)
  • Mental anguish (psychological trauma inflicted upon victim)
  • Loss of consortium (deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship (including affection and sexual relations) due to injuries)
  • Damage to personal property
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death

Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations

  • Personal injury: Two Years from the date of the accident
  • Property damage: Five years from the date of the accident
  • Lawsuits that might have different time lengths per their statutes of limitations include the following:
    • Cases involving medical malpractice
    • Cases involving breach of contract
    • Cases involving warranties
    • Cases involving products liability

Contact an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another person, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. There is no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.

Get a free case review by calling ‌866-699-3339 or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌  

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