Motorcycle accidents can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. However, if you have sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to damages from the individual whose negligence had a part in the crash. Before filing your claim, you should seek a qualified personal injury attorney.
The laws concerning fault and responsibility in vehicle collisions are complicated and failing to understand them could cost you the compensation you deserve. A Fulton Market motorcycle accident lawyer could offer sound advice about seeking damages for your losses and holding the responsible parties accountable.
Negligence Factor in Motorcycle Accidents
Recklessness or lack of caution that results in injury is negligence, and a motorcyclist who seeks damages after a crash must prove that someone else’s negligence was the primary cause of the wreck.
A car or truck driver could cause a motorcycle crash if they:
- Open their door into the bike’s path
- Change lanes without checking their blind spot
- Are speeding or weaving between lanes
- Drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Text while driving
- Fail to be sufficiently attentive to road conditions
Sometimes a biker is negligent. For example, splitting lanes is not legal in the state, and a motorcyclist who rides between vehicles moving in parallel lanes of traffic would be negligent if they were to get into an accident. Further, bikers need not wear helmets in the state, but if wearing a helmet might have lessened the severity of their injuries, their failure to do so could be negligent, as well.
Depending on the particular case, other parties’ negligence might also contribute to a crash. Poor road conditions such as potholes or uneven surfacing could cause a motorcyclist to lose control of the bike. In such a case, the biker might claim against the local government responsible for maintaining the road. If a defective part failed and that failure led to the accident, the part manufacturer might be liable to the motorcyclist. An experienced Fulton Market lawyer could investigate an incident to identify all the parties whose negligence might have contributed to causing the motorcycle crash.
The Negligent Party is Liable
Illinois is an at-fault state, which means that the insurance company of the driver who caused an accident must compensate the losses of anyone involved in the crash up to the coverage limits. If the injured person’s losses exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage limits, the injured person’s attorney might need to bring a lawsuit to secure compensation from the driver’s personal assets.
This procedure is straightforward when it is clear who is at fault in an accident, but many motorcycle crashes result from a combination of factors. When an injured motorcyclist bears some responsibility for an accident, their right to collect damages could be impacted.
735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/2-1116 makes each party to an accident responsible for the damages they cause. A plaintiff who bears some blame for the incident that caused their injuries could collect reduced damages. However, if they are more than 50 percent responsible, they cannot collect damages under this law.
Seek Legal Representation Right Away
Someone who has sustained injuries in a motorcycle wreck should begin working with a Fulton Market attorney as quickly as possible. Without the threat of a lawsuit, insurers could be unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement that adequately compensates a biker’s losses.
The statute of limitations allows accident victims two years to file a lawsuit seeking damages but getting legal counsel immediately after an accident puts a motorcyclist in a strong negotiating position. Most accident claims settle before a lawsuit is filed, so having a strong advocate to handle negotiations could lead to a more advantageous outcome.
Trust Your Claim to a Fulton Market Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycling carries some inherent risks. When an accident occurs, insurers might assert that the biker’s decisions either led to the crash or increased the seriousness of their injuries. However, motorcyclists have the right to ride on public highways in safety, and when someone else’s negligence compromises that safety, the negligent party should pay.
Contact a local biker advocate as soon as possible after your accident. A Fulton Market motorcycle accident lawyer could fight for your right to compensation and ensure that insurers treat you fairly. Call today for a case review.