When someone is involved in a motor vehicle collision in Illinois, he or she may be eligible to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Illinois is a fault-based accident state where negligent drivers are financially responsible for their victims’ losses, and victims can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. These injured parties may include other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.
If you are filing an Illinois motorcycle accident claim, it is important to remember that these types of cases can be very different from traditional car accident claims. In these situations, it is important to hire a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney who can guide you through this process and advocate for your rights during each stage of your claim.
Because motorcyclists do not have the same level of protection as a passenger car, they are more susceptible to severe and life-threatening injuries than motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident than people in motor vehicles.
Motorcyclists will require more medical attention, longer recovery periods, and long-term care. As a result, settlements in motorcycle accident cases can be much higher than a car accident claim. To avoid financial hardship later on, it is important for motorcyclists to hire a lawyer who can help calculate their damages, evaluate settlement offers, and advocate for maximum possible compensation.
When a motor vehicle encounters loose gravel or uneven pavement, the large vehicle is usually able to drive over the hazard without incident. When a motorcyclist encounters a road defect, however, the results can be catastrophic. A motorcyclist could lose control of his or her vehicle, leading to severe injuries.
If an accident was caused by a poorly maintained or defective road, the motorcyclist could file a claim against the government agency responsible for taking care of that road. However, he or she will need to prove that the agency failed to properly maintain the road and respond to hazards, leading to the accident.
Motorcyclists, unlike motor vehicle drivers or other types of cyclists, are often subject to unfair scrutiny or stereotyping during the accident claims process. Some insurance representatives believe that motorcyclists are risktakers and negligent drivers and may assume that their negligent actions, such as lane splitting or traffic weaving caused the accident. Although this is not always the case, these preconceived notions can affect an accident victims’ ability to recover compensation.
If an insurance company believes that a motorcyclist caused his or her collision, it could use this information as reason to deny or reduce his or her settlement. If the motorcyclist brings his or her case to trial, the court may reduce his or her award by the percentage of liability he or she allegedly shares. In these situations, it is important to have an attorney who can fight against these allegations of shared liability.
If you are involved in an Illinois motorcycle accident, speak to a Chicago personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can evaluate your accident, gather relevant evidence, and craft a compelling case proving the other party’s negligence and your right to recovery. After receiving medical treatment for your injuries, contact a lawyer to discuss your case and legal options.