Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Illinois adheres to a fault-based insurance system when it comes to motorcycle accidents. This means that the party responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for paying for any damages that result from the accident.
Simply put, if you were involved in a motorcycle accident that another driver caused, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against that driver to recover damages. Similarly, if you were involved in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a defective motorcycle part, you have the right to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor of that defective part.
At Hess Injury Law Firm, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. We have a proven track record of success in these types of cases, and we are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Laws Surrounding Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois
Beyond being a fault-based state, Illinois also has a few other laws that are relevant to motorcycle accidents. For example, all motorcycle riders in Illinois are required to have insurance. The minimum amount of coverage required is $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people, and $20,000 for property damage. If a rider does not have valid insurance, he or she may be subject to several penalties, including fines and the suspension of his or her driver’s license.
There is also a 2-year statute of limitations in Illinois for filing a personal injury claim stemming from a motorcycle accident. If you do not file within this timeframe, you may be barred from recovering any damages at all.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Case
To prove that another party is at fault for your motorcycle accident, you will need to show that this party acted negligently. Negligence is defined as the failure to act with a reasonable level of care under the circumstances.
In order to prove negligence, your attorney will need to gather evidence that shows what happened leading up to the accident, as well as evidence that demonstrates how the other party’s actions (or lack thereof) fell below the reasonable standard of care. This may include witness testimony, photos or videos of the accident scene, and accident reconstruction reports.
Once negligence has been established, you will then need to prove that the negligent party’s actions (or lack thereof) directly caused your injuries. You will need to have medical records detailing the extent of your injuries, as well as any other evidence that links those injuries to the accident. This may include testimony from your treating physician or other medical experts.
If you are able to prove both negligence and causation successfully, you may then be able to recover damages for your injuries.
Damages for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Illinois
There are two main types of damages that may be available to motorcycle accident victims in Illinois: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value attached to them. They may include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages do not have a specific monetary value but still result in harm. They may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. These are designed to punish the negligent party for his or her actions and are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.
Wrongful Death in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Under Illinois law, certain family members, including spouses, children, and parents, are allowed to file these claims.
A wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury claim that is brought on behalf of a deceased victim. The damages that may be available in a wrongful death claim are similar to those that are available in a personal injury claim, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Illinois
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you take action quickly. As mentioned above, Illinois has a 2-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim arising from a motorcycle accident.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for what you need to do:
1) Seek medical attention
Your first priority after a motorcycle accident should be to seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. This is important for both your health and your legal claim. Be sure to keep all medical treatment documentation, including doctor’s notes, hospital records, and bills.
2) Gather evidence
It will be important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This may include photos or videos of the accident scene, witness contact information, and your own recollection of what happened.
3) Speak to an attorney
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you to understand your legal rights and options. He or she can also help you to gather evidence and build a strong case.
4) File a claim
Once you have gathered all the necessary evidence, your attorney will help you file a claim with the appropriate insurance company.
5) Negotiate a settlement
In many cases, the insurance company will agree to pay a fair settlement to avoid going to court. If not, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial.
Common Mistakes in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident victims make a few common mistakes that can jeopardize their claims.
The Primary Role of Your Motorcycle Accident Attorney
As with any other case, the strength of your motorcycle accident claim will largely depend on the available evidence. An experienced attorney can help you to gather this evidence and build a strong case.
Your attorney will also be responsible for negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. He or she will attempt to reach a fair settlement covering all your damages. Your attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.
Talk to an Attorney Today
At Hess Injury Law Firm, we have represented many motorcycle accident victims and helped them to recover millions of dollars in combined settlements and verdicts.
Don’t wait to get started on your case. Contact Hess Injury Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions about Illinois Motorcycle Accidents
Several factors will affect who is liable or at fault in a motorcycle accident. However, in general, the other vehicle’s driver will be held responsible if they were acting negligently or recklessly at the time of the collision. For example, if the other driver was speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or running a red light, they would likely be held liable for any injuries or damages that resulted from the accident.
Yes, you can sue the at-fault driver after a motorcycle accident. However, it is important to note that Illinois follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which may reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover. Under this doctrine, if you are found to be even partially at fault for the accident, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but are found to be 20% at fault, your recovery will be reduced to $80,000.
The value of your motorcycle accident case will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, and the amount of lost wages you have incurred. In general, however, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help you determine what it may be worth.
If the other driver does not have insurance, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. You may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company or sue the at-fault driver directly. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to advise you of your options and help you take the appropriate legal action.
In Illinois, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit from the accident date. If you do not take legal action within this timeframe, you may be barred from recovering any compensation for your injuries and damages. For this reason, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Illinois law does not require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, so you may still be able to file a lawsuit even if you were not wearing one at the time of the accident.
Your options will depend on the specific situation and severity of the accident. For example, if you believe that the other driver was at fault, you may want to file a civil suit against them. If the accident resulted in serious injuries or death, you may be facing criminal charges. In either case, it is important to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and protect your rights.