ESTABLISHING LIABILITY IN A CHICAGO MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Some people may assume that motorcyclists are reckless and have little regard for traffic laws. This assumption is incorrect. A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that 64% of motorcycle related accidents were caused due to a negligent act of another vehicle driver and not due to the fault of a motorcycle rider.
In Illinois, the person who was at-fault for causing the accident is responsible for compensating anyone who suffered harm as a result of a crash.
People who suffer injury or damage due to a motorcycle accident can attempt to recover damages for their injuries and losses. They can do so by:
- filing a third-party claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, or
- filing a personal injury lawsuit in the Civil Court against the at-fault party.
- filing a claim with their own insurance company, where appropriate.
All motorcycle owners in Illinois are required to carry the following minimum insurance on their motorcycles:
- $25,000 for injury or death of a person in an accident.
- $50,000 for injuries or death to more than one person in an accident.
- $20,000 for property damage coverage per accident.
In order to recover damages, the injured motorcyclist must prove that the at-fault party was negligent. Generally, negligence is defined as the failure to take reasonable care.
To prove negligence, the plaintiff (the injured party) must establish the following four main elements:
- The defendant (the accused party) owed the plaintiff a reasonable duty of care.
All motorists such as car drivers, truck drivers and motorcycle riders owe a duty of care towards other riders, drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others on the roadways.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care.
The breach of care by the defendant is the crucial issue of the personal injury law. It is the plaintiff’s burden of proof to persuade the judge or jury that there was a breach of care committed by the defendant.
- The breach of duty by the defendant caused the accident.
It is not enough to show that the Defendant was negligent, careless or reckless, it has to be established that his or her act of negligence was the proximate cause of the car crash.
- The accident caused compensable damages.
The plaintiff must establish that he or she suffered damages due to the breach of duty by the defendant. Damages may include physical injury, pain and injury, mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of quality of life and/or property damage.
The injured motorcyclist must prove, through a preponderance of the evidence, the negligence and fault of the defendant. Such evidence often includes:
- Eyewitness statements.
- Medical records.
- Photographs of the scene, the damage to your motorcycle, and your injuries.
- Surveillance footage of the accident.
- Accident reconstruction expert’s testimony.
Evidence to prove economic damages is also required. Such evidence may include:
- Hospital bills.
- Documents showing the amount of time missed work due to injuries.
- Expert testimony from financial experts regarding future potential earnings lost.
In representing victims in accident cases, our law office can:
- Obtain copies of all police reports and medical records.
- Identify and interview witnesses who were present at the scene of the accident that caused your injuries.
- Photograph, inspect and investigate the site of the mishap.
- Hire and consult experts who are needed to determine the origin and the cause of the accident.
- Position the case for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Proceed to trial.
Motorcycle accident cases handled by the Law Office of Jeffrey Friedman, P. C. are taken on a contingency basis, which means our clients pay nothing unless we win their case or settle it.
THE LAW OFFICE OF JEFFREY FRIEDMAN, P. C. – PROVIDING ACCURATE, AND AFFORDABLE LEGAL SERVICES TO RESIDENTS OF CHICAGO.
The Law office of Jeffrey Friedman, P.C. zealously works to secure maximum compensation through verdicts and settlements for victims of accidents in Chicago and all across Illinois. The attorneys at the Law Office of Jeffrey Friedman, P.C. have extensive experience in handling serious accident cases on behalf of victims.