Motorcycle enthusiasts do not exactly have it easy on the road. Careless drivers who change lanes without checking blind spots often miss seeing them. In addition, motorcyclists have a reputation for being careless themselves, thrill-seekers, and adrenaline junkies. They will often get blamed for accidents they have no hand in causing. It is also true that motorcyclists are at an increased risk of serious injury or death when they are involved in an accident with a larger vehicle.
If you have been injured by a careless driver while riding your motorcycle, then you should anticipate that the other driver’s insurance company or attorney will blame you for the accident. You need an attorney who understands how to litigate a traffic accident case that involves a motorcycle. Below, we will discuss the pertinent laws and some of the unique challenges that motorcycle accidents pose for plaintiffs and their attorneys.
Illinois is a tort state when it comes to traffic accidents. That means that claims are made against another party’s insurance policy. Once the policy goes into the claims process, they evaluate the situation and look for any way to reduce their obligation to the injured party. This includes blaming the individual against whom the claim is made.
Let us be frank: Insurance companies will always attempt to blame the victim in claims against their policyholder. They will exploit ambiguities in the police report, accident analysis, and witness statements against you. Their job is to reduce the value of your claim as much as possible. If they can pin the blame on you, then they will not have to pay out a dime.
Illinois has a modified comparative negligence rule. In other words, there may be some situations in which two parties each share some of the blame. Your claim is reduced by the amount of blame that you are assigned for the accident. In other words, if you are 25% negligent in an accident, then you will only recover 75% of your damages. Furthermore, Illinois has a modified rule that stipulates that if you are 50% to blame for an accident (or greater), you are barred from recovery.
Taken together with prejudice against motorcyclists on the road, this rule presents a serious challenge to plaintiffs and their attorneys.
Rittenberg, Saks & Robinson Ltd. have litigated numerous claims for motorcyclists in auto accident cases. Though it presents unique challenges, we have had great success in protecting the value of our clients’ claims and ensuring fair settlements. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.