Unfortunately, not all motorcycle rides in Chicago end safely for the biker and their passengers. Instead, some end in severe accidents that may result in catastrophic injuries.
If you are recovering from such injuries after a motorcycle wreck, you may be facing high medical bills while you are unable to work to pay for them. The good news, though, is that you may be able to file a lawsuit to recoup those damages if the accident was the fault of someone else.
Building an effective civil case and dealing with the insurance companies can be very tricky, so it could be important for you to speak to a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer. A skilled attorney could negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, represent you in court if necessary, and work to help you pursue a settlement to cover all your losses and injuries.
Chicago is governed by tort, or at-fault, auto insurance rules. Under these rules, injured parties must seek accident benefits from the insurance company of the at-fault party—which, depending on the circumstances, may be more difficult than it sounds.
In many cases, insurance companies may try to deny benefits to accident victims or offer them a very low settlement that does not cover the cost of their expenses. This is one area in which a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer attorney could be extremely helpful. They could send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining who was liable for the accident and what injuries and damages the rider sustained as a result.
Insurance companies are generally more likely to act fairly when an attorney is involved since they know attorneys fully understand the rights of their clients. Because of that, they are often more likely to offer a fair settlement, or at the very least negotiate with the accident victim and their lawyer.
In legal terms, the right to file suit after an accident is known as standing to sue. However, not everyone involved in a motorcycle crash in Chicago has that right.
Someone seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident only has a right to sue if the accident was primarily the fault of someone else. If another driver acted negligently, recklessly, or carelessly in a way that directly caused the accident, an injured rider may be able to seek compensation from them.
Under Chicago’s comparative fault rules, though, a motorcycle rider may also be assigned partial blame in these types of accidents. When this is the case, the courts may assign a percentage of fault to the accident victim in addition to the defendant in the case. If the rider is awarded compensation, it would then be reduced by the same percentage. However, if a rider is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for their own accident, they would no longer have the standing to sue.
Most injured motorcycle riders have two years to file a lawsuit after an accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it applies in most motorcycle accident cases.
Because this statute of limitations is in place, it may be important that injured riders, or anyone else who has the standing to sue, speak to a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer right away. Not only may the statute of limitations be running out, but evidence could go missing, and memories of witnesses may fade. If you suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident you did not cause, call a local Chicago attorney today to get started on your case.