Chicago injury attorneys are here to provide legal advice and counseling for victims injured in motorcycle crashes. In the state of Illinois, it may be possible for victims to recover punitive damages depending on the facts of one’s case. Punitive damages can dramatically increase the total award that a motorcycle accident victim receives to cover the costs of his or her injuries. If you are a cyclist and have suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of another driver, please contact Chicago injury attorneys for additional assistance with your case.
Illinois Motorcycle Laws
In Illinois, cyclists should be aware that they are entitled to the same protections as all other drivers on the road. Drivers still owe the same duty of care to cyclists as they do other drivers. Just because one operates a motorcycle on Illinois roads does not mean he or she is entitled to any less degree of care or treatment.
Illinois provides the same level of care and protection to cyclists through its at-fault negligence system. Because Illinois uses an at-fault system of negligence, one is required to prove that the other driver was “at fault” and negligent in causing the accident.
Illinois General Negligence Laws
Proving that another driver was negligent in causing a motorcycle accident requires one to establish that a legal duty was owed. In most cases, a driver does owe a legal duty of care to all other drivers on the road. This duty of care is also extended to include cyclists. This legal element is typically one of the easiest to establish.
After one has shown that a driver owed a legal duty of care, he or she will have to prove that this duty was breached in some manner. The injured person will have to provide facts which show that the driver failed to uphold the legal standard of care required under Illinois law. Under Illinois law, a driver would have an obligation to act as a reasonably prudent person under the facts of one’s case. A driver may fail to act as a “reasonably prudent person” if he or she was driving at excessive speeds or changed lanes without checking a blind spot for other cyclists on the road. If one’s case goes to trial, this will typically be an element of fact for the jury to consider. The jury will need to determine whether the potentially liable individual acted in a reasonable fashion under the facts of one’s case.
Proving “Cause” and “Damages” in a Motorcycle Accident Case
One of the most difficult elements to prove in a motorcycle accident case is that of cause. Under Illinois motorcycle laws, one must prove that a party acted as both the actual and proximate cause of the accident. The factor of “cause” can be difficult to prove when there are intervening events involved, such as inclement weather conditions or multiple drivers contributing to the accident. An attorney can typically assist with these types of more complicated motorcycle accident cases. Attorneys are well-versed in Illinois case law and understand the fine distinctions between the motorcycle accident cases on the books.
The last factor that must be proven in a motorcycle accident case is that of damages. An injured party must prove that he or she has suffered from actual damages. This means that the injured party must show that he or she has suffered from a measurable form of loss as a result of his or her injuries. This may mean that an injured victim has suffered from financial loss due to his or her injuries. It is typically not difficult for a victim to prove damages if he or she has medical expenses or lost wages after a motorcycle accident. An attorney can also assist a victim in determining the total amount of damages that he or she has suffered.