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Nature of Illinois motorcycle accidents

Often times, clients want to jump to the very end of the case.  Can I win?  Is the other party responsible?  How much can I recover?  At this point, what we try and do is direct their attention to the overall character of the lawsuit as well as what needs to be done in the immediate future in order to succeed.  To understand that, it is helpfulto outline the common case types associated with Illinois motorcycle accidents.


Nature of Illinois motorcycle accidentsNegligence is a specific breed of lawsuit that claims the defendant’s conduct was not in accordance with a person who used ordinary care and prudence in the same situation.  Note, that there does not have to be an actual act to construct negligence-there can be a failure to act especially if the defendant created the environment in the first place.  This is a hypothetical assessment of reasonability determined by the jury.  Typically, when reaching their decision, they look at such factors as the availability of different options to act, the severity of choosing another option, and the probability that an alternative option would have led to a different result.  Whatever analysis they use, however, the jury must find the following elements to award a negligence verdict.

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty.
  • The defendant breached that duty.
  • The breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • The injuries resulted in actual damages.

Some common examples of negligence in the context of motorcycle accident cases are speeding, turning without signaling, driving through a yield zone, and drinking and driving.


Often times out on the road, our vehicles fail us.  Parts break, wear done, or combine with other conditions to create danger and that danger transforms into injuries.  Generally, the law distinguishes between defectively manufactured products and defectively designed products but their elements mirror each other.  Also, in both, you are essentially stating that the sub-par product was the catalyst for the crash that harmed you.  Here are the general elements of products liability cases:

  • The product was defectively designed or manufactured.
  • You were using the product as reasonably intended and foreseen.
  • The defect was responsible for your injury.
  • That injury triggered actual losses.

One example of this kind of case is if your motorcycle tires unexpectedly fail and cause you to crash.  Yet, there are others and you should with one of our qualified attorneys to determine if you may have a viable products liability case.


Respondeat superior cases are a very important kind of negligence actions.  Thus, they are worth singling out for attention.  In many instances, the person who triggers your motorcycle accident will be working at the time of the crash.  In this case, their employer can be held responsible for your injuries if you satisfy a select set of elements.  Primarily, you must show that during the accident the person was acting in the course of employment and not detouring from the scope of his or her work.  There can be a de minimus deviation (like taking a different road) but there can be a significant diversion (such as driving when they were not even supposed to be a vehicle in the first place).  These actions are commonly referred to as vicarious liability and normally address these common issues:

  • How far away was the motorcycle accident from the employee’s work in terms of time and geography?
  • Did the way that the motorcycle accident transpired mirror the employee’s general job activities?
  • At the time of the motorcycle accident, was the employee acting for the benefit of the employer?

These are some of the most common forms of motorcycle accident cases in Illinois and across the country.  They each have specific legal demands, both procedurally and substantively, but do generally follow along recognized routes.  Yet, it is important to understand the in’s and out’s of their case paths so that you can get to the proper ending that you want, either in the form of a successful jury award or settlement amount.  To understand the specific makeup and obligations of your case, contact us and speak with one of our experienced lawyers.  We can explain to you what routes would be the most fruitful as well as what each case type requires in better detail.

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