Summer is just around the corner and throughout the greater Chicago area, motorcycle enthusiasts are excited to get on the road. Riding a motorcycle can be an efficient and enjoyable means of transportation, but it is not without its risks. Motorcyclist deaths happen 28 times more often than fatal traffic accidents involving other vehicles. As with many personal injury claims, some motorcycle accidents are completely the fault of another driver, and other times, the blame must be shared. Fortunately, Illinois liability laws allow an individual to seek compensation for damages caused by an accident even if he or she was partially responsible.
Contributory Negligence Laws
The term “contributory negligence” refers to a situation in which a claimant (person bringing the negligence or personal injury claim) in some way contributes to the injury-causing accident. The exact definition of contributory negligence depends on state law.
In Illinois, a claimant can still pursue compensation for damages if he or she was less than 50% percent responsible for the incident. If the claimant’s contributory negligence is 51% or more, he or she is not entitled to compensation. When the blame assigned to a claimant is decided to be more than zero but less than 50%, the compensation he or she is eligible for will be reduced in proportion to the blame assigned to them.
For example, if a plaintiff was speeding when he was hit and injured by a distracted driver, the injured party may be found to be partially responsible for the accident. The argument could be made that if the plaintiff was not speeding, he would not have sustained as great of an injury as if he was driving the speed limit. However, if the plaintiff is found to be less than 50% responsible for the accident, he may still be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Often, a motorcycle accident happens and the motorcyclist is in no way responsible for the accident. In other cases, the motorcycle driver is driving too fast for the road conditions, speeding, changing lanes without signaling, riding while under the influence of alcohol, lane-splitting, riding too close to other vehicles, passing in an unsafe manner, riding in other vehicles’ blind spots, or otherwise violating traffic laws.
It is critical that motorcyclists understand that they can still receive compensation for medical bills, missed work, and other damages even if they were partially responsible for the accident. A qualified personal injury attorney with experience successfully handling contributory negligence cases can help you understand what types of compensation you may be eligible to receive.
Contact a Rockford, Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident or a loved one has passed away after being in motorcycle crash, contact an experienced Winnebago County personal injury lawyer for help. Schedule your free, initial consultation with Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS, to learn more. Call us at 815-215-7561 today.