Injured Motorcycle Passengers
A motorcycle ride with a family member or friend can be an enjoyable experience. However, when motorcycle accidents happen, both motorcycle riders and passengers are at risk of serious harm. In fact, with no control of the situation, passengers are often helpless victims in motorcycle accidents at intersections or other locations. If you were injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our experienced Wheaton and Schaumburg motorcycle accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights at every step of the way. These claims are complicated, and having the right attorney on your side can make a critical difference in your case.Pursuing Compensation for Injuries as a Motorcycle Passenger
Passengers have virtually no control over motorcycles. In the event of an accident, passengers can be thrown off the bike and sustain serious injuries. In the most serious cases, passengers can be killed. Motorcycle accidents that result in passenger injuries can happen in a variety of ways, including:
- Colliding with another vehicle;
- Colliding with a stationary object (i.e., a pole);
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Distracted driving;
- Adverse weather conditions (i.e., heavy fog);
- Road defects (i.e., a pothole); or
- Excessive speeding.
If you are a passenger who was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to have those injuries covered by the at-fault party. In some cases, that may be the operator of the motorcycle. Motorcycle operators owe a duty of care to their passengers as well as to others on the road. If a motorcycle operator violates this duty, they can be liable for the accident and any resulting harm under the legal theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in the same or a similar situation, thereby causing harm to another person. The injured party will need to establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not, the defendant’s careless conduct was the cause of the accident).
In other cases, the driver of another vehicle may be to blame for the motorcycle crash. If the driver of another vehicle caused the accident, you can pursue damages through a negligence claim against that driver. In these cases, a motorcycle passenger can file a legal claim in which he or she names the at-fault driver as the defendant. As a practical matter, in most cases, the defendant’s insurance company makes a payment directly to the injured motorcycle passenger.
It is important to note that Illinois follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. This means that in cases in which both the motorcycle operator and a car driver share some fault for the accident, fault will be apportioned between both parties. For example, a jury may decide that the motorcycle operator was 40 percent responsible and another driver was 60 percent responsible. If your total damages are $100,000, you may recover $40,000 from the motorcycle operator and the other $60,000 from the other driver.
In some cases, a defective part may be the cause of a motorcycle accident. You may be able to hold a manufacturer liable for your injuries through a product liability claim. When a road defect (i.e., loose gravel or grooves in the roadway) causes an accident, you may be able to hold the party that is responsible for maintaining the roads, such as a town, county, or other government entity, accountable for the accident. These claims are complex, and an experienced attorney can review your case and advise you accordingly.Seek Guidance from a Knowledgeable Injury Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences for drivers and passengers. If you were injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident, we can help you pursue a personal injury claim and seek the compensation that you deserve for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our knowledgeable lawyers can assess the merits of your case and provide you with an honest evaluation of your claim. We proudly represent clients in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Bloomingdale, Roselle, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, and Elmhurst. To set up a free appointment, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.