How Does Comparative Fault Impact a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, even if you weren't at fault. But, if you were partially to blame for the accident, how does comparative negligence impact your settlement?
In a motorcycle accident, who is responsible? Is it always 100% the other driver's fault, or are there times when some blame lies on you? That depends on whether your state uses a contributory negligence rule or a comparative negligence rule.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC will find out how much comparative fault might affect your settlement amount after being hurt in an automobile crash or motorcycle wreck.
Please contact our motorcycle accident attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation! All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The concept of comparative liability was introduced in 1851 by John Austin and has been adopted by most states today. Comparative liability means that an injured party may recover damages from another person only up to the percentage they contributed to causing his damages.
Comparative liability can have significant implications for anyone involved in a motorcycle crash where both parties were partly at fault.
Comparative Fault Impact in a Motorcycle Accident
In a motorcycle accident, the level of fault that the motorcyclist is assigned may significantly impact financial recovery.
While it may be easier for a motorcyclist to recover from his injuries in a motorcycle accident, the high level of fault assigned will significantly reduce the amount of that monetary recovery.
Comparative fault is a system of assigning fault between two or more parties in an accident. This system is used in many states, including Illinois.
In a comparative fault state, the fact finder determines the percentage of fault each party has for causing the accident. Then, that finding is applied to reduce or eliminate damages claimed by each party according to their level of fault.
Comparative Fault Impact on a Motorcycle Accident Settlement
A motorcycle accident settlement is the amount of money awarded to a plaintiff for their losses and suffering in an accident. For example, a defendant can be found at fault for causing a motorcycle collision and thus must compensate the plaintiff for their losses and suffering.
When a driver and motorcycle rider collide, even if the accident were not entirely the motorcyclist's fault, the injured motorcyclist would likely claim that the accident was caused by the negligence of another party or parties.
Usually, the other driver is responsible for a motorcycle accident.
After any such collision, insurance carriers for the accused defendant or defendants may often offer to settle the case for a quick sum of money.
Once the plaintiff accepts the settlement offer, the case is closed. The injured party will typically receive a check for their medical bills and any lost wages. No additional compensation will be available should there be additional undisclosed injuries or damages.
Our motorcycle accident attorney can help you determine if you can seek additional compensation by filing a claim for comparative fault. In other words, you can argue that your recovery should be reduced by the percentage of responsibility for the accident that you share with another party.
It's essential to claim compensation for pain and suffering after motorcycle crashes. However, damages for pain and suffering must be accompanied by a valid personal injury claim to recover.
Personal injury claims are complicated, mainly because it can be challenging to prove that you are entitled to compensation.
Our crash attorney can shed light on motorcycle settlement options and what to expect after an accident.
The settlement process can be an incredibly complex one, especially when it comes to figuring out the value of your case.
A Settlement Offer in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Many factors count in a settlement offer for a motorcycle accident claim. For example, a reasonable settlement offer in a motorcycle accident case is often considered the successful end to negotiating an injury claim.
The red light camera system can provide the police with evidence for a motorcycle accident claim after a car rear-ends the motorcycle.
The extent of serious injuries influences the settlement amount in a motorcycle accident case. Therefore, a good settlement claim should consider medical bills, economic and non-economic losses, among other factors.
A settlement offer without property damage, injuries, and extensive medical care consideration in a motorcycle accident claim is typically not worth taking.
Your legal options for economic losses in an accident include property damage claims, uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, lost wages, and medical bills claims.
A fair settlement recovers compensation for your extensive medical care and rehabilitation due to the financial strain the accident caused.
Other reasons that affect the settlement value include:
- The insurance policy limits
- The number of claimants involved in the accident
- Whether there are any uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM) coverage limits
- Taking into account UM deductible amounts.
The settlement factors should consider:
- Permanent disability arising from severe damages
- Quality of life before the accident
- Age at the time of settlement
- Medical bills due to the injury.
Motorcycle accident cases attorneys on both sides should consider factors in a Motorcycle Settlement.
The other driver in a settlement case may be unaware of the value of a claim or may feel guilty about causing an accident. It is often necessary to use some form of encouragement when dealing with this other driver.
Therefore, the other driver's insurance company may offer a settlement with the hope of avoiding bad publicity, even when they feel that their driver was not at fault.
Hiring a motorcycle settlement attorney is critical and shouldn't be based solely on a try-and-error search.
Do not risk your final settlement. Instead, call our motorcycle accident lawyer toll-free at (888)424-5757 for free legal advice to safeguard your legal rights.
The details on this site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.
Comparative Fault Implications in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident lawsuits often lead to the application of comparative fault principles. The defendant claims that the motorcyclist either
- Was negligent in the operation of his motorcycle or
- Even more careless than the defendant in causing the accident.
Both the car and truck drivers are often insured, some with underinsured motorist ("UIM") coverage. At trial, the insurance companies of the car driver and truck driver may then allocate a percentage of fault to the motorcyclist.
Insurance companies argue that motorcyclist is at least partially at fault for their injury to reduce their insurance premiums.
Most cases involving comparative fault are easy to determine. However, motorcycle crashes can get complicated when you figure out how much each party's fault is involved in the crash.
The accident's cause is broken down into separate parts, and each part is evaluated to determine comparative fault when resolving a motorcycle accident case.
Comparative Negligence Effect on a Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Many Illinois motorcycle accident victims may not know that the comparative negligence laws apply to their motorcycle accident settlement.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a fact-based system that reduces a claimant's damages award based on the proportion of fault attributed to them.
For example, a jury finds that the claimant was 10% at fault and the defendant driver was 90% at fault. As a result, the claimant would only recover 90% of their damages.
Comparative negligence contrasts with contributory negligence, which reduces or eliminates damages if the claimant is at fault for any percentage of the accident.
There are different types of comparative negligence systems, including:
- Pure contributory negligence
- Modified comparative fault/contributory negligence and
- Last clear chance.
The pure contributory negligence rule bars recovery if the claimant is even one percent at fault. In contrast, the last clear chance rule prevents recovery if the claimant could have prevented their injuries but failed to do so. The modified comparative system is used in most states.
Comparative negligence states that if two or more parties are involved in a car accident, all parties can be held equally responsible for the damages caused.
The Police Report: What It Is
The judge may use the police report as evidence in the case of a motorcycle collision. The court check if the police report is complete and accurate. The threshold of a police report in court matters is that it cannot be conflicting or inconsistent with information from other sources.
The court uses the police report to determine how much fault is assigned to each party involved in an accident.
Injuries Involving Motorcycle Accident Crashes
Severe injuries in a settlement claim in Illinois are typically calculated based on an injury's category (or type), the affected body part, and severity.
A settlement offer concerning an injured person and a careless driver in a motorcycle crash is often not enough for the injured person to cover their lacerations and serious injuries.
Other settlement factors in a motorcycle rider's injury in a crash depend on the type of motorcycle equipment they are wearing, including protective clothing and a helmet.
In a settlement case, the victim receives compensation for their injuries/damages without the stress of a trial.
Should you have legal challenges concerning the motorcycle collision settlement issue, our legal team is a call away to offer you a free consultation to explore your legal options.
Insurance Companies Handling Motorcycle Accident Cases
It is essential to understand how the lawsuit process works to strategically seek a fair settlement for life-altering injuries in reaching an amicable settlement amount with an insurance carrier.
The settlement amount that a victim receives in an accident injury lawsuit is often the result of negotiations between the plaintiff's attorney and the defendant's insurance carrier.
For example, in a typical case where the victim has suffered injuries that require medical treatment and can no longer work, the insurance company may offer enough money to cover the plaintiff's medical expenses and lost wages in exchange for a release of liability.
Prevailing in Court
The defendant's ability in a settlement case depends on several factors. First, the defendant must be capable of paying or have an insurance company that can pay if the plaintiff prevails in court.
Many insurance companies in motorcycle settlement cases will ask for an expert opinion before providing payment. While the expert report will determine settlement, it can also help you take steps to ensure that the best settlement offer is made before acceptance.
Insurance Policy Dealing With a Motorcycle Settlement Case
The insurance policies dealing with severe injuries settlement cases vary from state to state. An attorney can advise about relevant laws in a given state.
A motorcycle rider without insurance coverage is twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as a motorcycle rider who has insurance coverage. Yet, it is estimated that one out of every four motorcycle riders in the United States is uninsured.
An insurance policy dealing with an accident injury claim against another driver is called a "motorcycle accident insurance policy." It may provide no-fault coverage.
Personal Injury Protection Plan
Furthermore, an insurance policy in Illinois called the Personal Injury Protection Plan (PIPP) would cover injuries resulting from a motorcycle collision. However, this plan covers medical expenses only and does not include third-party claims.
Without an insurance policy, a person hurt in a motorcycle collision is responsible for paying medical expenses and might be denied needed hospital care.
What Is the Ideal Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident?
The average motorcycle accident settlement in Illinois is $38,000. However, the evidence in every case is unique, contributing to the case’s actual value.
That said, possibly 95% of all cases are settled through a negotiated meeting away from the judge. These cases typically take many months or a year or longer to resolve.
Settling the case quickly usually produces undesirable results for the victims who likely accepted insufficient funds to cover all their damages, including the cost of their emergency treatment, ongoing medical care, lost earnings,pain, suffering, mental anguish, and other damages.
A competent attorney may be required to negotiate an acceptable settlement by participating in numerous resolution meetings before the defendant, and their insurance company recognizes the claim’s actual value.
The Illinois Laws on Comparative Fault Impact on Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
The unique question that an attorney may face when settling a motorcycle collision settlement is whether or not the fact that the client was partially at fault for the accident will affect the settlement negatively.
Illinois is not a pure contributory negligence state or a comparative fault state. Instead, Illinois has adopted the "modified comparative negligence" approach.
The State of Illinois has also adopted Section 2-1117 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, setting forth a "pure" comparative fault standard.
In a modified comparative negligence state, the damages recovered by a wounded party will be reduced by their percentage of blame for causing the accident. For example, if a motorcycle operator is 30% at-fault and is hurt, they will collect 70% of the total damages.
In a pure comparative negligence state, if an injured party is 51% at-fault, they cannot recover anything from the other party. On the other hand, if they are 50% or less at fault, the plaintiff receives financial damages from the other party or parties, depending on their percentage of the blame.
Factors to Consider in a Motorcycle Accident Settlement Case
In deciding the settlement offer, the insurance carrier will look at many factors, including your bruises and injuries, their severity, and how long it will take you to recover.
Settlement for property damage in a motorcycle collision can be obtained just as it would for any car involved in a crash. The same factors that may affect a car accident case settlement may also affect a motorcycle accident case settlement.
What are the Most Typical Accident Compensation Amounts That We See?
The most typical accident compensation amounts that we see?
- $2,500 - $5,000 for pain and suffering. This amount is normally given when the injuries are not serious or permanent.
- $10,000 - $25,000 for more significant injury amounts. You might negotiate a settlement of $10,000 to $25,000 should the injuries be more serious and life-altering.
- $50,000 - $300,000+ for very serious injury amounts. You might negotiate a settlement of $50,000 - $300,000+ should the injuries be more serious and life-altering.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our injury attorneys are here to help you claim the damages you deserve, should you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We'll take care of the paperwork so that you can focus on recovery.
Injuries in a Motorbike Accident
When you're riding your motorcycle to work, school, or just out for a thrill, biker accidents can cause both emotional and physical damage to you and your loved ones.
Injuries from a motorcycle collision often include:
The Comparative Negligence States
Comparative negligence is a modification of contributory negligence doctrine proposed in 1929 by New York Court of Appeals judge Benjamin Cardozo.
Comparative negligence allows for damages to be assessed based on the degree of blame. Traditional contributory negligence only allowed a wounded party to recover if they were less than 50% at fault for the accident.
States using comparative negligence include:
- Mississippi (except for dog bite cases)
- Utah (except for dog bite cases)
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
States With a Contributional Negligence Liability Law
States with a contributional negligence liability law are those states that have passed statutes, or laws, which make an institution, such as a school or state agency, liable for its negligence. So instead of the institution having to claim contributory negligence, they can be found negligent with a Contributional Negligence Law.
Such states include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
Many Clients Have Benefited From Our Legal Assistance.
Suppose you or a close family member was hurt in a motorcycle collision. In that case, our law firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
The law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC will fight hard for your rights. Contact our legal team for a free consultation.
We have the experience and resources to take your case through trial if necessary. But we will not waste your time or money.
We are proud to have the highest rating in the legal fraternity, an achievement made possible through our impressive record of successful verdicts and settlements.
We represent the families of those killed in motorcycle crashes as well as those hurt during collisions with cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
The Jury Determining Motorcycle Accident Settlement matters
Where the case proceeds to trial, the jury will hear the evidence and arguments of both sides before rendering a verdict. The judge will instruct the jury on how they should evaluate the evidence presented by each side and the criteria they should use to make their decision.
According to Illinois law, the plaintiff (in this case, the hurt motorcycle rider) has the burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant (the driver of the car) was negligent.
A preponderance of the evidence is a legal standard that requires "that the proposition is more likely to be true than not true." The jury will award the injured party damages if they find that the victim has proven his case by a preponderance of the evidence.
In addition, the jury will consider any blame found by law for the other drivers, not a party to the suit.
Hiring a Lawyer to Advise on Comparative Fault Impact on a Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Are you looking for a lawyer to advise on comparative fault impact on a motorcycle accident settlement?
The insurance company will try to reduce the amount of your settlement by claiming that you were partially at fault for the accident. Comparative negligence could affect how much money you receive from your claim.
You need someone on your side who understands comparative negligence and can help fight back against these unfair claims made by the insurance company.
Let us provide you with legal advice so that we can ensure that you get what’s fair for all your medical expenses, pain, suffering, etc. We are here to make sure that justice prevails!
Call today toll-free at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation. Through an attorney-client relationship, our legal team maintains the privacy of any confidential or sensitive information you exchange with us.
Our legal team accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, so you don't have to pay us unless we win your case.