Ever since renegade actors used motorcycles to rebel against the previous generations, they have had the allure of danger and excitement. They attract those with adventure on their mind, and sometimes they get more than they bargained for.
However, as gas prices rise higher and higher and more people flock to urban environments, motorcycles and mopeds have also gotten the attention of more conservative-minded commuters. They represent a more accessible and more economical way of getting around town. Unfortunately, bikes are also involved in some of the most shocking accidents across all kinds of vehicles.
If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, your first reaction might be to sue. However, after that instinct subsides, your mind wonder if the all the trouble and effort is worth a lawsuit if you were only marginally injured. So, you will probably at some point want to ask a lawyer, “What is my motorcycle case worth?”
There are some factors to consider while making this calculation: what you need to be doing to preserve any recovery, the particular laws surrounding motorcycle accidents, the specific facts of your case, and others. Of course, every lawsuit is decided on its own merits, but you need a starting point. So, set forth below, we have summaries of other cases that are broken down by injury type to give you a sense of comparable awards as well as some general information you need to know if you are injured in an Illinois motorcycle accident.
What are laws governing Illinois motorcycle accidents?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, either through a collision with another vehicle, with a pedestrian, or with a stationary object, your most likely claim will be that the other party was negligent. Objective reasonableness governs the law of negligence. This means that you have to show that the other person or entity did not act as a reasonable actor would have in similar circumstances; in other words, their conduct fell below the standard of reasonableness for the specific situation. Therefore, this analysis can become highly technical and very fact-dependent.
However, there are four general requirements to any negligence cause of action and they include the following:
- the defendant had a legal duty with respect to the plaintiff;
- the defendant breached that legal duty owed to the plaintiff;
- the defendant’s breach was the factual and legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- the plaintiff’s injuries produced legally recognizable damages.
What should I be doing to protect my future recovery?
Time is money. This saying is especially true in litigation. Every second that you are not building or protecting your case could lower your possible jury award or settlement amount. Here are some things you can do to preserve your recovery but call us today to hear about what we can do to maximize it!
- Call the cops! You should never leave the scene of an accident, whether you are at fault at not. However, if you want to eventually file a lawsuit, you will need a police report. Therefore, waiting for the cops to arrive and giving your side of the story is vital because they will need to put that in their report.
- Wait for help! Many people try and talk to the other party at the scene of the crime or even after in an attempt to negotiate. Instead of doing this, you should wait for an attorney who can speak on your behalf. By doing this you will guarantee that you do not lose all or some of your recovery by inadvertently and accidentally admitting blame.
- Seek medical attention! A lot of motorcyclists think they are fine after an accident and can walk or drive away without any difficulty. Unfortunately, many medical problems do not present themselves until well after the incident. Therefore, it is important to promptly see doctors so they can discover any irregularities and issues they arise after a crash. Also, they can make a record of any medical conditions you suffered and this will be critical in establishing your subsequent lawsuit.
- Evidence! At the get-go, there is information and evidence that you need to gather and preserve so that you can eventually make out a successful case. Some of these things include facts from the scene of the accident, information about the driver, and information from third parties. Soon after a motorcycle accident, speak with an attorney to identify what you need to track down and hold onto for your case!
What are average motorcycle accident case awards?
While an exact quote on what your motorcycle accident case is worth is nearly impossible to give, here are some statistics from similar cases across Illinois over the last twenty years (since 1994). These might be helpful in giving a range of what might be possible to recover:
- The state average for motorcycle accidents hovers around half of one million dollars.
- State median returns for bike accidents roughly ranges between $25,000 and $40,000.
- 67% of all cases recovered under $100,000 and 12% of all cases recovered more than $1,000,000
- 61% of all cases in Cook County recovered under $100,000 and 17% of all cases in Cook County recovered more than $1,000,000.
Past Illinois Motorcycle Accident Awards:
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and are considering legal action, more often than not, your main concern is how much you could possibly recover at trial or settlement. Lawsuits are not about fun; they are arduous and time-consuming processes meant to compensate victims for legally recognizable wrongs. To gain a sense of what you could recover, we have summarized some motorcycle accident cases and organized them by injury.
If you have questions about your rights for recovery following an Illinois motorcycle crash, we invite you to contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for a free case evaluation with a lawyer who has experience winning financial compensation for injured motorcyclists. If you are unable to visit our downtown Chicago office, we will come to you.