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From helping you after a dog attack or truck accident in Wisconsin to defending your rights as a rider, the personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy & Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need.
With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by slip and fall incidents, car accidents, wrongful deaths, drug and medical device injuries, dog bites, nursing home abuse and motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.
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What should I do if a drunk driver caused my motorcycle crash?
You weren’t the one who was drinking and driving, but you are the one who is paying the price for someone else’s decision to drink and drive.
Whether you smelled alcohol on the other driver’s breath, you saw an open bottle in the driver’s car, or you had other reason to believe that the driver was drunk at the time of your crash, you are confident that an intoxicated driver is the one who hurt you.
Now You Have to Prove It
Time is of the essence. Important evidence may be lost if you wait too long to report your suspicion that the other driver was under the influence at the time of your crash. Accordingly, it is important to tell:
- The police at the scene of the accident. If you are physically able to talk immediately after the crash, then you should inform the police of your suspicion so that the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) can be measured.
- Your motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Additional evidence may be obtained. This could include witnesses to the accident or proof of what the driver was doing immediately prior to the accident.
It is against the law to drive while intoxicated in Illinois. Specifically, it is against the law for:
- Drivers who are age 21 or older to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater.
- Drivers who under the age of 21 to drive while under the influence of any alcohol.
- Commercial drivers who are over the age of 21 to drive with a BAC of 0.04% or more.
However, you may be able to prove that a driver with a lower BAC was negligent and caused your motorcycle accident injuries.
Don’t Delay Getting the Help You Deserve
To find out more about how to protect your rights and convince the insurance company or court of your fair recovery, please download a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, and call us today at 1-800-800-5678 to discuss your legal options.
What should I do if a distracted driver caused my motorcycle accident injuries?
As with any accident that results in injury, getting medical attentions should be your top priority. First and foremost, this will help with your current pain and your physical recovery. Additionally, it may be important to your legal recovery because it may help prove that your injuries were caused by the motorcycle accident
You Will Also Need to Prove That the Other Driver Was Distracted
If you are claiming that the other driver’s negligence caused your motorcycle crash and that the other driver was negligent because he was distracted, then you are going to have to prove it before you can recover damages.
In Illinois, distracted driving laws prohibit:
- All drivers from texting and driving.
- All drivers from using handheld cellphones.
- All drivers from using a cellphone in any way in school zones or highway construction zones.
- Novice drivers under the age of 19 from using a cellphone in any way.
- Bus drivers from using cellphones in any way.
If you can prove—with reliable evidence such as cell phone records—that a driver violated one of these laws, then it will be relevant to your motorcycle accident claim.
However, these are not the only ways that a driver may be distracted and therefore negligent. A driver may be distracted any time his eyes leave the road, his hands leave the steering wheel, or his mind wanders away from driving safely. A thorough investigation into what was happening immediately before and during the accident may be necessary to determine if the driver was distracted and if that distraction caused your crash.
Don’t Investigate the Accident Yourself
Instead, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer for help. Your lawyer can use the legal discovery process to get necessary information to build a strong case so that you can get the fair recovery that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule your own free consultation, please contact us via this website today.
How much insurance do I have to buy if I ride a motorcycle in Illinois?
Motorcycle accidents are unpredictable. If you could predict when a crash might occur, then you would avoid it. Since you can’t do that, Illinois law requires you to carry a minimum amount of insurance to protect yourself and others from the financial consequences of a motorcycle accident. Additionally, optional insurance coverage is available to further limit your potential liability in case of a crash.
The Minimum Requirements
As of May 2016, all Illinois motorcyclists are required to have insurance policies that will pay at least the following for each motorcycle crash:
- $25,000 for injuries or death of one person in a motorcycle crash.
- $50,000 for injuries or death of more than one person in a motorcycle crash.
- $20,000 for the property damage incurred in a motorcycle crash.
Of course, these are just minimum amounts and they are subject to change. Injuries and property damage in a single motorcycle accident may be much higher than the minimum amounts required by law. Accordingly, it is important to consider purchasing additional insurance to protect you from financial ruin after a bike wreck.
The Optional Coverage
It is important to consider purchasing optional motorcycle accident coverage. Such coverage could include:
- Comprehensive insurance. This involves harm to your bike that occurs for reasons other than an accident. These reasons could include vandalism or a fire, for example.
- Collision insurance. This covers repairs to your own bike after an accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance would pay for your accident costs if you are involved in a hit-and-run and the other driver can’t be identified, or if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance.
You may also be able to purchase insurance that pays for your own medical costs or custom parts of your bike if you are involved in a crash.
Generally, it is important to purchase as much insurance as you can afford and to make an educated decision about insurance coverage that provides you with the protection you need if you are involved in a crash.
Because finances can be uncertain after a motorcycle accident, we’d like to encourage you to contact our firm if you believe someone else is responsible for your injuries and other accident losses. Let us hear your story during a free, no-obligation consultation; we would be happy to share our insights about your potential insurance claim.
How can I get a copy of a police report after an Illinois motorcycle accident?
The police responded to your call. An officer came to the scene after you or another person reported the motorcycle crash.
First, the police officer determined who was hurt and secured the accident scene from a secondary crash. Once the immediate safety concerns were addressed, the officer began to investigate what happened. Later, after the accident scene was cleared the officer took the information learned in the investigation and wrote an accident report.
You Have a Right to See That Report
As a person injured in the motorcycle accident, the officer’s report is an important resource for you, and you have the right to request a copy of that report. In order to get the report, you will have to identify which police force responded to your accident. You may have received the officer’s name and police force, preliminary accident report, or business card at the scene of the accident. If not, then you should contact the town or city police force that covers the location of your accident, or the state police if the crash occurred on a state road.
If a local police force such as the Chicago Police Department, investigated your accident, then you will be able to get a copy of your accident report online or by making a request directly to the local police department.
If, however, the Illinois State Police investigated your motorcycle crash, you should request a copy of your report by:
- Completing the online request form with payment.
- Submitting a written request with as much information about your accident as possible, including the agency crash report number, the IDOT number, the date of the crash, and your name. You should also include the appropriate payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request. The package may then be mailed to the Illinois State Police Patrol Records Section, 801 South 7th Street, Suite 700-A, Springfield, Illinois 62703.
Police reports are not always correct, nor are they definitive when it comes to proving fault in a motorcycle accident case. However, it is important to know what is in the report and to talk to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer about how the report could impact your recovery. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with an attorney, please do so today by calling 1-800-800-5678.
I was hurt in an Illinois motorcycle accident. How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In most cases, you have two years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit in Illinois. This time limit is known as the Illinois Statute of Limitations.
Why Your Time Is Limited
The statute of limitations provides certainty to all parties involved in the accident. It allows you, and others who have been hurt, to pursue a case while there is still evidence available and it allows those who caused the accident to know that a lawsuit must be filed by a date certain.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
As with many rules, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations.
The time to file a case may be extended if…
- You were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident.
- You were mentally incompetent at the time of the accident.
The time to file a case may also be shortened if…
- Your crash involved a government vehicle.
- You are filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of someone who died in the crash.
There Are Benefits to Starting Your Case Early
While the law typically provides you with two years to file a motorcycle accident case in Illinois, the law does not require you to wait that long to file a lawsuit. Instead, you may file a complaint in court as soon as you are ready to do so, and there are benefits to starting your case early.
- It may be easier to gather evidence soon after the accident and you may be able to build a stronger case.
- You may recover damages more quickly since you did not delay seeking justice.
Make today the day that you get more information about your rights so that you can make an informed decision about moving forward with a motorcycle accident case. You can get started, for free, right now by downloading our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, or contacting us via this website.
Do I have the right to file a lawsuit after an Illinois motorcycle accident?
Not everyone who has been impacted by an Illinois motorcycle accident has the right to file a lawsuit. You may be unable to file a lawsuit, for example, if you were not directly involved in the crash but instead were a witness to it. You may be unable to file a lawsuit if your loved one was hurt but survived the crash. You may be unable to file a lawsuit if you were the sole cause of the crash.
However, If You’ve Been Hurt or Your Loved One Died in an Illinois Motorcycle Crash, Then You May Have Standing to Sue
Standing to sue is the legal phrase that means that you have a legal right to file a lawsuit. If you file a lawsuit and you do not have standing to sue, then you can expect the defense to seek to have the case is dismissed…and you can expect the court to grant that motion. Thus, it is important to know whether you have standing to sue after an Illinois bike accident.
Generally, you have standing to sue if:
- You were hurt in the crash and you are age 18 or older; or
- Your minor child was hurt in the accident; or
- You are the court-appointed guardian for someone who was hurt in the crash; or
- You are the personal representative of the estate, and the decedent died because of his motorcycle accident injuries.
If you have standing to sue for motorcycle accident injuries, it does not mean that you have to file a case on your own. Instead, you have the right to work with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can tell you if you have standing, who can gather evidence in your case, and who can advocate for your full and fair recovery.
To learn more about how an Illinois motorcycle case works, please browse our related links and request a free copy of our report, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.
What happens if more than one person is responsible for an Illinois motorcycle accident?
In many cases, more than one driver bears some legal responsibility for a crash. In legal terms, shared responsibility for a crash is known as comparative negligence. When more than one party contributes to an accident, comparative negligence laws determine which parties are liable for damages.
You may have even been partially to blame for the motorcycle accident that hurt you. If you were partially at fault for the crash then there are two things that you should know. First, you may still be able to recover damages if you bear less than 51% of the responsibility. Second, you will benefit from telling your attorney the truth and letting your lawyer fight for your fair and just recovery.
Illinois Follows a Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Modified comparative negligence means that the injured party can recover damages only if he or she is found to be less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. The compensation, though, may be reduced in proportion to the degree to which the injured party was responsible. Hence, if you are determined to be 30 percent responsible for the damages and injury incurred in your motorcycle accident, you may receive compensation that is reduced by 30 percent of the total amount of damages.
How Comparative Negligence Is Determined
Comparative negligence will be determined based on the facts of the case. The percentage of fault attributable to each party is often hotly contested. If an agreement between your attorney and the insurance company cannot be reached then the matter will be decided in court.
You can strengthen your claim by contacting an attorney early so that a full investigation can be done into the cause of your crash while evidence is still readily available. If you have any questions about how an Illinois motorcycle accident case works or what you should do after a crash, then please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.