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Motorcyclist Actions Determine Personal Injury Liability

Posted on in BGL Law
Motorcyclist Actions Determine Personal Injury LiabilityCompared to drivers of other motor vehicles, motorcyclists can be more susceptible to and vulnerable during roadway accidents. A motorcycle's size makes it more difficult for drivers to see it and leaves the motorcyclist more exposed to injuries during a crash. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation's most recent statistics:

  • Motorcycles were involved in 1.1 percent of all vehicle crashes in 2015;
  • Motorcyclists killed during crashes accounted for 14.7 percent of all fatal crashes;
  • Sixty-nine percent of the motorcycle crashes involved injuries; and
  • Twenty-four percent of the motorcycle crashes resulted in debilitating injuries.

Depending on the cause of the accident and who was at fault, the motorcyclist may be able to sue for damages due to personal injury. IDOT categorized the 2015 motorcycle crashes by the type of maneuver the motorcyclist was performing. Here is a rank of the most common situations in which motorcyclists are involved in accidents and who may be at fault:

  1. Driving Straight Ahead – Moving forward is the most common action while driving a motorcycle, so it makes sense that this is when a majority of accidents occur. You often have the right-of-way when you are driving straight forward, which improves the chances that another party is at fault.
  2. Skidding/Losing Control – Skidding can occur because you are driving your motorcycle too fast or because of the road conditions. A party responsible for dangerous conditions on the road may be held liable, but you may also be responsible for reacting to avoid an accident. Suing a public entity is particularly difficult because you will need to prove willful negligence.
  3. Slowed/Stopped – Another vehicle may hit a motorcyclist who has stopped due to traffic, usually from behind. It is likely in these cases that the other driver is at fault and is liable for your injuries.
  4. Turning Left – Motorcyclists who were turning left during an accident are generally at fault because they do not have the right-of-way. The exception would be at intersections with a left-turn light when the vehicle going straight is disobeying a red light.
  5. Turning Right – There are more scenarios when a motorcycle turning right has the right-of-way, but turning vehicles often must yield to drivers who are moving straight forward.
  6. Passing Vehicles – A motorcyclist involved in an accident while overtaking another vehicle is likely at fault because he or she must yield to other vehicles when changing lanes.

Motorcycle Accident Liability

Motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries that hospitalize you and prevent you from working. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can represent you in seeking damages from the party at fault. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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