How is Fault Determined After an Illinois Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents often lead to devastating injuries and extensive property damage for individuals in Illinois, and crash victims should be able to recover compensation for their losses if the incident was caused by the actions of someone else. However, determining fault in these situations is challenging. Here, we want to discuss how liability is determined after an Illinois motorcycle accident.
What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Accident Occurrences
Data gathered by the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that there were 2,991 total motorcycle accidents during the most recent reporting year on file. The data also shows that there were 2,404 total motorcyclist injuries, 867 of which were considered catastrophic. Additionally, 152 motorcyclists lost their lives in Illinois during that same reporting year.
Motorcycle crashes in this state occur in a wide variety of ways, often due to the careless or negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway. However, determining fault after these incidents can be challenging, particularly because insurance carriers and other parties involved will want to place some or all the blame on the motorcyclist for the incident.
How Liability is Determined After a Crash
Determining liability after a motorcycle crash involves gathering evidence. In some cases, much of this evidence is gathered at the scene of the incident, but that is not always possible. Depending on the severity of the motorcycle crash, the number one priority may need to be getting to the hospital to treat injuries.
However, some of the evidence gathered at the scene of the incident that could be used to help determine fault includes:
- Photographs taken by crash victims or bystanders
- Cell phone video footage
- Surveillance footage from cameras on nearby homes or businesses
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the incident
- The police report
Often, the evidence gathered at the scene of the incident is not enough to definitively prove exactly what happened. This means that an attorney for the motorcycle crash victim will work diligently to obtain additional types of evidence that can prove what happened. In some cases, particularly if distracted driving is suspected, an attorney may need to use the court system to subpoena cell phone records or the data contained on the vehicle’s black box recording device.
If the incident involved a traffic violation or DUI, an attorney will work to obtain the police reports related to the violation.
In some cases, it may be necessary to work with an accident reconstruction expert who can take the evidence that has been gathered, analyze the accident scene, and create 3D computer renderings to show an insurance carrier or personal injury jury what likely happened at the scene of the incident.
Working With an Attorney
It is crucial for motorcycle accident victims to work with a skilled attorney who can help them every step of the way. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will use their resources to gather all of the evidence needed to prove liability. If necessary, a lawyer will push back against allegations of fault that come from the other parties involved. Partial fault allegations could reduce the total amount of compensation paid to a crash victim, but an attorney will seek to maximize total compensation payouts.