Injured Motorcycle Passengers May Recover from Multiple Sources
Motorcyclists and passengers often enjoy the scenic views and beautiful weather of Illinois highways. The joys of motorcycling are extensive, but unfortunately, so are the consequences of being in an accident that is often out of your control. Being a passenger on a motorcycle can put you at the mercy of others including the motorcyclist and other drivers. Compared to automotive accidents, serious accidents involving motorcycles are far more deadly, and often result in extensive injuries and fatalities.
Unfortunately, the injuries involved in motorcycle accidents are substantial, recovery time takes longer, rehabilitation is often necessary, and the medical expenses are astronomical. The pain, suffering and mental anguish can last a lifetime. Common motorcycle passenger injuries sustained in an accident include broken bones, facial disfigurement, organ damage, brain trauma, head injuries, lacerations, scrapes and bruises. Out of all of the factors contributing to a serious motorcycle accident, negligence remains a leading cause.
Proving responsibility in a motorcycle accident can be challenging. Determining which party is at fault through their negligence usually involves four specific elements including:
- Breach of duty
- Proximate cause
The rider operating the motorcycle and all other drivers on the road have a duty to drive carefully and safely, paying close attention to traffic and weather conditions. When a passenger is injured in a motorcycle accident, he or she is required to show that one or more drivers or the motorcyclist breached that duty. In addition, the breach must have been the actual cause of the accident and injuries, and the “proximate cause” of the injuries as well.
Proximate cause, according to Illinois legalese, distinguishes any act or omission of an act as a legal cause of the victim’s injuries. It is usually determined that the conduct of the defendant’s actions was a substantial factor or factors in causing the injuries. In some cases, parties being held responsible will attempt to blame the passenger for causing the accident by distracting the motorcyclist, while operating the bike.
Whenever responsible parties attempt to shift blame, it is essential to hire a reputable personal injury attorney that specializes in passenger motorcycle accident injuries. A skilled lawyer can help gather evidence, speak to witnesses and reconstruct the motorcycle accident to prove fault to avoid shifting blame to the victim.
In Illinois, motorcycle passengers involved in a serious accident can make a claim for negligence against all responsible parties. There are usually numerous sources of recovery available to victims, including primary and secondary policies. In many cases, judges and lawyers will determine the order of policies covering the accident. Passengers might have personal injury protection, along with protection from the motorcyclist’s insurance, and coverage from other drivers and commercial entities.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection coverage is often recognized as “no-fault” insurance. Recovery from the fund is available to individuals that are on the policy, or as umbrella coverage, providing insurance to any household individual riding on a motorcycle or other vehicle. Usually, the motorcyclist’s insurance coverage is considered the primary policy, and the passenger’s policy as secondary coverage.
Motorcycle accident victims riding as a passenger on the bike can suffer catastrophic injury requiring extensive recovery time. This is especially true if the passenger was not wearing a helmet. Seeking compensation often requires the skills of a reputable personal injury attorney that specializes in motorcycle passenger accidents. Financial recompense can cover a variety of expenses including:
- Hospitalization and medical bills
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Compensation for disfigurement or loss of limbs
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Property damage
An attorney will offer an initial consultation for a careful review involving the particulars of the accident. The lawyer can provide advice on legal remedies and strategies beneficial to the injured victim hoping to achieve compensation for future security. It is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible, to avoid restrictions involved with the Illinois Statute of Limitations.
Additional Resources Regarding Motorcycle Passenger Safety: