There are many hazards that, while serious issues for all drivers, are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Animals in the road are one of these risks for motorcyclists. If an SUV hits a cow, the vehicle may be severely damaged, but the driver will probably survive. The same cannot always be said when the driver is operating a motorcycle instead of a car, truck, or SUV. News agencies have recently reported on fatal motorcycle-versus-cow crashes in Tennessee, Kansas, and western Wisconsin. A California motorcyclist died after hitting a bull. In Illinois, if you’re hurt because your motorcycle crashes into a livestock animal in the road, you may be able to hold that animal’s owner liable for your injuries and recover damages. If you’ve experienced such an accident, you should reach out to an experienced Illinois motorcycle accident attorney promptly.
In May of last year, two motorcyclists were involved in a crash in Marion. According to wsiltv.com, 25-year-old Joseph struck a deer. The initial collision threw him off course, and he subsequently collided with 34-year-old Matthew. The report indicated that both men were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Joseph and Matthew were involved in an accident involving a wild animal. Had the animal involved been a livestock animal instead of wildlife, they might have had a valid lawsuit. In Illinois, the law explicitly forbids owners of livestock from allowing their animals to roam. The law states that no “person or owner of livestock shall allow livestock to run at large in the State of Illinois. All owners of livestock shall provide the necessary restraints to prevent such livestock from so running at large and shall be liable in civil action for all damages occasioned by such animals running at large.” Thus, if you’ve hit a cow that was in the road, you may have a claim for money damages.
Another downstate motorcycle crash demonstrates the substantial risk to motorcyclists created by vehicle drivers who don’t obey the rules of the road. In August, Mascoutah Police responded to the scene of an accident near the local high school. The accident involved an SUV and a motorcycle. According to the police, the SUV stopped at a stop sign but then improperly pulled out, hitting the motorcycle. The police told the Belleville News Democrat that they intended to ticket the SUV’s driver because, although they were still investigating, the SUV driver clearly was at fault. The driver of the SUV was not injured. The driver of the motorcycle suffered a brain injury and a lacerated liver. The motorcyclist’s passenger, who was also his wife, suffered critical injuries in the crash, and doctors had to amputate one of her legs.
A traffic ticket issued to the person who caused your motorcycle accident can be an important piece of evidence in your injury lawsuit. Tickets for traffic violations (like failures to yield the right of way) are often adjudicated quickly. The ticketed driver may appear in court shortly after the accident. Alternatively, the driver may have the option to pay the fine by mail. Either way, ticketed drivers frequently plead guilty to violations in order to wrap up their cases. When a driver who has hit you does that, though, you can use that guilty plea to prove liability in your injury case. Guilty pleas, including those entered in traffic violation cases, are admissible in court as an exception to the hearsay rule of evidence.
Whether you’ve been injured on your motorcycle due to a livestock animal in the road or a driver who improperly failed to yield the right of way, you need legal help on your side. The skilled Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca have been helping injured motorcyclists and their passengers for many years. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.
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Rockford Jury Returns $15M Damages Verdict in Wrongful Death Truck Accident Case, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Oct. 24, 2017
What is considered a catastrophic injury?, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Nov. 4, 2014