You threw back one too many at the Tap House in Aurora. On your way home, you’re driving 65 in a 35 when you get T-boned. Can you still recover even though you tested positive for a little alcohol? Possibly. Read about it below. If you are searching for an Aurora motorcycle accident lawyer, reach out to us today for free advice at 1-847-305-4105.
Can I Recover for my Injuries if I was Drunk?
As we’ve mentioned before on this website, Illinois is a comparative negligence state. What does that mean and why is it important? It means that you can recover for your damages even if you were partially at fault. How much at fault? Not over 50%.
How does that apply if you’ve been drinking? Same way. I’ve never had a case where a rider was totally drunk in an accident, however, there would be a determination by the police and then the insurance company and possibly even a jury as to how much the inebriation caused the accident.
For example, if you’re sitting drunk as a skunk totally stationary on your bike on Galena at Orchard and a car rear ends you, chances are the fact that you were drunk won’t impact your injury case too much (theoretically). Safest thing to do though is Don’t drink and drive. That’s what we have Ubers for.
You could have a situation where you get cited for a DUI and still recover for your damages.
Around 1/3 the 4,985 motorcycle drivers who were killed operating a motorcycle in 2018 had been drinking. But don’t think that these folks were “drunk” per se. They were ‘impaired’ as determined by the police or a doctor perhaps. Doesn’t matter. If you have any alcohol in your system, it could impact your case.
Alcohol will affect your judgment, impair your visual skills, reduce your reaction time and more.
If you are driving, don’t drink. If you drink, catch a ride home. Don’t be a motorcycle accident statistic. Plus, if you are drunk and injured, this will likely limit your ability to recover for damages from an accident even if the accident is not your fault. There’s a huge bias against bikers to begin with but a drunken biker might find it very hard to prevail in a case.
What if I was drunk and a passenger on a motorcycle?
We’ve tried to find good statistics about passengers who suffered injuries and had been drinking but haven’t found anything. However, we have worked on a few cases where the passenger on the back of a bike was drunk and got injured. How does that affect their case?
Passenger cases pose interesting issues because the passenger’s claim might be against a 3d party who hit the bike or their claim might be against the driver of the motorcycle. Obviously if the passenger is drunk and hanging off the back of the bike causing problems and that caused the driver to get in an accident, that could reduce the passenger’s recovery.
Another situation where this comes up is where a group of bikers are on a poker run or some other type of organized ride. They’re going from bar to bar and drinking then driving. What if a passenger was on the back of a motorcycle, had been drinking with the driver of the bike, and then still got on the bike to go to the next stop only to get in an accident.
It’s happened and this could be viewed as comparative negligence and therefore reduce the recovery of the passenger.
Defensive Driving Skills
The CA DMV had a good list of defensive and safe driving skills and practices that we thought we’d share with you:
- Avoid distractions, including mobile phones and other devices, which can divert your attention, even with hands-free functionality.
- Aim high when looking out over the handlebars at the road.
- Keep your eyes moving, meaning don’t just stare at the road ahead; check mirrors and other views frequently.
- Leave yourself an out; this means anticipating what would happen if you had to swerve or slam on the brakes.
- Position both hands firmly but comfortably on handlebars.
- Never drive while feeling drowsy or sleepy; pull over at a rest stop or other safe place to take a break and get some real rest.
- Regulate your speed. There are many factors that change constantly when riding. Make sure you adjust your speed to compensate for these changes. Take into consideration the time of day: is rush hour traffic an issue and should you adjust your speed accordingly? Are you heading into the sun? It looks like rain. Can you make it in time? Is the road getting slippery? When accidents do occur there is rarely only one cause. Your Aurora motorcycle accident lawyer can assist with finding the facts and ensuring you receive the most you can for everything you’ve gone though. We do our best to make the best of a bad situation.
If you are injured in Aurora or in one of the following Kane County cities, we can help you:
About Aurora, IL
Aurora lies in four different Chicagoland counties and with its sister city North Aurora is a one of the biggest cities in the state of Illinois after Chicago. So, we pay attention to what’s going on there and have spent some time in the Hollywood Casino over on New York in Aurora and at the Paramount on Galena.
If you are searching for an Aurora motorcycle accident attorney reach out to us for some free advice at 1-847-305-4105.