Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
For many people who ride motorcycles, climbing onto the back of a bike and hitting the open road provides the greatest feeling of freedom and exhilaration. Perhaps part of the fun is the sense of risk, with little protection between you and the elements — or the pavement. However, even a skilled motorcycle rider can get into a crash when other drivers on the road are negligent or the road is poorly maintained.
With less protection than other drivers on the road, a crash for someone on the back of a motorcycle can mean serious injuries or even death.
If you or a loved has been injured in a motorcycle crash due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim.
Illinois Motorcycle Accident Facts and Statistics
Although Illinois motorcycle accidents have slightly decreased in the last couple of years, they continue to result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year. In 2014 alone, there were 118 motorcyclists killed in Illinois, making up 11.6 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that year.
There were almost 500 motorcycle accidents in Chicago in 2014 alone. That accounted for ten percent of all motorcycle crash injuries statewide. According to the 2014 Illinois Department of Transportation Crash Report, two percent of those involved in Chicago motorcycle accidents were killed and fifty-four percent were injured.
Motorcycle crashes occur more often in urban areas of Chicago, but they are also common in rural areas with unmarked, local roads. Overall, the highest number of injuries and fatalities results from accidents that happen on city streets, not on interstate or state routes. Accidents are most likely to take place during afternoon and evening hours, from 3 p.m. to midnight.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Often when a motorcycle and motor vehicle crash, it’s the driver of the car or truck who’s at fault. Some of the most common causes for motorcycle crashes are:
- Driving recklessly, negligently, or erratically
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stay in the proper lane
- Driver inexperience
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to obey traffic signs, lights, stop signs, or officers
- Following a motorcycle too closely
- Turning in front of a motorcycle
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Statistics show that motorcyclists are approximately 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to suffer a fatal injury. NHTSA reports indicate that motorcycle riders in fatal crashes are more likely than drivers of other vehicles to be intoxicated. This is reflected in the available data for Illinois, where approximately 43 percent of operators in fatal crashes tested positive for alcohol in their bloodstream (with a BAC of 0.01 or greater).
Because motorcycles offer minimal protection when they collide with a car, truck, or fixed barrier, riders end up absorbing the impact with their bodies. A Chicago car crash lawyer could tell you that the dangers from a car-on-car accident are only amplified when a car collides with a smaller vehicle like a motorcycle. The risk of damage increases significantly when a rider does not wear a safety helmet, which is not legally mandated in Illinois. In fact, motorcyclists are twice as likely to sustain a critical and/or fatal head injury without a helmet on.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Fatalities are only part of the story, however. Every day in Illinois, motorcycles collide with cars and trucks, leading to extensive non-fatal injuries that can have a serious long-term impact on the motorcyclist’s life. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bruises, cuts and scrapes
- Loss of limbs
- Burn injuries
Many of these types of injuries can take weeks or months of recovery and therapy. Medical bills can stack up quickly, and you likely lost time at work while broken bones or other injuries healed. Most people would struggle under this kind of circumstance, and the emotional turmoil of wondering how all of the bills will get paid can cause additional stress during your recovery.
Motorcycle Accidents Claims in Illinois
When another driver’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior caused your crash, Illinois law says that you have a right to be compensated for your damages. That compensation may include payment of the following:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
- Loss of normal life
- Disability or disfigurement
If you have lost a loved in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. In Illinois, recoverable wrongful death damages include:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills from the injury or malpractice that your loved one incurred before passing
- Loss of economic support
- Loss of consortium
- Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering
If you’ve been injured or lost a family member in a motorcycle crash and want to know what your options are for compensation, it’s recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can help you to investigate the accident, gather all of the evidence and documents you’ll need to support your claim, negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to try to get a settlement or take the case to court if necessary.
How a Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
The aftermath of a devastating motorcycle accident can be scary and overwhelming. If you have suffered a serious injury, you might be forced to take time off work, and burdened with unexpected medical expenses. It is important to understand that you do not have to face this process alone. The team of experienced Chicago motorcycle accident injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is here to help.
We maintain a track record of success in helping victims of motorcycle accidents recover the compensation that they deserve. If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for the damages.
Our skilled attorneys will assess your case, determine the best course of action, and handle all the legal filings. We offer a client-centered approach with the goal of securing the maximum compensation possible for your case.