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Riding a motorcycle is a popular pastime. Even in Illinois, where the winter weather may keep motorcycles in the garage for several months. Since 1999, the number of motorcycles registered in Illinois has gone up by 76%. Currently, there are about 240,000 registered motorcyclists in Illinois. This represents about 4% of all registered vehicles.
With so many motorcyclists on the road, motorcycle accidents have become a fact of life, as our Chicago motorcycle accident injury lawyers recognize. In 2016, there were 3,504 crashes involving motorcycles in Illinois.
Motorcycle Riders are More Vulnerable to Injuries
For obvious reasons, motorcycle riders and their passengers are more vulnerable than the occupants of cars and trucks.
Consequently, when a motorcyclist gets into an accident with a car or with a semi truck, it is more likely the motorcyclist who will suffer harm.
Motorcycle Injury Statistics
Motorcycle statistics help support the above information.
- Motorcycles were involved in 3,504 out of 324,473 motor vehicle accidents in the State of Illinois in 2016 (1.1% of the total). Further, 154 motorcyclists were killed and 2,692 were injured, accounting for 14.3% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities and 2.9% of all motor vehicle injuries for the year.
- Click here for more motorcycle accident statistics.
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable not only because they lack the protection, but because they are smaller. This disadvantage makes motorcycles more difficult for other motorists to see on the road. It also means that motorcycles and their passengers are more likely to be thrown further in the event of a collision.
Because motorcycles are more difficult to spot than other vehicles, motorcyclists must always drive defensively. Bikers can never assume that other drivers can see them, particularly the drivers of vehicles in front of them. Motorcycle accidents often happen when drivers:
- Pull out of a side street, parking lot, or driveway in front of a motorcycle;
- Make an abrupt turn in front of a motorcycle;
- Make a lane change in front of or broadside to a motorcycle; or
- Try to pass another car, and fail to spot the motorcyclist in either the passing lane or the target lane.
In one study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that in over three quarters of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car, the car was located in front of the bike. Motorcycles were hit from behind in fewer than 10% of accidents.
Further, about 40% of the accidents were caused by a car turning left in front of a motorcycle. In other words, the driver of the car did not see the motorcyclist to the left before he or she began turning.
As these facts suggest, motorcyclists injured in accidents are often the victims of negligence. Every negligence claim is made up of four essential elements: a duty, a breach of that duty, an injury caused by the breach, and damages suffered by the plaintiff. Drivers of motor vehicles owe a duty of care to everyone else who uses public thoroughfares. That includes bicyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers—including motorcyclists.
When a driver breaches that duty by being careless, intoxicated, tired, or distracted, and ends up causing an accident which results in injury or event wrongful death to another person, the driver may be held civilly liable to the injured party. He or she can pursue a negligence claim with the assistance of a motorcycle accident attorney in Chicago.
A motorcyclist injured in an accident may have a claim if he can demonstrate that another driver was at fault. When a motorcycle driver￼ has obeyed all of the traffic laws but is still involved in a crash, chances are that it has been caused by the driver of another vehicle. It could be not seeing the motorcyclist, speeding, being intoxicated, or a combination of the three.
In fact, in Illinois, weather is usually not a factor in motorcycle crashes. Most motorcyclists do not ride when the weather is inclement. Over 90% of Illinois crashes involving motorcycles occur on dry pavement during a clear day.
Your motorcycle brings you joy. Whether you ride for pleasure, travel to and from work, or both, you deserve a pleasant experience on your motorcycle.
Unfortunately, not all drivers pay close enough attention to other vehicles. This could leave unlucky motorcyclists mending serious injuries.
You deserve a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer who has your best interests at heart. An advocate who can work to maximize your financial recovery. Let us help you recover from your injuries by aggressively fighting to protect your rights.
Meanwhile, we’d like to share with you the answers to many of the questions we most frequently get from our clients.
What Are the Odds of Getting in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle statistics help support the above information.
- Motorcycles were involved in 3,504 out of 324,473 motor vehicle accidents in the State of Illinois in 2016 (1.1% of the total).
- Further, 154 motorcyclists were killed and 2,692 were injured, accounting for 14.3% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities and 2.9% of all motor vehicle injuries for the year.
- Click here for more motorcycle accident statistics.
What Should I do After a Motorcycle Accident?
If You Have Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident, immediately contact the police to make a report if they are involved in an accident. This is especially true if there is an injury or fatality.
If immediate medical help is necessary, render what aid you can, seek assistance, and call emergency medical help. If you are the one who is injured, you should seek immediate medical help. Even if your injury seems minor and you do not need immediate aid, it is a good idea to seek medical care, as some injuries are not immediately apparent.
Further, at the scene you should collect the contact and insurance information for the other parties. And you also want contact information for independent witnesses, as investigating police officers don’t always gather that information.
Contact a motorcycle accident attorney soon after the accident. We highly recommend that you do this before speaking to any insurance carrier.
Is Making a Police Report Important?
Typically, police reports will include basic data such as the identity, contact information, and driver’s license numbers of the parties involved, the names and contact information of witnesses.
A report may also include statements from the parties and witnesses, and diagrams and photographs of the accident and its location. You will want to obtain a copy of this report.
As a general rule, providing and documenting accident information immediately is important. And even though you may be tempted to second-guess your own actions when someone has been hurt, it is important to simply state the facts as you know them. Don’t speculate on what might have happened had a different course of events unfolded.
For example, if you had driven more slowly, or changed lanes, or flashed your headlights, or any of a number of possible scenarios. Not only are these speculations fruitless, but they will confuse the police. Further, this could possibly injure your case if your words are taken out of context.
Serious vehicle accidents are traumatic experiences, and details are more likely to be accurate when an event is fresh. After the trauma recedes, memories can be faulty, and people may also tend to be more guarded.
For example, at the time of the accident, a negligent driver is more likely to make an admission such as stating he or she never saw your motorcycle. But later the motorist may change his or her story to paint themselves in a less damaging light.
What Are The Most Common Motorcycle Injuries?
A motorcycle provides you little protection in an accident. This means your body ends up taking the full force of the impact with another vehicle.
Often, this results in life-threatening and life-altering injuries to motorcycle accident victims. In fact, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists died in accidents in just one recent year.
While motorcycles only make up 3 percent of registered vehicles, motorcycle accidents cause 15 percent of all vehicle accident deaths. Not every motorcycle accident will cause death, but it shows the seriousness these types of accidents cause.
Some common injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
That’s not to say that survivors can never return to a normal life, but it may take some time and effort, including physical rehabilitation. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you recover the compensation needed to pay for those treatments.
How long after my accident can I file a claim?
In Illinois, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is two years in most cases. This time starts running upon the date of your accident, so if you suffer serious injuries, that two year time span can run very quickly.
If you do not file your claim in time, your case would be barred. You would miss out on collecting compensation for your injuries.
A skilled and experienced Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure you meet all the timelines required. So do not delay seeking needed medical treatment or legal advice.
To prevail in a legal case, you will need to collect and preserve evidence, and that means promptly visiting a doctor, if needed, and calling a motorcycle lawyer.
How do I pay my bills when I’m out of work?
Estimates range on the total cost it takes motorcycle accident injury victims to recover. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your medical bills, lost wages and total damages could range between $2,500 and $1.4 million, per the Government Accountability Office.
That range is enormous, so let’s evaluate what costs might make that number go up. These include:
- Amount of time you spend in the hospital
- Number of surgeries required
- Time spent in a rehabilitation facility
- In-home care requirements
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential if you cannot fully return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Home renovation costs
Your motorcycle accident lawyer can help guide you when it comes to unpaid medical bills. Make sure your bills are sent to your health insurance for payment. Further, your attorney can request that a medical provider file a lien and wait until the time of settlement for payment.
Should I take a quick settlement?
No, at least not until you speak with our Chicago motorcycle accident injury lawyers. When the defendant’s insurance company offers you a quick settlement, that usually means they know your case is worth much more and they are trying to get out of the situation before you get a lawyer.
Unfortunately, when you sign for a low-ball settlement offer, you typically waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for your motorcycle accident. And you soon might realize that the settlement funds are not enough to cover your expenses until it’s too late.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to work with a trusted motorcycle accident injury attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand what your claim is worth and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
We work hard to try to maximize your financial recovery.
Won’t my case settle anyway?
In many cases, yes. Most personal injury cases settle out of court. But just because your case might settle does not mean you should avoid working with a lawyer.
The right lawyer can maximize your financial recovery, getting you more compensation than you would have if attempted alone.
You also want a lawyer at your side if your case goes to court. Some insurance companies refuse to negotiate reasonably. When that happens, you may have to take your case to trial.
While we want to avoid this, as it causes delays in you returning to your regular life, it’s sometimes vital to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. When a trial is the only way to do that, you want an injury lawyer with the experience and resources necessary to handle a trial.
A trial may require expert witnesses, depositions, document reviews, insurance company negotiations, and of course, the trial.
We have years of experience taking personal injury claims to trial to hold the negligent parties liable for our clients’ injuries, and working tirelessly to get them the compensation they need to make a full and complete recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Statistics in Chicago, IL
After your accident, in addition to speaking with the police and obtaining any necessary medical attention, you should contact a qualified and knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents. Serving victims throughout the Chicago area, the motorcycle crash lawyers at Abels & Annes can help you.
Too often, accident victims believe that an insurance carrier—either their own or the other driver’s—will adequately compensate them for any injuries they have suffered. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are reluctant to pay, even when liability and damages are clear. This is particularly true when the damages are substantial.
Even when an insurer seems responsible, be wary. Many adjusters will try to settle claims quickly. They will urge you to sign an agreement that will allow them to close the case—and thereby limit their exposure.
Even if the offer seems sufficient or even generous, it is important to make sure your rights are protected. Speak to a lawyer and make sure you understand the consequences of the agreement.
The fact is, not all injuries are readily apparent. And for some serious injuries, even if you anticipate full recovery, you cannot be certain that the full recovery you hope for will materialize.
In those cases, signing a release of claims too soon can limit your settlement to an amount that is substantially less than what you need or what you legally have a right to recover. Serious injuries may include:
And, of course, some motorcycle accidents are fatal. If someone you love has been killed in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney to determine whether there’s a wrongful death action to pursue against a negligent driver.
Call Abels & Annes For a Free Case Evaluation
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Abels & Annes frequently represent motorcyclists and their passengers who are injured in accidents, or the loved ones of motorcyclists and passengers who have been killed by negligent drivers. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, or if a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Chicago, Cook County, or elsewhere in Illinois, consult with the Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Abels & Annes.
- Motorcycle Accidents at Intersections
- Motorcycle Accidents Involving Left Turns
- What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident
- Safety Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Chicago
- Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driving Motorcycle Accidents
- Right-of-Way Violations
- Head-On Collisions
- Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- Broadside Motorcycle Accidents
- Head Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accident FAQ
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