The rules of the road apply to every driver, regardless of what type of vehicle the driver is operating. It does not matter whether it is a car, truck, bus, or even a motorcycle, all drivers will be held legally responsible for their actions. Though these rules may be clear, too many drivers tend to ignore the rights of bikers while on the roads, placing the bikers and all others in the area at risk for an injury.
In Chicago, motorcyclists are legally allowed to ride in the roads the same as other vehicles. Cars do not have a greater right or a priority interest in the streets – they must share space with bikers in a harmonious and legal manner. This includes recognizing the right of bikers to ride and allowing bikers the opportunity to travel safely and without unnecessary risk and interference by other drivers.
One of the most common ways in which Illinois drivers ignore or disregard the rights of motorcyclists is by failing to yield the right-of-way. When driving, the right-of-way describes a priority system where one vehicle is entitled to proceed before another. Often, this is based on the type of intersection, the direction in which cars are turning, or even the merging patterns of a road. All drivers are required to know who has the right-of-way and to abide by it, but in practice, many disregard these rights of bikers.
After a collision, some drivers claim that they were unable to see or simply failed to see a motorcycle and therefore could not recognize the bike’s right to travel. This is sometimes blamed on the fact that motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles and more difficult to spot as well as the fact that motorcycles are more elusive and can appear in an area unnoticed more easily than a passenger vehicle. But these explanations are not good enough when it comes to being responsible for a crash. It is every driver’s duty to look for and anticipate the potential presence of motorcycles so simply overlooking a bike will not remove liability.
One common form of right-of-way violation that leads to injuries happens when a motorcycle is traveling straight through an intersection and an oncoming vehicle desires to turn left at the same time. If the vehicle fails to wait for the biker to clear the area and begins a turn left, the vehicle and the motorcycle are likely to collide in the intersection because the driver of the vehicle failed to yield the right of way. Another common right-of-way crash involves a driver of a passenger car who wishes to switch lanes or merge into another lane but fails to check for bikers first. If a merging driver strikes a biker who is legally within a lane of traffic, the driver can be liable for all damages that result.
Any type of motorcycle accident can be very serious, or even deadly, because of a high risk of injuries to bikers involved in crashes. Common injuries include:
- Back and Neck Injury – In many motorcycle accidents, a rider is thrown from a bike and onto the ground or other fixed object. Often, the rider may strike his back or neck on the bike, the vehicle causing the collision, or even a curb. Direct impact to the back or neck can lead to a serious injury including disc trauma, paralysis, or even death. An indirect injury can also lead to back and neck damage as simply being hit or thrown from a bike can cause significant injuries to these areas.
- Broken Bones and Fractures – Common in bike accidents are broken bones and fractures which may need anything from casting to surgical repair. When the force of an impact to a bone exceeds the bone’s ability to withstand, the bone can crack, splinter, shatter, buckle, or even crumble, leaving the victim with damage that may be temporary or permanent.
- Scars and Lacerations – Bikers involved in accidents often suffer abrasions and cuts to their bodies from the impact of the crash as well as any skidding the biker does on the road’s surface. Commonly referred to as “road rash,” bikers may experience large areas comprised of multiple abrasions caused by gravel, rocks, debris, or even glass that can leave their skin open and prone to infection and scarring.
- Head Trauma – One of the most dangerous types of injuries to sustain in a motorcycle accident is any form of head trauma. These conditions can be difficult to treat and may turn fatal depending on the severity of the injury. Head trauma can range from bumps and bruises to a concussion to an open head wound or even brain death
Regardless of the type of trauma sustained, if you are a victim of a motorcycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to relief for your injuries, including your pain and suffering. Speaking with an injury lawyer may help you understand what legal options are available in your case.
Finding Help after a Chicago Motorcycle Accident
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that all injury victims deserve to have an advocate on their side, fighting for their rights and making sure their interests are protected. That is why we focus our entire practice on the representation of those people who were hurt by the negligence of another. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our legal team has helped obtain millions of dollars in settlements on behalf of our clients over the years and we are just getting started.
If a motorcycle accident has left you injured or if it claimed the life of your loved one, call us today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or (312) 924-7575 and let us provide you with a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for taking advantage of the consultation and we are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call. Do not just wonder about your legal rights; call us now and let us help you get the relief you deserve.
If you have been hurt in a right-of-way motorcycle crash, call us now at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free consultation.