Cruising the open road on a motorcycle can be one of the most exhilarating feelings. But, unfortunately, not all Chicago motorcycle rides end safely for the biker and their passengers. Instead, some end in severe accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries.
A motorcycle accident can leave the injured victim struggling with high medical bills and unable to work to pay for those bills and other expenses. Luckily, if you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out what you are owed for another driver’s negligence, reach out to one of our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers.
We can help you through the process of filing your insurance claim and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. You may also be able to file a personal injury claim if the other party is found negligent. Having a skilled attorney at your side through this process can lighten your load as you heal and recover from your injuries. En Español.
Table of Contents:
- Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Chicago
- What to Do Following a Motorcycle Accident
- Why Chicago Motorcycle Accidents Are So Common
- Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Illinois
- Damages Available Following a Motorcycle Accident
- How Can a Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help
- Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Chicago
Every driver on the road will encounter several hazards on their trip. For motorcycle riders, these hazards can be especially dangerous and more likely to cause an accident.
Speeding is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Illinois. Drivers who go well above the posted speed limit significantly decrease their ability to react to changes in traffic or make quick maneuvers to avoid collisions.
Motorcycle riders in particular are more susceptible to driving too fast due to the light-weightiness of their vehicle. As exciting as speeding may be, it diminishes the rider’s ability to control their vehicle or make sudden stops when necessary.
Poor Road Conditions
Chicago’s harsh winters and heavy traffic can take a toll on the city’s roads. Potholes, uneven pavement, and debris can cause motorcycles to lose control or collide with other vehicles. Additionally, construction sites may create hazardous conditions for motorcyclists, including uneven pavement, loose gravel, and narrowed lanes.
A motorcycle accident can also be caused simply by driver error. Motorcycles are easy to miss if drivers do not take proper safety precautions such as checking their blind spots before changing lanes or turning. Missing this small yet important step can result in collisions.
Additionally, a motorcycle collision can be the result of distracted driving due to cell phone use, passengers, and other factors. This greatly reduces the time the driver has to react to sudden changes on the road.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents in Chicago is drunk driving. When drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their reaction times and ability to make good decisions are impaired. In some cases, drunk drivers may not even see the motorcyclist, resulting in a collision that could have been avoided.
Motorcycle accident victims who were injured by a drunk driver should strongly consider hiring a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer to help fight for the compensation they deserve. Driving intoxicated is unacceptable and the at-fault party should be held responsible.
5 Steps to Take Following a Motorcycle Accident
What you do immediately following a motorcycle accident can make a huge impact later down the line should you choose to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.
1. Call the Police
If you are involved in a serious motorcycle crash, call the police immediately. The police report will be an important part of your case and you do not want to risk forgetting any details that may be significant later.
While you may be a bit shaken up following the accident, do your best to give a detailed account of your side of events. Try to be mindful of what you say and avoid making any admissions of fault.
2. Exchange Information
Be sure to exchange contact and insurance information from all parties involved in your accident. It could be helpful to get information from any bystanders or witnesses who were present as well. Take pictures and document any evidence that may prove helpful in your case.
3. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Please, seek medical attention immediately following the collision. Try to avoid removing your safety gear until you have been looked at by a medical professional to avoid worsening your injuries.
Even if you think you feel okay, it’s easy to miss conditions such as internal bleeding. Additionally, having clear documentation of your injuries will be helpful for your insurance claim, or should you need to seek damages from the opposing party.
4. Be VERY CAREFUL Speaking With Insurance Companies
After your accident, both insurance companies will attempt to reach out to you. If at all possible, avoid these phone calls until you speak with your attorney. At the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses and their priority is to reduce their costs, not yours.
If an adjuster demands answers on your condition, try to respond with a general statement like, “I am still working with my doctors to receive treatment and determine the depth of my injuries.”
5. Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Being in a motorcycle accident can be incredibly stressful. If you find yourself in this situation, it is a good idea to hire an attorney – ideally before you speak with insurance companies. Having a skilled motorcycle accident attorney in your corner can allow you to put more energy into your physical and emotional recovery. An attorney would be able to advocate for you and give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
At our law firm, we have years of experience representing motorcycle riders who have been in accidents and are experts in these cases. Don’t hesitate to schedule your free case review if you or a loved one has suffered motorcycle accident injuries.
Why Chicago Motorcycle Accidents Are So Common
So why are these accidents so common? Reasons may include lack of visibility. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other vehicles on the road meaning it’s harder for other drivers to see them. Other drivers on the road must heighten their awareness when motorcycles are present and motorcyclist should do their best to make themselves more visible on the road.
Another reason why accidents involving motorcycles are more common could be due to inexperienced riders, road conditions that motorcycles are more sensitive to, and the risk-taking behaviors of some motorcycle riders. If you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to take every safety precaution and to know when you should call on the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer should you suffer injuries.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Illinois
Illinois is one of the few states that do not require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. The state only requires riders to wear eye protection or have a windscreen on their bike. However, it is still imperative that if you ride a motorcycle, especially in a city like Chicago, IL, you wear a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet.
Not only will a helmet keep you safe from catastrophic and even fatal head injuries, but wearing one can potentially strengthen your case should you suffer injuries from a motorcycle crash and need to seek damages. Even if you were not at fault, there have been cases where a victim is challenged because they were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident.
The idea is that the rider is partially at fault for the severity of their injuries because they were not wearing proper safety protection while riding. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney would know how to fight this, but it is better for it to not be an issue at all. Moral of the story — wear a helmet!
Damages Available Following a Motorcycle Accident
In legal terms, the right to file suit after an accident is known as standing to sue. However, not everyone involved in a motorcycle crash has that right. Someone hurt in a motorcycle accident has a right to sue if it was primarily the fault of someone else. If another driver acted negligently, recklessly, or carelessly in a way that directly caused the accident, an injured rider may be able to seek compensation from them.
If someone is at fault due to negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, motorcycle accident victims may be entitled to collecting damages. Damages available following a motorcycle accident may include:
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
One of our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers would be able to determine which damages you should collect, even some that you may not be aware you’re entitled to.
How can a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer help?
In many cases, insurance companies may try to deny benefits to accident victims or offer them a very low settlement that does not cover the cost of their expenses. This is one area in which a motorcycle accident lawyer attorney could be extremely helpful. They could send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining who was liable for the accident and what injuries and damages the rider sustained as a result.
Insurance companies are generally more likely to act fairly when an attorney is involved since they know attorneys fully understand the rights of their clients. Because of that, they are often more likely to offer a fair settlement, or at the very least negotiate with the accident victim and their lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently asked questions regarding motorcycle accident cases and working with a motorcycle accident attorney.
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Most injured motorcycle riders have two years to file a lawsuit after an accident. This is the statute of limitations. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it applies to most motorcycle accident cases. With this in mind, it is best not to delay in seeking compensation for damages if you were involved in a motorcycle crash.
The last thing you want is to allow too much time to go by. Waiting can make it much more difficult for you or your motorcycle accident attorney to collect evidence. Also, your memory or the memory of any other witnesses who were present may become unreliable over time.
Can I still receive damages if I am partially at fault?
In Illinois, comparative fault may apply in which a person can be assigned partial blame even if they are the injured victim in the accident. In this case, you would be assigned a percentage of fault for your motorcycle accident.
If the rider is awarded compensation, it will be reduced by the same percentage. However, if a rider is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for their own accident, they would no longer have the standing to sue.
How much does hiring a motorcycle accident attorney cost?
Don’t let the cost of hiring a motorcycle accident attorney deter you from getting the legal help and support you need to collect the compensation you deserve. At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we win or it’s free. This means we work on an agreed percentage from your settlement offer so you do not have to pay anything unless, and until, we win your case.
Larry Wins Motorcycle Accident Cases
If you or your loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you do not need to go through this alone. You can trust that the Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers will always put your best interests first. We are here to fight on your behalf so you are compensated for your suffering.
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and would like to file a wrongful death claim, we are also here to support you through that as well.
With over $1 Billion in recoveries for our clients, Larry Disparti knows how to win. Plus, there is no fee unless we win your case. Contact our Chicago and Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys today. Come join the thousands who say “Larry Wins!”
Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer (312) 600-6000.