Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Illinois Residents
Motorcycle enthusiasts can give numerous reasons why they chose this form of transportation over others. Along with easier parking and savings at the pump, the simple thrill of riding a motorcycle is enough to capture any adventure-seeker’s heart. However, most thrills come with an underlying risk and motorcyclists face a number of unique dangers on the road.
In the 10-year period between 1999 and 2008, motorcycle deaths doubled even as crash-related deaths involving cars and trucks plummeted to an all-time low. One of the most common reasons given by the driver of a vehicle after a motorcycle crash is that the driver did not see the motorcyclist.
If you have been hurt or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another, Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Christopher Dixon can help. Call 855-40-CRASH for a FREE Legal Consultation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
An in-depth study conducted by European researchers looked at motorcycle accident statistics. According to the 2004 Motorcycle Accidents In-Depth Survey:
- Motorcyclist error accounted for 37 percent of accidents.
- The other driver was responsible for the primary error that led to a crash in about half of the collisions involving motorcycles.
- Failure to see the motorcyclist was mentioned in about 70 percent of the motorcycle accidents.
- Weather was involved in just below 8 percent of the motorcycle accidents.
- Road maintenance was a factor in just below 4 percent of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Crash Facts and Data
The U.S. Center for Disease Control released a study that looked at motorcycle accidents. The CDC found:
- More than 34,000 motorcyclists died between 2001 and 2008.
- More than 1.2 million motorcyclists were treated in emergency rooms from 2001 through 2008 for motorcycle-related injuries.
- The largest age group of motorcyclists hurt or killed was riders between the ages of 20-24 and the second highest age group was for riders between the ages of 25-29.
- Of the nonfatal motorcycle accidents, the most often injured part of the body was the leg or foot (30 percent), followed by head and neck (22 percent), upper trunk (20 percent), arm and hand (18 percent), lower trunk (8 percent), unknown (3 percent).
Motorcycles are much smaller and lighter than most cars, have only two wheels, and do not enclose the rider in a metal box. These differences make motorcycle riding riskier than driving a car. Compared to car accidents, motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in death or serious injury. According to the federal government, in 2006, for every mile traveled there were 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents.
Unique risks of motorcycle riding include:
- Less visibility to cars: Because motorcycles are smaller and easier to hide behind objects on the road, drivers in cars or trucks are less likely to see them.
- Road hazards: Debris or small objects in the road and uneven or wet pavement can cause a motorcycle to crash more so than a car or truck.
- No barrier between rider and road: Unlike car drivers, motorcycle riders don’t have protection from a metal box. Further, bikers do not have seatbelts or airbags to protect them during a crash. Only helmets and proper clothing can do anything to protect a biker during a crash.
- Less stability: Vehicles on two wheels are less stable than those on four, especially during emergency braking and unexpected swerving. Some motorcycle crashes are cause by “front wheel wobble,” which occurs at higher speeds.
- Skill level and difficulty: Riding a motorcycle requires more skill than driving a car. In 2001, more than 25 percent of bikers killed in crashes did not have the proper license.
- High-risk behavior: Motorcycles that are lighter and more powerful can encourage
Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
The law of “negligence” governs liability in most motorcycle accidents. A person is negligent when they behave in a careless manner and cause injury to another person. All drivers are responsible for using care to avoid injuring anyone he or she may encounter on the road. If a driver is not reasonably careful and injures someone as a result, the driver is liable for injuring the accident victim. In many motorcycle accidents, it is the driver of another car or truck that is negligent. The driver can be negligent by speeding and hitting a motorcyclist, or they may fail to check their mirrors before they change lanes.
There are four elements to a negligence claim. The person suing (plaintiff) must show:
- The law required the defendant driver to be reasonably careful;
- The defendant driver was not reasonably careful;
- The defendant’s behavior cause the plaintiff’s injuries;
- And the plaintiff was injured or suffered losses.
Illinois personal injury claims like motorcycle accidents have a statute of limitations of two years. This means that within two years of the date of your accident, you must file a lawsuit against the defendant or be forever barred from recovering your damages.
Motorcycle crashes can cause significant damages, including pain and suffering, lost time from work, surgeries, numerous doctor visits, physical therapy, extraordinary medical bills, and even death. Those who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash may file suit for wrongful death. It is important to contact a qualified Illinois motorcycle accident attorney before you sign any settlement agreement with an insurance company.
Contact an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Attorney
After an accident, it is important to contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling motorcycle accidents. Illinois personal injury lawyer Christopher Dixon has helped motorcycle crash victims and their families. Dixon protects the legal rights of motorcycle accident victims and their families and aggressively represents their interests.
For immediate help, contact Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Chris Dixon at 855-40-CRASH for a FREE Legal Consultation. There is NO FEE for our services unless we win your case.