Riding a motorcycle can be a wonderful and safe experience. However, if you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negative actions of another driver, contact the team at Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP today. Our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys will investigate all aspects of your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve.Motorcycle Accident Information
- Why Hire Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP
- Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
- Compensation Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
- Free Consultation: Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
Why Choose Our Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?
After sustaining an injury motorcycle, you need a team with vast experience handling these cases by your side. Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP is ready to get you through this.
- We have a reputation for success and have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in total compensation through favorable settlements or verdicts for clients.
- We are committed to providing honest and direct communication with every client. Every case we take receives personalized attention, and you only deal with your attorney, not a paralegal or junior assistant.
- We take Chicago motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients owe us no legal fees until we secure the compensation they deserve.
A Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer is going to be necessary in these cases for a variety of reasons. Importantly, motorcyclists often face an unwarranted bias from insurance carriers that can lower the amount of money they receive in a settlement. An attorney will work to overcome this bias by gathering all evidence related to the crash (accident reports, eyewitness statements, video surveillance, etc.).
Using the evidence gathered as well as statements from a motorcyclist's doctor as well as from family and friends, a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney will work to obtain maximum compensation from any liable party.How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois?
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were thousands of motorcycle accidents during the latest reporting year of data across the state. These incidents led to 119 motorcyclist fatalities and 2,266 Motorcyclist injuries. The DOT says that 811 of those injuries could be labeled as “catastrophic.”Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists do not have the same type of protection in the event an accident occurs that those inside traditional passenger vehicles have. Even when a motorcyclist wears a helmet, they are still exposed and susceptible to injuries when a vehicle strikes them. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, it is not uncommon for our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers to help clients who have sustained the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Severe lacerations or amputations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
The Illinois DOT says that a significant percentage of motorcyclist injuries and fatalities happened on city streets and roads, just like the ones in and around Chicago.Steps To Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Chicago
Any person involved in a motorcycle accident will undoubtedly experience feelings of extreme stress and anxiety. Accidents like this happen when a person is least expecting it. As we go through this list of the steps to take after a motorcycle accident, know that we give these points so that you are informed in the event you do get into a motorcycle accident at some point in the future. While we hope this does not ever happen to you, it is best to be prepared.
- Get to safety. The first thing you need to do is take note of your surroundings and get to a safe location if you are able to do so. One of the most dangerous places to be after an accident occurs is right near the accident. If you are in harm's way, remove yourself from the roadway and away from traffic. Do a quick check to see if anybody else involved in the incident needs help or is injured. Help them the best you can, but do not put yourself into further danger.
- Do not take off your protective gear. After a motorcycle accident occurs, it can be tempting to begin to take off your protective gear, including protective jackets or your helmet. It is important to understand that many motorcycle accident injuries are not immediately apparent, and removing your protective gear could worsen a hidden injury. Keep protective gear on and let paramedics arrive to conduct an evaluation and use their tools to get the gear off if necessary.
- Call 911. After you have gotten yourself to safety, and before you remove your protective gear, call 911 to report the accident. Let the dispatcher know where the incident occurred and whether or not you think anybody is injured. Depending on the severity of the motorcycle crash, it may be necessary for both police and EMS personnel to get to the scene.
- Seek medical attention. It is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after a motorcycle crash. Even if you do not feel any pain, you need to let a doctor perform an evaluation. Because some motorcycle accident injuries are not immediately apparent, a doctor may be able to diagnose an injury before you realize you are hurt. If you delay seeking medical treatment, insurance carriers or a jury could use this as evidence against you by claiming that you were not as injured as you said you were, even if your injuries did not appear until after the initial accident occurred.
- Begin gathering evidence. If you are able to safely do so at the scene of a crash, and if you are not seriously injured, you should begin gathering evidence that could help prove your case to insurance carriers or a jury. Use your phone or another camera to take photographs of everything at the scene, including vehicle damage, injuries, causes of the crash, debris, and more. Gather the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash as well as the driver's license number and insurance information of other drivers involved.
- Contact an attorney. You should contact a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible if another driver caused your motorcycle crash. An attorney will have the resources and legal expertise necessary to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and help you obtain maximum compensation. An attorney will handle all communications with other parties involved in the case.
It is absolutely possible for a person to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. It is crucial that you talk to your doctor about any suspicions you have that you are suffering from PTSD following a motorcycle crash. Not everybody exposed to the trauma of a motorcycle crash develops PTSD, but due to the nature of these incidents, emotional and psychological injuries should be expected.
Aside from the person actually involved in the accident sustaining PTSD, there are others connected to a motorcycle crash that could also develop these PTSD symptoms. This could include a person who witnesses another individual being seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle crash. Additionally, others who could develop PTSD following a motorcycle crash include:
- Injured and uninjured passengers riding on motorcycles involved in a crash
- Bystanders or emergency personnel who assisted victims injured or killed in the crash
- Drivers or passengers in other vehicles involved in the crash
- Family members confronted by the serious injury or death of a loved one in a motorcycle crash
PTSD can significantly affect a person's ability to function at their job or during their everyday activities. It can also affect the relationship a person has with their family and friends. Studies have also shown that PTSD increases the risk of death from suicide. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with PTSD following a motorcycle crash in Chicago, you should work with your personal injury lawyer to include the costs of the diagnosis and treatment in the compensation you are awarded from an insurance carrier or at-fault party. If your PTSD prevents you from returning to work or limits the amount or type of work you can do, you may also be entitled to receive compensation for lost wages.What is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents occur in a variety of ways, and liability often falls onto the motorcyclist and other drivers on the roadway. Some of the most common ways that passenger vehicle drivers cause motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Driving under the influence. Drivers who operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a significant threat to motorcyclists on the roadway.
- Driving while distracted. Driving while distracted by cell phones, other devices, eating or drinking, or something else inside the vehicle can be just as dangerous and deadly as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Inexperienced drivers. It is not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to be caused by passenger vehicle drivers who have very little experience on the roadway. Sometimes, inexperienced drivers panic when driving around motorcyclists, which can lead to severe accidents.
- Speeding. Driving too fast for conditions is unsafe for everybody on the roadway, particularly motorcyclists. Speeding reduces a vehicle driver's ability to react to changing conditions or to the actions of the motorcyclist.
- Sudden stops. Rear-end accidents resulting from a vehicle driver following a motorcyclist too closely often cause severe injuries or death for the motorcyclist.
- Left-turn accidents. Passenger vehicle drivers often make left turns in front of motorcyclists because they misjudge the distance or speed of the cyclist.
- Failing to yield. Failing to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist in any situation is incredibly dangerous.
Aside from these incidents, it is also not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to be caused by dangerous or defective roadway conditions. Often, state or local governments fail to properly inspect and maintain the roadways, which can lead to obstacles in the road or damaged roadways, causing motorcycle accidents. Additionally, roadway construction can present significant hazards to motorcyclists. It is up to road construction contractors and subcontractors to ensure that the roadways remain safe for motorcyclists.
Additionally, motorcycle accidents can be caused by defects in the motorcycle itself. If the motorcycle company or manufacturer supplies a consumer with a defective motorcycle or defective parts for the motorcycle, serious accidents can occur.
Finally, we need to talk about car doors and motorcycle accidents. It is not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to occur when a driver opens the door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. This type of accident can cause so their injuries for motorcyclists as well as the driver or passenger getting out of the vehicle.Illinois Motorcycle Accident Crash Statistics
When we turn to data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that motorcycle accidents occur regularly throughout the state. During the latest reporting year of data provided by the DOT, we can see that there were 2,973 total motorcycle crashes across the state. Out of these incidents, we know that there were:
- 119 motorcyclist fatalities
- 2,266 motorcyclist injuries
- 811 motorcyclists with catastrophic injuries
According to the data from the Illinois DOT, we can see that there were more motorcyclist fatalities and injuries in crashes on roadways around cities than there were in rural areas of the state. However, when examining data related only to catastrophic injuries, there was a fairly even urban and rural split.What are my Rights Under Illinois Law if I've Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash that was caused by another driver, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the alleged negligent party. You will be limited by the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which we mention below, and you need to take certain steps in order to file this claim in Illinois.
While you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against an alleged negligent party, you have the legal burden to prove that the defendant was responsible for the crash and that you have a right to damages. You do not have the right to an attorney provided by the court for this case, as a personal injury claim is a civil matter. However, if you have a valid case, you may be able to find an attorney that will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will owe no legal fees until after you recover the compensation you deserve for your economic and non-economic losses.How Long do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in IL?
It can be confusing to understand how long do you have to file a motorcycle accident claim after a crash in Illinois. First, you need to know any deadlines put in place by your motorcycle accident insurance carrier. Most insurance carriers require you to report the accident as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
If you are able to do so, file a motorcycle accident insurance claim with your insurance carrier the same day the incident occurs. You do not have to go into detail with your insurance carrier during the initial conversation. Just simply report that an accident occurred, who was involved, and that you are receiving medical care. Most motorcycle accidents are resolved through insurance settlements with insurance carriers.
However, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover the compensation you need if the insurance carrier denies your claim or does not offer enough money in a settlement. If this is the case, you need to understand that the Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date the injury occurs. This means that a motorcycle accident victim has two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent driver. Failing to do so within this timeframe could result in the motorcycle accident victim not being able to secure any compensation for their claim.What if I Didn't Have a Helmet on at the Time of the Motorcycle Accident?
Illinois does not have a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for riders. However, it could be the case that the defendant (the alleged negligent party) in the case will try to argue that you should not receive full compensation for your losses if you were not wearing a helmet. This argument is not valid, and any damages you receive should not be affected by whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.How Much is A Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim Worth?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another driver's negligence, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP for help today. We will thoroughly investigate the incident and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to, which can include:
- Coverage of all medical bills related to the motorcycle crash
- Any lost income and benefits if you are unable to work
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
When you need a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation at (312) 781-1977.