Drivers of motor vehicles in Illinois and all over the United States have a responsibility to share the road with motorcycles and to exercise a reasonable level of care towards motorcyclists. However, other drivers’ negligence or recklessness, as well as defective roadway designs, poor weather conditions, and product defects, can lead to serious injuries to motorcycle operators and passengers.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it can be a very stressful time. The victim of a motorcycle accident may need time to recover physically, mentally, and financially. If you are dealing with the aftermath of an accident that has left you unable to work and facing the prospect of a long path to recovery, please call the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Juries cast a skeptical eye toward personal injury suits; thus, motorcycle accidents require a competent attorney. Your attorney needs to present your case in a precise manner because of any unsupportive opinions that some members of the general public may have toward motorcycles and their riders. While many cases are handled out of court and do not require a lawsuit to be filed, it’s important if your case does go to a trial that you have an attorney who is adept at voir dire to try and exclude potential jurors who may not be able to look past the fact that you were a motorcyclist involved in an accident.
Our office knows what it is like to litigate motorcycle accidents, from finding expert crash reconstructionists, to reviewing medical records and determining the full extent of your injuries. We can provide a top-notch case against the at-fault party to your accident, and, if necessary, provide competent trial counsel to make your case to a local jury.
Illinois Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Did you know that Illinois ranks ninth among all U.S. states in terms of motorcyclist fatalities? This is according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Our local statistics support this regrettable fact: thousands of motorcycle drivers get hurt or killed in motorcycle accidents in Illinois every year.
Data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reveals that in 2015 alone, there were 3,506 motorcycle crashes in the state. Some 2,643 motorcyclists were injured, and 147 were killed in these accidents. This number of motorcycle fatalities actually increased by 24.6 percent compared to 2014. The IDOT report also shows how motorcycle riders were much more likely than non-motorcyclists to be injured or killed in crashes.
Motorcyclists continue to suffer from crashes despite modern safety measures. Helmets, high-visibility clothing, jackets, pants, and gloves have all been developed to provide more protection to riders. In addition, the IDOT provides free motorcycle training to Illinois residents, aiming to improve safety on the road. Still, as statistics show, there is much left to be done to ensure motorcycle safety.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It is true that in many motorcycle crashes, the person at fault is the rider himself. However, there are also numerous cases of motorcycle accidents caused by car drivers and other factors. Take a look at these common causes behind motorcycle accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Making a turn
- Unsafe lane change
- Road debris
Types of Injuries Suffered by Motorcyclists Involved in Accidents
Some bikers are lucky enough to walk away from an accident with nothing but a scratch. However, motorcyclists all too often face serious consequences from collisions. These are examples of motorcycle injuries that are severe enough to land someone in the hospital and demand compensation:
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck or spine injury
- Biker’s arm
- Facial injuries
What if You Were at Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident?
If you believe that you are partially responsible for your motorcycle crash, you may still have a chance to get reimbursed. Illinois law follows the concept of comparative negligence, which means that the court looks into how much each party contributed to the accident. Your compensation may be reduced according to your level of fault. For example, if the court finds that you were 20 percent at-fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent. It is crucial for you to avoid taking blame right after the accident. It is best not to jump to conclusions; proper investigation may later find that someone else was largely or wholly responsible for your injuries. More importantly, avoid speaking to insurance adjusters and representatives, as they could use your statements to undermine your claim. Even saying, “I’m sorry,” could be taken as an admission of fault. Instead, contact a lawyer right away to speak for you. Your attorney will also help you get to the bottom of your case and protect your best interests.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
In the aftermath of a crash, you likely feel confused and unsure of what to do. But right after the incident, even at the scene itself, factors will crop up that can make or break your compensation claim later on. Remember these four steps to complete right after your motorcycle crash:
- Get medical attention
- Report the accident
- Gather evidence
- Contact an attorney
Compensation You Deserve
Our goal is to shoulder the responsibility for your financial recovery so that you can focus on your physical well-being. Illinois law acknowledges that an injured motorcyclist may recover monetary compensation based on the following types of damage:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Wrongful death
Illinois Time Limits on Filing Suit
Illinois sets a time limit of two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date that you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.”
For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time limit to sue the state is generally two years, but you must file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle-related accident in Rockford or the surrounding area for a confidential, compassionate, in-depth, free, and, most importantly, thorough consultation with a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer about your motorcycle accident injury case in Rockford, Belvidere, Freeport, Rochelle, Oregon, Loves Park, Byron, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton, or elsewhere in the State of Illinois, call or text message us at (815) 391-0089, or e-mail us 24/7/365. We offer in-office consultations, and routinely make visits to clients’ homes, hospital rooms, nursing homes, and other off-site locations to make retaining our services as easy as possible.