Motorcycle Accident Lawyer In Chicago
When you deserve full compensation after a motorcycle accident, don’t settle for less. Let Willens Law fight for you.
When it comes to motorcycles, we know that no matter how careful you are, you cannot control the choices of truck and car drivers around you. As the saying goes, “there are those who have been in accidents and those who are likely to be in accidents.”
Unfortunately, with motorcycles, there is more risk for serious injuries. While standard vehicles have airbags and other devices to protect its occupants, motorcycles do not. Sometimes, the only protection you have on a motorcycle is the clothing you are wearing at the time your body hits the pavement.
Thank you so much for the hard work you all did on my behalf. I appreciate your knowledge and advice. You made an unpleasant experience as easy for me as possible.
– T.W. a former client
If you have been hurt in an Illinois motorcycle accident, insurance companies may want to reach a quick settlement at an amount that suits their bottom line but not yours. This has happened to so many motorcyclists, even those who have suffered severe injuries that deserved maximum compensation. Sadly, many end up accepting early offers from insurers, not realizing they could fight for much more.
You don’t have to settle for less than what you deserve. Let Willens Law Offices help you obtain full compensation for your motorcycle injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Facts In Illinois
Did you know that Illinois ranks ninth among all US 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, showing that thousands of motorcycle riders get hurt on Illinois roads each year.
The latest 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 a 24.6 percent compared to that in 2014.
The IDOT report also shows how motorcycle riders were much more likely than non-motorcyclists to get injured or killed in crashes. From the motorcycle accidents in 2015, only 208 non-motorcyclists were injured and 4 were killed. Compare that to the motorcyclist numbers above and you’ll see a massive difference.
Many of the motorcycle accidents occurred in the Chicago area. In that year, 277 motorcyclists were injured and 14 were killed in Chicago. This comes as no surprise since motorcycle crashes typically occur on urban roads.
What is unfortunate, however, is that numerous 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 their safety on the road. Still, as the 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. But 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:
This is a top cause of accidents in traffic general, as negligent vehicle drivers still continue to text or use other devices while behind the wheel.
A car making a left turn in front of a motorcycle is considered the single most risky scenario for motorcyclists. Generally, when a vehicle attempts to make a turn, it poses a risk for motorcycles because they are smaller and harder to spot.
Again, because a motorcycle may not be seen so easily, a vehicle may unsafely try to switch lanes in front of it. For a motorcycle that’s traveling straight at regular speed, the chances of a collision greatly increases.
Opening a car door seems harmless, but when an occupant of a car or any other vehicle opens its door in front of a moving motorcycle, the resulting injuries can be serious.
Whether it’s a motorcycle or a larger vehicle that tries to overtake, the result could be a disastrous rear-end crash.
This is when a motorcyclist squeezes between stopped cars in a traffic jam. This practice is a gray area in other states, but in Illinois, it is illegal.
Motorcycles can lose balance when it comes in contact with gravel on the pavement, puddles, or potholes. In some cases, a public agency or government body may be held accountable if it was negligent in its duty to keep road conditions safe.
This is an all-too-familiar situation in Illinois, but it is more dangerous for motorcyclists as their vehicles can tumble more easily.
Animals such as deer are most active at dawn and dusk, making them more startling when motorists spot them on the road.
Serious Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Some bikers are lucky enough to walk away from an accident with nothing but a scratch. But all too often, motorcyclists get the serious end of a collision. These are examples of motorcycle injuries that are severe enough to land someone in the hospital and demand compensation:
What You May Be Entitled To
If someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to your motorcycle injuries, you have the right to claim monetary reimbursement. This compensation may cover not just your hospital bills but other damages as well. These are some damages you may typically be entitled to:
In a worst-case scenario, if a loved one has died in your motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death case. While this can never replace the life lost, a successful wrongful death claim can provide you some relief. You may be compensated for losses such as funeral and burial expenses, lost companionship, and lost benefits.
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 how much your fault was. For example, if the court finds that you were 20 percent at-fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent.
Despite this, it is crucial for you to avoid taking blame right after the accident. It’s 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 your 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.
Ensuring A Successful Claim: 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 things to do right after your motorcycle crash:
Willens Law Offices Can Help
No matter what the problem is, we are here to help. After a motorcycle accident, insurance companies may want to work out a quick settlement that makes sense for their bottom line. They will not take your specific needs into consideration. The cost of repairing your bike will be minor when compared with your medical bills and lost wages. We want to make certain that you get everything you need and deserve.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you will likely need someone to fight your legal battles while you take time to recover. You may need the services of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. You may need Willens Law Offices. We suggest you call us for a free consultation with a lawyer at 312-957-4166.