Motorcycle accidents appear to be on the rise. According to a recent NHTSA report, 5,932 motorcyclists were killed in 2021. These deaths accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and are the highest number of motorcyclists killed since 1975. In 2023, Illinois suffered 157 fatalities involving motorcycles.
States like Illinois, which don’t require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, attract a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts. When the weather cooperates, it’s common to see groups of motorcyclists riding on the roads in Naperville and Aurora.
Motorcycle riders are very vulnerable during an accident. They are more likely than car passengers to be injured or killed in an accident — especially those who choose not to wear helmets. In fact, 55 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2021 weren’t wearing helmets, compared with 9 percent in states with helmet laws.
Motorcycle accident reconstruction is the process of gathering information to determine the circumstances and factors that contributed to an accident. It requires special knowledge and experience to do well. The information from a motorcycle accident reconstruction can be used to build a personal injury case and pursue damages in a lawsuit.
Who’s Involved in a Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction?
Many people are involved in motorcycle accident reconstruction. They use their knowledge of physics, engineering, forensics, materials, motorcycle construction and design, and their experience to examine accident sites and determine information about the accidents, such as how fast a motorcycle was traveling, the surface conditions at the time of an accident, and the vehicle and passenger’s trajectories and impact points.
Investigators, forensic analysts and engineers, mechanical engineers, accident reconstructionists, and collision reconstruction engineers are some of the players who contribute to a successful motorcycle accident reconstruction. They often work to piece together information describing a motorcycle accident’s circumstances.
Some people involved in motorcycle accident reconstruction can provide expert testimony on issues such as product liability and damages during a lawsuit. Others can create animations that re-create the accident from the data collected during the reconstruction process.
The Phases of a Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction
The investigation and reconstruction of a motorcycle accident involve analysis of the physical evidence from the accident. This is typically broken up into four stages: the braking phase, the sliding phase, the impact phase, and the post-impact to rest phase.
- The Braking Phase involves an examination of tire skid marks at the accident scene. Investigators can determine the driver’s braking pattern from the length and size of the tire skid marks, which they can use to determine the motorcycle’s speed.
- The Sliding Phase refers to the point in the accident after the motorcycle falls to the ground. During this phase, it’s common for the bike to leave marks on the road and for the passenger or passengers to be separated from the motorcycle. This information gives another clue about the motorcycle’s speed and the road conditions.
- The Impact Phase is where physical damage to the motorcycle and any object it made contact with (such as a guardrail) The severity of the damage to the vehicles and objects and the motorcycle’s design are considered together to assess the damage associated with the impact.
- The Post-Impact to Rest Phase occurs after the motorcycle or rider impacts an object or vehicle and then slides to their final position. This phase examines the impact location and trajectories of the bike and passengers, including their throw distance.
Information gathered during each phase is used to piece together the larger puzzle of what happened during the accident.
The Experienced Cullotta Bravo Legal Team Can Help Victims of Motorcycle Accidents
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has a proven track record of success. If you’re facing the loss of a loved one from a fatal motorcycle accident, you need a supportive legal team who will fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
The attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law have over 30 years of experience representing clients in truck, car, and motorcycle accident personal injury cases throughout Illinois. We’ve obtained millions of dollars in settlements and awards for our clients. We’ll fight to protect your rights and help you get the compensation that you deserve and are entitled to under the law. Call us at 630-898-7800, or contact us online.