Motorcycle riders enjoy the freedom that a car or truck does not provide. Unfortunately for riders, even when they are operating the motorcycle safely on the road, other drivers may be reckless or negligent and cause an accident with the rider. Similarly, dangerous road hazards, motorcycle defects, or missing street signs may increase the risk of an accident.
When a negligent driver is responsible for an accident, the driver should be held liable for his other actions. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today if you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Illinois.
Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 3,326 motorcycle crashes in 2017. While motorcycle accidents only account for about 1% of total vehicle accidents, they account for 15% of fatal crashes. In 2017, 160 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in Illinois. More than 2,500 riders were injured in accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationwide in 2017, there were more than 5,100 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents.
There are a number of causes of motorcycle accidents in Illinois, including accidents caused by drivers, the motorcyclist, motorcycle defects, dangerous weather conditions, and hazardous road conditions.
Causes of motorcycle accidents can include:
- Running a light
- Driver not checking blind spots
- Driver not looking for motorcycles
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Hazardous road conditions
- Distracted driving
- Tire blowouts
- Debris on the road
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Covered, broken, or missing traffic signals, or
- Dangerous weather conditions.
Alcohol and Illinois Motorcycle Accidents
Alcohol is a major factor in motorcycle accidents. In 2016, of all motorcycle riders who were killed in traffic accidents, 25% had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Helmet use also tends to be lower when motorcycle riders are impaired. However, many fatal motorcycle accidents are also caused by impaired drivers.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Aurora & Chicago
Motorcycle riders do not have all the same protections provided by cars and trucks. Most motorcycle riders do not have seat belts, air bags, or crumple zones that protect drivers and passengers from injury. A helmet may be the only source of protection in a motorcycle accident.
Without as many safety features, motorcyclists involved in an accident are more likely to suffer more extensive injuries than other drivers.
Some common injuries involved in a motorcycle accident may include:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Head injury
- Neck injury
- Facial trauma
- Back injury, or
- Nerve damage.
Motorcycle Insurance After an Accident
Motorcycle riders in Illinois are required to have minimum liability coverage. The minimum liability limits include:
- $20,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $40,000 bodily injury liability per incident
- $15,000 property damage liability per incident.
Motorcyclists can get higher limit policies, including comprehensive or collision coverage.
When another driver causes an accident with the motorcycle, the injury victim generally expects the insurance company to pay for the damages. However, the insurance company may delay payment, try and blame the accident on the rider, or only offer a portion of the total damages. One of the benefits of a motorcycle accident attorney is that your lawyer will deal with the insurance company so you can deal with getting your life back on track after an injury.
Damages and Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
After an accident, the injured motorcyclist may be left with expensive medical bills, days unable to work, and a wrecked motorcycle. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injury victim can file a claim for damages to cover the expenses and losses associated with the accident.
Damages in a motorcycle accident claim can include:
- Medical expenses
- Continuing medical care
- Physical therapy
- Motorcycle repair or replacement
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Compensation for loss of function, and
- Pain and suffering.
Fatal Illinois Motorcycle Accidents
In a fatal car accident, the family may be struggling to get by after such a tragic loss. While nothing can replace a loved one, the family may be able to file a wrongful death claim in the name of their loved one. Surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to compensate the family for the losses associated with the fatal accident.
Damages in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Loss of income the family would have received
- Loss of support for the family
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs, and
- Medical treatment prior to death.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer After an Accident in Chicago or Aurora IL?
After filing an accident claim, the other insurance company may be quick to offer a settlement deal. Before accepting any settlement offer, it is important to understand your rights and the way a settlement can limit your options after an accident.
When accepting a settlement offer, it generally requires you signing away your rights to have your case decided in court. If you later find out that the injury was worse than initially suspected or you are no longer able to return to work because of the injury, you generally cannot take your case back to court after a settlement agreement.
Some insurance companies try and offer a quick settlement, hoping that the injured motorcyclist will just take the quick payment. The insurance company may also try and delay payment as long as possible, placing the injury victim in a financially vulnerable position, where they will be more likely to take any settlement offer. Your claim may be worth more than you expect. Talk to your motorcycle accident lawyer before signing away your rights.
After filing a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney can negotiate a settlement. This generally happens shortly before a case goes to trial. Ultimately, whether or not you want to accept a settlement offer is up to you.
Aurora and Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At the Cullotta Bravo Law Group, our experience with insurance companies gives us an in-depth understanding of how the insurance companies handle motorcycle accident cases. This allows us to anticipate the insurance company’s defense strategy and successfully settle your claim for maximum compensation.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Aurora, DuPage County, or the Chicago area, you need an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer. But not just any lawyer— you need an injury attorney with a proven track record of success. Contact the Cullotta Bravo Law Group today at 630- 898-7800 to schedule your free consultation.