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Being involved in a Chicago motorcycle accident can be devastating, particularly when the negligence of another motorist leads to a fatal accident and wrongful death. Typically victims seek out a motorcycle accident attorney when they need help recovering their losses from the accident such as the medical expenses they incurred to treat their injuries, lost wages from work that they have missed, future lost earnings if the victim is unable to return to work, and the pain and suffering they experience. A Chicago motorcycle accident attorney develops a case for you so that you can get the maximum compensation from the insurance company. 

After your accident, it is very likely that you are under a lot of stress, are extremely limited in movement, and have to rearrange your whole life so that you can get the care that you need. The compassionate personal injury attorneys at Mike Agruss Law will help you and give you a free consultation of your case.

How to Drive Safely and Legally On a Motorcycle

For the best protection, make sure that the helmet purchase meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. To know that your helmet meets the requirements, check for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. There may also be Snell and ANSI labels located inside of the helmet.

Before every ride, it is important that you check:

  • Tire pressure
  • Tread depth
  • Hand and foot brakes
  • Headlights
  • Signal indicators
  • Fluid levels
  • It is also highly recommended that you check underneath the motorcycle for oil or gas leaks

Always wear proper gear, including gloves that are made from abrasion-resistant materials and a high-quality jacket, preferably made from leather or denim. Even though wearing a helmet is not legally required in the state of Illinois, a full face helmet helps to prevent serious injuries—  such as traumatic brain injuries— in the case of a motorcycle crash.

When should you contact a lawyer after an accident?

Your priority immediately after your motorcycle accident is to seek medical help so that you can have your injuries tended to. As soon as you leave the medical center, however, give us a call to schedule a consultation so we can help you prepare a legal case for your Chicago motorcycle accident.

If you do not contact a motorcycle accident attorney right away, then the insurance company is going to argue that either your injuries are not severe or that they were not caused by the defendant. They will also try to find other arguments to justify giving you a lower amount than you deserve. But when you contact a motorcycle accident lawyer early, the sooner you can get started on your case and move forward with your life.

What should I do after a motorcycle accident?

The moment after a Chicago motorcycle accident is frightening, but if you stay calm and take the right steps, then you can improve your chances of getting the damages that you deserve from your motorcycle accident case. Not following the steps has been detrimental to prior cases, so it’s important to make sure that you do everything possible you can to stay safe.

Motorcycle accidents run the gamut from minor to severe, some causing fatal injuries. However, there are some general tips on what to do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Immediately call the police and fire rescue as well as medical personnel. Tell them the condition you are in and the condition of any other individuals that you can see around you.

Take pictures of your injuries as well as the road conditions where the accident occurred. You should take a wide shot as well as close-up shots to get as many details of your injuries and the location as possible, such as skid marks, debris, construction, or speed limit signs. Include pictures of the damage to solid objects such as guard rails or hedges. The body can heal over time, so you want to get video and photographic evidence to show the extent of your injuries immediately following the crash.

There is some information that you will need to exchange with the other driver. This information includes:

  • Your name 
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • A copy of your driver’s license, if they ask for it
  • Information on your insurance

Next, it’s important to be seen by a medical professional who will evaluate your injuries and determine if you have any serious injuries. Some serious injuries have delayed-onset symptoms, which means that they don’t appear for several hours or even several days after an accident. This is why it’s so important to see a medical professional immediately rather than wait.

After you have completed the steps, it’s time to call Mike Agruss Law so we can get started on your personal injury case.

It’s critical not to cast blame or to apologize for the accident on the side of the road. Saying these things could have a negative impact on your case before it is even heard by a judge. Instead, leave it to Mike Agruss Law to conduct a thorough investigation into your case and represent you in the court of law. 

In fact, It’s best not to talk about it on social media either. Insurance companies have been known to search social media for posts related to accidents to use them against the plaintiff. Although a lot of people use Facebook and other social media to stay in touch with their friends and family, do not post anything about your case until after it is finished. Even after your accident, you do not want to speak to the insurance company without first talking to a personal injury lawyer

Get follow-up medical care and stick to the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor. The services that are provided at the emergency room are only to stabilize patients and get them to the urgent care that they need, not to treat the injury over the long term. You may need to see a specialist related to your injuries, such as a neurologist or a physical therapist. Keeping up with the appointments and your treatments will certainly help your case.

Should I get a lawyer for my motorcycle accident?

It is always worth it to get a lawyer after you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, even if you have minor injuries. You may be entitled to damages and be able to take legal action against the party that caused your motorcycle accident injuries, also known as the liable party. You will need to contact one of the injury lawyers at Mike Agruss Law to schedule your free consultation and to learn how we can help you with your motorcycle claim.

Choosing the right accident lawyer for your personal injury claim could have long-lasting financial consequences, especially if you are already drowning in debt from your medical expenses, have not been able to work, and need to repair or replace your bike. Oftentimes people choose not to hire a personal injury lawyer to help them with their motor vehicle claim because they think their case is straightforward and doesn’t need an attorney. While you can try to represent yourself in your personal injury claim, you will have more success if you hire a motorcycle accident attorney who will also ensure that you get the maximum compensation for your case.

Insurance companies don’t have a very high opinion of individuals who are representing themselves without an attorney. But when you hire a reputable Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer, it shows the insurance company that you are serious about your Illinois motorcycle personal injury claim.

Another reason why you should hire a motorcycle accident attorney is that they can help you get the maximum compensation for your case when the insurance companies are trying to save themselves money. Insurers are in the business of maximizing their profits, which means that they pay out less in their claims to victims of motorcycle accidents. As mentioned earlier, when warning about the dangers of posting about your Illinois motorcycle accident online, they will find any reason to deny your claim or reduce how much you actually deserve. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer in Chicago could help reduce your chances of having your claim denied.

Another tricky way that insurance companies try to save themselves money is to claim that the accident didn’t really cause your injuries and that they were instead caused at a later date. They will try to say this if you took a significant amount of time in between the accident and getting medical care. However, the attorneys at Mike Agruss Law can build a case for you with supporting evidence to back your personal injury claim.

What is the average payout for a motorcycle accident?

Because of how much more vulnerable motorcycle riders are compared to drivers of passenger vehicles, these types of accidents tend to be more severe. Therefore, they also have higher payouts. Typically the average payout for a motorcycle accident is about $200,000. During your free consultation with us we can give you a better average when considering cases that are similar to yours.

What percentage do accident lawyers take?

In general, most personal injury attorneys take anywhere between 33% and 40% of the amount that is awarded to the plaintiff in their personal injury claim. We highly recommend that you schedule a free consultation with us so that we can explain to you our fee structure, an estimated timeline of when you could possibly get your settlement and other details that are relevant to your case.

What are some of the causes of motorcycle accidents?

One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is other motorists not seeing the motorcycle rider. Whether they are driving a truck or a passenger vehicle, it’s usually other motorists who are most dangerous to motorcycle riders. Given how little space a motorcycle rider takes up on the road, especially compared to trucks and other large vehicles, they are often much less visible to drivers.

Making Turns

Again, because of their small size, motorcycles can be hard to see, and drivers must pay special attention to them. This is especially true when a motorcycle rider is using their turn signal. Many motorcycle accidents happen when a rider is trying to make a left hand turn, and another driver in a passenger vehicle fails to see the motorcycle rider’s signal. Then instead of yielding to the motorcycle rider, they crash into them.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Loose gravel, uneven pavement, slick roads after rain or snow, construction debris, and other obstacles or objects on the road make it harder for all vehicles to drive safely, especially motorcycles. 

Injuries Suffered After Being Involved in a Motorcycle Crash

Due to the amount of exposure that a motorcyclist has compared to a driver in a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle crash can lead to a greater risk of serious injury or death.

Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars because of the amount of exposure that the motorcycle rider has. They are also less visible to other cars and drivers, making them more likely to get into a crash and be injured. The following are some of the more common injuries in motorcycle crashes.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually occurs when a person has suffered a severe head injury. There are two types of TBI: open TBI and closed TBI. When the skull has been penetrated, that is considered open TBI. Closed TBI is when the brain becomes injured within the skull. This can happen when the brain knocks into the inside walls of the skull and becomes inflamed as a result of the bumping and hitting.

TBI has long-lasting consequences that can range from severe to mild, permanent or temporary. Symptoms of severe TBI include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fluid draining from either the nose or the ears
  • Persistent headache
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Coma
  • Post traumatic amnesia

Mild TBI can occur with a sick feeling or dizziness, a loss of consciousness for less than 15 minutes, and headaches.

Road Rash

Also known as a friction burn or severe skin abrasion, road rash occurs when there has been an accident and the skin comes in contact with the road. While not always life-threatening, these injuries can be extremely painful and can become infected if not treated properly and promptly. A medical professional can prescribe an ointment to heal the skin as well as a pain reliever and can continue monitoring the condition to prevent infection.

Head and Neck Injuries

Not exactly the same as TBI, although TBI can occur with head and neck injuries, these are more specific to the muscles and bones that could be injured in a motorcycle accident. Even though you are not legally required to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle in the state of Illinois, an injury to the head or neck puts your brain in a vulnerable position. Wearing a helmet may protect you from common neck injuries and skull fractures.

Biker’s Arm

A motorcycle is a very large and heavy piece of machinery, so when it falls on top of a motorcycle rider after an accident, it can lead to biker’s arm, which is nerve damage in the arm that can lead to full or partial paralysis of the arm and hand

Wrongful Death

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclists were approximately 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash per mile driven in 2019. Additionally, 5,014 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2019.

All drivers have a duty of care whenever they get behind the wheel or on a bike. “Duty of care” is a legal term that obligates people to act and behave in a certain way that reasonably avoids injury or death to another when performing an activity that could be dangerous. This term applies in a lot of situations, from medical malpractice to auto accidents. When it comes to motorcycle injuries, a duty of care means that drivers are responsible for obeying all traffic laws and driving in a way that harms no others on the road. When this duty of care is breached, motorcycle accidents and fatal injuries can occur.

In most cases, the wrongful death in a motorcycle accident was preventable and lives could’ve been saved had the driver followed through on their duty of care and not been negligent. If you are a family member or loved one of a motorcycle rider who was involved in a fatal accident, then you may be able to seek legal recourse as a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit to receive compensation for your losses. In the state of Illinois, the following people may file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The spouse of the decedent
  • The children of the decedent
  • If the decedent had neither, then their parents 
  • If the decedent did not have a spouse, children and if their parents are no longer living, then the biological or adopted siblings may file the lawsuit

Frequently Asked Questions

The injury lawyers at Mike Agruss Law are ready to answer your questions about your motorcycle accident and how to deal with the insurance company. After your motorcycle injury, it is normal to feel bewildered, overwhelmed, and uncertain about what to do. However, with guidance from a motorcycle accident attorney, you can go through the process with more confidence. 

While we strive to answer all of the questions people have after a Chicago motorcycle accident, the best way for you to get the information you need is to schedule a free consultation with one of our injury lawyers. Accident victims can read on to get an overview of how our personal injury attorneys can help you.

Is lane splitting illegal in Illinois?

Lane splitting is a controversial practice where motorcyclists will drive between passenger vehicles or trucks on the road on the white lines in order to pass them. Advocates claim that white lining or lane splitting is safer for motorcyclists and helps to relieve traffic congestion. However, Illinois has not legalized white lining, so motorcyclists must respect other drivers’ use of the lane. Currently, the only state that allows for lane splitting is California, but in Illinois, a motorcycle rider could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony if they caused a serious accident.

Does Chicago have a helmet law? 

According to Illinois law, motorcycle riders are not required to wear a helmet. However, they must wear eye protection in the form of either glasses, goggles, or a transparent shield.

Why Choose Mike Agruss Law

Mike Agruss Law has provided decades of service to clients involved in motorcycle accidents. We believe in giving a voice to motorcycle riders who have been involved in an accident and suffered losses. We provide free consultations on motorcycle accidents and other personal injury cases. 

We are listening

We will respond to you at lightning speed. All of your information will be kept confidential.

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