Motorcycle crashes are known for causing some of the most debilitating and serious injuries. If your life has been turned upside down by a traumatic motorcycle wreck, you may have a right to financial compensation for your damages.
A reputable Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer at Mike Agruss Law can help you get through some of the most trying times in your life and recover the compensation you need to escape financial ruin.
Schedule a free consultation with our personal injury law offices in Illinois today to learn more about how much you could be awarded, who could be held accountable for your damages, and what to expect next as we navigate the claims process.
What to Do if You’re Involved in Motorcycle Accident Cases in Illinois
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, figuring out what your next steps should be is essential. Immediately after the accident, there will be valuable evidence that could be used to support your claim against the liable party. You do not want to risk missing out on the seven by simply waiting for emergency responders to arrive.
With that in mind, here are some of the most important steps you should plan to take if you are injured in a motorcycle crash or dealing with a fatal motorcycle accident:
Always Call For Help
Depending on where your accident occurred, you may need to contact the local police department or the Illinois state police if your motorcycle crash happened on a major highway or interstate.
If the driver that hit you attempts to convince you, driving without a license, driving without the mandatory minimum auto insurance coverages under Illinois state law, or they could even have a warrant. Some motorists want to avoid the hassles that come with filing insurance claims.
However, it is nearly always in your best interests to have emergency responders and the police at your motorcycle crash. This is the best way to protect yourself as you take legal action against those responsible for causing your severe injuries.
When copies file their crash report, it will contain valuable information that establishes liability for the crash, important details that may be overlooked or forgotten in the chaos of the accident, and provide factual evidence reconstructionists can use as they work to compile records and reports that can be used in your insurance negotiations and civil trial.
Collect Evidence at the Motorcycle Wreck Scene
Collecting as much evidence as you can at the scene of your motorcycle crash is essential. While police will be able to compile a crash report, there are many types of evidence that you can obtain while you wait for the police and ambulance to arrive. Some of these types of evidence could include:
- The color, make, and model of all involved vehicles
- The names and contact information of all involved parties, the insurance policy number of all involved parties
- The names and contact information of witnesses to the crash
- Photos of your injuries
- Video footage of traffic conditions Immediately after the crash
- Photos of surrounding property damages
- Photos of nearby homes and businesses that could have video surveillance footage
- A detailed account of how the accident happened from your perspective
These are just a few examples of evidence that could help prove someone else is responsible for causing your motorcycle crash injuries.
If your injuries are so severe that you cannot move, do not attempt to collect evidence and worsen your condition. Wait for emergency responders to arrive and contact a motorcycle accident attorney immediately so they can obtain this evidence on your behalf.
Make Sure You Get Medical Attention
Even if you initially believe you have a minor bone break, whiplash, road rash, or other seemingly minor injury, do not wait to get medical help. The sooner you have a medical professional evaluate you, the better.
It is not unusual for injuries to go undiagnosed initially after the accident. This is because injury victims are suffering from delayed symptoms due to the substantial amount of adrenaline running through their bodies.
Once your body relaxes, you may feel pain again, and your condition could be substantially worse than you were expecting. You can protect yourself by getting medical attention as soon as possible after the accident.
Call an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Legal Representation
Whether you contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at the scene of your crash or do so after you have been medically evaluated, it is in your best interest to hire a legal advocate as soon as possible.
While you are healing from your injuries, attending physical therapy, and starting to rebuild your life after a traumatic event, your attorney can work on collecting evidence that may be available for a limited amount of time.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys can also begin investigating the cause of the accident, determine who is at fault for your injuries, and start building a case against them. This way, you do not need to worry about complex legal matters while you are recuperating from your injuries.
Most Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle crashes can take multiple forms. Since the cause of the accident will help your lawyer figure out who is at fault, we will begin by reviewing the way in which the accident occurred.
Some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents we see at Mike Agruss Law include:
- Accidents with pedestrians
- Collisions involving bicyclists
- Motorcycle-car accidents
- Drunk or drugged driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Highway accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Sideswipe motorcycle crashes
- Lane-splitting accidents
- Collisions with commercial trucks
- Reckless driving accidents
- Accidents at intersections
- Red light accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Head-on motorcycle collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Rideshare accidents involving motorcyclists
- Wrongful death claims involving fatal motorcycle accidents
If you were involved in another type of motorcycle crash we did not include in the list above, do not lose hope. You may still have the right to full and fair compensation as long as your experienced motorcycle accident attorney can demonstrate that someone else is responsible for causing your accident or subsequent injuries.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As previously mentioned, one of your experienced motorcycle injury lawyer’s top priorities will be to figure out the cause of your motorcycle crash. After our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers know the type of motorcycle crash you were involved in, it will be easier for us to determine who is responsible for the damages the motorcycle accident caused.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by a negligent driver. Negligent driving describes any type of unsafe driving practice. Some examples of negligent driving could include the following:
- Driving distracted
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving over the speed limit
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Failure to check your blind spots
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or traffic light
- Making unlawful stops or turns
- Road rage
- Driving aggressively
However, motorcycle accidents are not only caused by negligent drivers. In fact, these collisions can also happen when motorcycle or vehicle parts malfunction or are defective.
Defective auto parts are often recalled, and motorists can bring their vehicles to the dealership to get these parts repaired or replaced free of charge. Unfortunately, before these recalls occur, many injured motorcycle accident victims suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries.
When defective auto parts cause catastrophic injury or death, there are multiple parties who could share liability. These parties include:
- Motorcycle parts designers, distributors, and manufacturers
- Motorcycle parts safety inspectors
- Motorcycle maintenance technicians
- Motorcycle dealerships, officials, and executives
- Other third parties
In addition to dangerous vehicle parts, there is also a chance hazardous road conditions contributed to your motorcycle crash.
Although wildlife and inclement weather have the potential to cause devastating motorcycle crash injuries, the dangerous road conditions our personal injury law firm is referring to involve unsafe or poorly maintained roads.
Generally, local municipalities and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are responsible for road maintenance and safety.
When they fail to make necessary road safety repairs, secure road maintenance work zones, or do not maintain the integrity of the Illinois roadways, they can be held accountable when motorcyclists suffer devastating injuries.
Since there are so many parties who could have contributed to your motorcycle crash, it is crucial to get our Illinois motorcycle accident injury lawyers on your side, who can thoroughly evaluate the specific details of your case and ensure those responsible for causing your injuries are held accountable wherever possible.
Common Motorcycle Injuries to Sue For
Many motorcycle accident victims are worried that their injuries may not be severe enough to take legal action against the liable party. However, grounds for a motorcycle accident insurance or motorcycle accident claim are not dependent on the type of injury your healthcare provider diagnoses you with.
The elements of negligence must be met, and your injuries must have had a significant impact on your life. The elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
The defendant in your case must have owed you a duty of care and made a decision or failed to make a decision that somehow resulted in a breach of that duty of care. This breach must have been the direct cause of your injuries or your personal injury claim to be successful.
You must have suffered substantial damages to be awarded compensation. Nowhere in the law does it state you must have suffered specific types of injuries?
However, we do see certain motorcycle injuries occur more often than others. Some of the most common types of motorcycle crash injuries to sue for in Illinois include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Psychological distress
- Soft tissue injuries
- Fractured or broken bones
- Third-degree burns
- Compound fractures
- Abrasions and contusions
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
- Sepsis and lacerations
- Loss of limbs
If you are struggling to cope with the trauma of another kind of injury that was not included in the previously mentioned list, do not worry. You may still have the right to compensation for your damages. Make sure you reach out to a compassionate motorcycle accident attorney at Mike Agruss Law to learn more about your potential legal options for financial relief.
How to Determine Who is At Fault for Your Motorcycle Accident Damages
Proving fault and negligence is essential in any motorcycle accident case. In several claims, including motorcycle accident lawsuits, the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence.
For your lawsuit to be successful, your motorcycle accident attorney must introduce evidence that convinces the jury the defendant is likely responsible for causing her injuries.
Examples of evidence that are most powerful in motorcycle accident claims include:
- Photos of the victim’s motorcycle wreck injuries
- Video surveillance of the collision, including dashcam footage
- Doorbell surveillance video of the accident
- Reports from motorcycle accident reconstructionists
- Police and crash reports
- Cell phone records from the driver that hit you
- Field sobriety test and chemical blood alcohol test results from the defendant
- The defendant’s driving record
- Data retrieved from event data recorders (EDRs)
Recoverable Damages for Illinois Motorcycle Accident Victims
After being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, it is crucial that you access the financial compensation you are due. Recoverable damages include a wide variety of losses, both economic and non-economic in nature. Some examples of losses you may be entitled to recover include:
- Suffering and pain
- Medical bills and future medical treatment
- Permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished earning potential
- Loss of future potential earnings
- Other wage-related losses
- Skin Scarring
- Reputational damage
- Mental anguish
- Motorcycle repair costs
- The cost of purchasing a new motorcycle
- The diminished value of your motorcycle
- Cost of a rental car
- Loss of household services
Punitive damages are another type of loss that may be included as part of your motorcycle accident settlement. However, they are not something you are entitled to by any means. In fact, they are only awarded when the court system finds it necessary to punish the defendant beyond your compensatory economic and non-economic damages.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Illinois
Motorcycle accident statistics from IDOT can help injury victims build a case against the liable party. It can also help you understand how the accident occurred and why accidents like yours continue to happen. With that in mind, here are some of the most important motorcycle accidents statistics you should be aware of
- There were nearly 83,000 motorcycle accident injuries in 2020
- In 2020, there were 153 motorcycle accidents in Illinois
- Up to 61% of motorcycle accident deaths happen in cities like Chicago
- Up to 35% of all motorcycle accident deaths occur at busy intersections
- Only as much as 3% of all registered motor vehicles are motorcycles
- Up to 14% of motor vehicle accident deaths involve motorcyclists
Illinois Motorcycle Accident FAQ
The motorcycle accident claims process is notoriously complex and overwhelming. It is our goal to help you feel empowered and confident as you fight to bring the at-fault party to justice. Therefore, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding motorcycle accidents in Illinois.
What is the average motorcycle accident settlement in Illinois?
There is no average motorcycle accident settlement. If you go online and search for an average motorcycle accident settlement, you cannot rely on the result. This is because this takes into account both the highest and lowest payouts. These extremely high and low payouts mean the results are not entirely accurate.
If you were hoping to learn more about the average motorcycle accident settlement to figure out how much you could expect to win, the best thing to do is discuss your damages in detail with your Illinois motorcycle accident attorney. That way, you can get advice specific to your case and an accurate idea of how much your motorcycle accident damages could be worth.
What is the statute of limitations on a motorcycle accident in Illinois?
Under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes section 5/13-202, motorcycle accident victims must file their lawsuits within two years of the collision. However, this is only true in most cases. There are several exceptions to the statute of limitations that could have a substantial impact on the outcome of your case.
For example, if your child was injured in a motorcycle crash while traveling as a passenger, or you were not diagnosed with injuries related to your motorcycle accident until days, weeks, months, or even years after the crash, the statute of limitation would be temporarily paused.
Once the statute of limitations resumes, you will have two years from that date to file your claim. However, the exact amount of time you have to get your claim filed may not be clear. For this reason, it is important to have your motorcycle accident lawyer working on your case as soon as possible.
This way, you do not need to worry about being prohibited from moving forward with your personal injury lawsuit.
What do I do if I’m accused of sharing fault for the accident?
Illinois follows modified comparative negligence laws. Here, you can be up to 50% responsible for causing the accident and still recover compensation for your damages. If your portion of liability exceeds this amount, you will no longer have the right to pursue your case at trial.
If your portion of the liability is less than this amount, you can still take action on your claim. However, the amount of compensation you recover will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
For example, if you were not wearing your motorcycle helmet as required under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the judge might find that you are 15% responsible for your motorcycle accident injuries. If the judge determined you were entitled to a settlement of $1.5 million, your settlement would need to be reduced by your portion of the blame. This means your $1.5 million settlement would be reduced by $225,000, leaving you with a total settlement worth $1,275,000.
Although this is still a sizable settlement, sharing fault costs you more than $200,000. For this reason, it is critical to have an aggressive motorcycle accident attorney on your side. This way, when the liable party attempts to blame you for causing the accident in the hopes of reducing the amount they are required to pay you, you can rest easier knowing liability has been accurately established in your motorcycle accident case.
What does it cost to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer in Illinois for help?
One of the benefits of having a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer is the ability to work with a legal professional on contingency. This means we do not ask you to pay anything for our legal services unless or until we win your case.
If we do not win, you do not pay anything. This means there is little risk to you in pursuing compensation for your damages. We will cover all of the expenses related to pursuing your case as well. This way, you are never putting your own money at risk after being involved in a traumatic motorcycle accident.
Get Help From an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Motorcycle accident injuries can make it difficult or impossible for you to live your life normally. There is no reason you should be stuck absorbing the costs of someone else’s reckless or negligent actions. Make them pay and demand they be held accountable to the fullest of the law.
Learn more about how to take legal action against the at-fault party when you connect with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Mike Agruss Law. Our firm proudly offers free, no-obligation consultation to motorcycle accident victims across Illinois. Claim yours by completing our convenient contact form or calling our office today.