Dealing with insurance companies after a traffic accident can be challenging, but for motorcyclists, this uphill battle is even tougher. Many insurers take a “deny and defend” approach to injured motorcyclists to reduce settlements or deny them outright, and without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, motorcyclists risk being under-compensated or not receiving a settlement at all. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Due to simple exposure, motorcyclists incur a greater risk of injury or death in an accident than drivers and passengers of cars and trucks. In 2015 alone, about 88,000 American motorcyclists were injured in accidents and 4,976 lost their lives, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and in 2014, 2,693 motorcyclists in Illinois were injured in accidents and 118 lost their lives. The U.S. Department of Transportation also claims that both the number of motorcycles on the road and motorcyclist-fatalities have more than doubled nationwide in the past ten years.
Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studied over one-million motorcyclist injuries between 2001 and 2008, and the most common non-fatal injuries fall into four categories:
- Upper trunk – Injuries to the back, chest, and shoulders.
- Lower trunk – Injuries to the hands and arms; this is typically the least-common category for injury.
- Head and neck – Injuries in this category were reported by 22% of injured motorcyclists.
- Lower extremities – Injuries to the legs and feet; these injuries were reported by 30% of injured motorcyclists.
It’s estimated that over 35% of Illinois motorcyclists who have been injured in an accident suffered an “A” injury, meaning one which prevents them from carrying out the same activities from before the accident occurred. “A” injuries may include: back/neck injuries, brain injuries, fractures, internal organ damage, joint injuries, lacerations, loss of limbs, and paralysis.
While Illinois is one of the only states in the U.S. which does not legally require motorcyclists to wear helmets, we strongly recommend helmet-use to reduce your risk of serious injury or death in an accident. Studies have repeatedly shown that motorcyclists who wear helmets are less likely to die or suffer a serious head injury in an accident than those who do not, so protect yourself and encourage your motorcycle-loving friends and loved ones to do the same.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
To be compensated for your injuries and losses in a motorcycle accident, you must establish that the other driver was negligent and his/her negligence directly resulted in the accident and your injuries. Common types of accidents resulting from negligence include head-on accidents, intersection accidents, lane-change accidents, “left turn” accidents, rear-end accidents, and sideswipes, and here some common forms of driver negligence:
- Visual distraction/failure to look out for motorcyclists;
- Distracted driving;
- Failure to follow traffic signs/signals;
- Failure to yield;
- Intoxicated driving;
- Speeding/reckless driving;
- “Road rage,” especially when a driver directly targets a motorcyclist.
How We Help
Establishing a personal injury case can be a complex process, and our attorneys conduct thorough investigations, consult with experts, and gather a wide variety of information and data to ensure that your settlement fully compensates you for your injuries and losses. In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, we will go to trial and fight for your rights until the very end.
Here are some of the steps we take to build your case:
- Consulting with accident-reconstructionist experts to recreate the accident
- Gathering photographs of the scene of the accident and vehicular damage
- Ordering medical bills and records
- Ordering police reports
- Requesting copies of traffic light sequencing
- Reviewing computerized recordings within vehicles, also known as “black boxes”
- Speaking to insurance carriers on your behalf
- Taking statements from witnesses of the accident
If your accident resulted from the other driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses, including:
- Medical expenses – This includes all medical care incurred directly due to the accident (including ongoing/long-term care) such as ambulance trips, assistive medical devices, emergency room treatment, medications, nursing care, and rehabilitative/surgical expenses.
- Lost wages – Includes income you would have earned if you had not missed work to recover from the accident, and may also include future lost wages if you cannot return to the same job you held prior to the accident.
- Pain and suffering – You may be entitled to compensation for physical and/or psychological pain and suffering which resulted directly from the accident.
- Wrongful death – If a motorcyclist dies in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, the motorcyclist’s family may file a claim on his/her behalf under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.
Get a Free Review
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person or business entity, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have been injured in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, we are not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-free promise is that simple. There is nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.