Motorcycles not only provide a practical, cost-saving, and environmentally friendly method of transportation, but they also provide recreational opportunities. Even still, riding a motorcycle can be particularly risky since bikes don’t offer the types of protection and safety features that passenger vehicles do. Even with protective gear such as helmets and boots, motorcycle crash injuries can be severe or even fatal.
In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists lost their lives in motorcycle crashes, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2018, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to succumb to their injuries in a crash per vehicle miles traveled. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer to determine your legal rights and options to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Each motorcycle accident has its own set of circumstances and causative factors. Some are avoidable, and some aren’t. The most common causes or contributing factors include:
Most motorcycle injury cases are grounded in the legal theory of negligence. To prove negligence, the injured party must show that the at-fault party owed a duty of care. Drivers have a duty to exercise the same level of care that another reasonable driver would have used in the same or similar situation. For example, stopping at a stoplight or yielding the right of way. Next, they must prove that the at-fault party breached or acted against that duty, causing their injuries or damages. They also must prove that there is a direct link between the breach of duty and their injuries and damages.
Motorcycle accidents can cause severe injuries, some with lifelong implications. Significant financial and emotional stress can follow. Medical bills alone for motorcycle accident victims can top more than six-figures. With severe injuries, some injured motorcyclists may not be able to return to work right away, if even at all, causing them to lose wages. They may not be able to participate in activities they previously enjoyed and may even have emotional trauma from the accident.
The purpose of pursuing a personal injury claim after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident is to receive compensation for your damages. The amount and type of compensation you are entitled to receive will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident as well as the available insurance coverage. A fair settlement or a jury award in a motorcycle accident case is primarily based on your damages, which can include:
Individuals who are in a motorcycle accident should consult with a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer about the types and amounts of compensation they may be entitled to receive. To support the damages requested in a claim, the attorney will help the victim gather medical, financial, and other relevant documentation to build a strong case. They can also interview any eyewitnesses that could be helpful in the case.
After a motorcycle accident, victims usually have many tasks to attend to— medical appointments, talking to insurance companies, arranging time off work to heal, and finding help for tasks they cannot do themselves at that time, such as housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and childcare. However, during this stressful and busy time, motorcycle accident victims must know they only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit concerning their accident.
Illinois law gives motorcycle victims have a two-year time limit to file a civil case seeking compensation for their damages. Known as the statute of limitations, it begins on the date of the accident or the date that the injuries were discovered. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Chicago can help motorcycle accident victims know how the statute of limitations applies in their case. Suppose the injured party waits past the applicable statute of limitations to file a claim. In that case, the at-fault party or their attorneys can file a motion to dismiss the case based on the elapsed statute of limitations. Most likely, the case will be rejected by the court based on the tardy filing.
It’s also critical that motorcycle victims contact an attorney sooner rather than later because valuable evidence supporting their claim can be lost, destroyed, or changed as time goes on. Bringing a well-versed Chicago motorcycle attorney into the picture as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident can increase the chances that the injured party can receive compensation for their pain and suffering as well as their financial losses.
After a motorcycle accident, you might need the help of many different medical professionals, such as doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists. Likewise, you can also benefit from the services of an experienced Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer.
At the Law Offices of Michael J. Brennan, we know how to negotiate a full and fair settlement for those who suffer damages in a motorcycle crash. Start your path to recovering your losses by calling to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Our lawyers will review the circumstances of your motorcycle accident to determine if you could pursue legal action to recover your damages. If so, one of our first steps will be to write a demand letter on your behalf explaining your injuries and asking for the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, a demand letter is all it takes to produce a settlement offer. However, if a settlement offer isn’t fair, to your satisfaction, or we don’t receive an offer on your behalf, we stand willing and ready to litigate your case. Call our office today at 708-894-1611 to receive the legal help you need.