Crystal Lake Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas
Motorcycling continues to grow in popularity in the United States. Between 2006 and 2015, the number of registered motorcycles increased from about 6.6 million to about 8.6 million, and their popularity continues to rise. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is far more dangerous than driving a car, truck, or other motor vehicle. Motorcyclists account for less than 1% of the miles traveled on U.S. roads, but 14% of all traffic fatalities.
Many motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle accidents, in which the biker collides with a fixed object or “wipes out” on the road. However, accidents between motorcycles and passenger vehicles are common, and often result at least in part from the negligence of the other driver.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one because another driver was negligent, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Two-Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes
The most common type of two-vehicle motorcycle accident involves a passenger vehicle such as a car or light truck turning into the path of the motorcycle. The most common scenario is that the motorcycle is traveling straight and the other vehicle making a left turn.
Of course, since the passenger vehicle is so much larger and heavier, and the occupants are protected by the vehicle’s enclosure, seat belts and air bags, the motorcyclist is far more likely to be seriously injured or killed. In fact, on a per-mile-traveled basis, motorcycle riders are nearly 30 times as likely to die in a crash.
Liability in Motorcycle Accident Cases
When another driver negligently causes an accident that injures or kills a motorcyclist, the injured rider or the rider’s surviving family may be entitled to compensation. Some common types of driver negligence leading to motorcycle accidents include:
- Not allowing adequate space between the vehicle and a motorcycle
- Distracted driving, causing the driver not to notice a motorcycle, or to see the motorcycle too late
- Failing to signal a turn, especially a left-hand turn
Often, motorcyclists bear some responsibility for the accident. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the accident, and 27% were legally intoxicated. And, of course, motorcycle riders can be distracted, fail to signal, and otherwise take risks in traffic just as many passenger vehicle drivers do.
However, partial responsibility for the accident does not necessarily mean that the motorcyclist or his family will be barred from recovering damages. If the motorcycle rider was less than 50% responsible or less, he or she may still be entitled to partial compensation.
Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Every personal injury case is different, and motorcycle accidents are no exception. The type of compensation a victim or his family may be entitled to will vary depending on the severity of the injury, the losses the victim suffered, and the expected duration of any limitations. Some common examples include:
- Medical expenses, past and projected
- Lost income, past and projected
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage (such as destruction of the motorcycle)
- Loss of quality of life
- Costs of rehabilitation and other accommodations
Often, establishing damages requires the assistance of medical and economic experts, who can project factors such as the type and duration of future medical care required, the anticipated cost of that care, and the loss of future earnings. When you work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, the law firm will secure qualified experts to help build your case and testify on your behalf.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When you’ve suffered a serious injury or have unexpectedly lost a loved one, it is natural to be distracted and under significant stress. Unfortunately, insurance companies often take advantage of that uncertain period to lead injury victims into statements that may harm their cases, or even inadequate settlements that cut off the ability to recover for future medical care.
You owe it to yourself and your family to make sure your interests are protected during this difficult time, and an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can be your best resource. You can take the first step right now by contacting us to schedule a consultation.