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Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, it is highly advised that you discuss your case with a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer at Duncan Law Group.

We practice personal injury law exclusively and can get to work investigating your accident in order to help you obtain the financial compensation to which you are entitled. We are experienced trial lawyers with proven results and a track record that includes tens of millions of dollars recovered for our clients.

Harmed in a Chicago motorcycle accident? We are on your side! Get started by calling our experienced attorneys today!

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Who is liable in a Chicago motorcycle accident case?

What damages can be claimed in a Chicago motorcycle accident claim?

The difference between catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents

Illinois motorcycle helmet laws and how they affect your claim

How do you know when a car is at fault in a motocycle accident?

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Establishing Fault in Your Chicago Motorcycle Accident Case

Motorcyclists, like pedestrians, have a huge risk of serious injury or death when struck by another vehicle. They may be thrown, hit the pavement or other objects, or become trapped beneath their bike. Broken bones, ruptured discs, dislocations, road scrapes and burns, head trauma, loss of limbs, and damage to the brain or spinal cord may be the result. Motorcycles can be hard to see and their distances are often miscalculated by other drivers. In some cases, intentionally hostile drivers can be at fault. With the help of a personal injury attorney in Chicago, you can gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case against the other driver.

In order to do so, we may need to take the following steps on your behalf:

  • Work with an accident reconstructionist
  • Call on witnesses to testify on your behalf
  • Use the police report to establish fault
  • Present pictures of the scene / vehicle damage
  • Submit your medical records as evidence

Seeking Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Chicago

In order to seek compensation from the negligent driver, you must be able to prove that they were at fault for causing the accident. Unfortunately, this can be particularly difficult as a motorcyclist.

Many people assume that motorcyclists are reckless or careless, which is a point that the insurance company may attempt to make when negotiating a settlement. However, that does not mean that you should be bullied into settling your claim for less than what you deserve. Where negligence or wrongdoing has occurred, motorcyclists have a right to pursue justice and fair compensation.

When you work with Duncan Law Group, we can help you seek damages for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future loss of income
  • Pain and suffering / emotional distress
  • Motorcycle repair or replacement

Catastrophic vs. Non-Catastrophic Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists can sustain very serious injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle. This is because motorcycles have significantly less protection than a car or truck; during a collision, the body of the motor vehicle can absorb and reduce some of the impact. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, do not have these benefits and only have equipment such as helmets to protect them.

There are two categories of injuries that can occur in a motorcycle accident: catastrophic and non-catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries refer to any injury that prevents you from engaging in gainful work, leading to significant hardship and life disruption.

Catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents include the following.

  • Loss of limbs: Motorcycle accidents can result in a severed limb or damage to a limb that is so severe that a doctor must amputate it.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: During a motorcycle accident, an object can penetrate your skull, or you can sustain significant force to the head, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Any damage to your brain can affect mobility and cognitive function.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis, or the loss of movement based on where the injury occurs. Paraplegia leads to the loss of movement in the legs, while tetraplegia impacts movement in the legs, arms, and torso.
  • Severe burn injuries: Motorcycle accident victims can experience road rash. This injury develops due to friction between your skin and the road if you fall off the motorcycle during the collision. Burn injuries vary in severity, and if the road rash is severe enough to burn through your skin and muscle down to the bone, you can experience permanent nerve damage.

Catastrophic injuries can have a significant impact on your life. You will need to seek medical attention immediately and, depending on the extent of the damage, you may need long-term care. You may also require physical therapy, medication, and disability accommodation equipment. These injuries prevent you from returning to work and the activities you once enjoyed, impacting your financial, physical and emotional health. Filing a lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver responsible for your injuries can help you recover from these hardships.

Non-catastrophic injuries do not impact your ability to find gainful employment. These injuries encompass a wide range of painful conditions that require medical attention, including the following.

  • Broken bones: You can fall from your motorcycle and sustain a broken bone. These injuries are painful and can take months to heal, depending on the severity of the break.
  • Lacerations and abrasions: It is common to suffer cuts, bruises, and scrapes after a motorcycle accident, even if you wear protective equipment. Without prompt treatment, bacteria can enter these wounds and cause infections.
  • Soft tissue injuries: The force from a motorcycle accident can damage your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Also known as soft tissue injuries, these strains and sprains can be difficult to identify and may not appear for a few days after the accident. Soft tissue injuries lead to significant pain and discomfort.

A non-catastrophic injury can still be very severe. Any type of harm can impact your ability to go to work, even temporarily, Non-catastrophic injuries can result in undue pain and suffering, and you will still need to pay for medical expenses, property damage, and other financial losses you incurred due to the accident.

It is crucial to seek medical attention after a motorcycle accident, even if your injuries are not catastrophic or you do not feel hurt. You may have underlying injuries you are not aware of, and any type of injury due to another driver’s negligence can be grounds for an injury claim. Your medical records will become foundational evidence for your case. As soon as you seek treatment for your injuries, contact an attorney at Duncan Law Group to discuss your legal options.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Illinois

Helmets are a motorcyclist’s main line of defense against severe injuries in an accident. Motorcycle riders who wear helmets have a lower risk of severe injuries and are more likely to survive their accidents than motorcyclists who do not use them. For example, after Florida eliminated its helmet law for motorcyclists aged 21 and older, the motorcycle accident fatality rate increased by over 45%.

Illinois does not require adult motorcyclists to wear a helmet. While it is your right to choose when or when not to wear a helmet, it is important to remember that Illinois is a fault state when it comes to vehicle accidents. This means that the person responsible for an accident must pay for the damages of the victims.

In many motorcycle accident cases, the court or insurance company will investigate whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Although Illinois does not have a mandated motorcycle helmet law, the insurance company may use this information as justification to deny your claim. If you are filing a lawsuit, the court may assign some of the liability to you and use Illinois’s comparative fault laws to either decrease or deny your award.

Situations Where a Car Is At-Fault for a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcyclists face unfair scrutiny and bias when filing an insurance claim against a negligent driver. Insurance adjusters may believe you are automatically at fault for the accident due to negative assumptions about motorcyclists’ driving behaviors.

However, this is far from the truth—there are many negligent motorist behaviors that can contribute to a collision, including the following.

  • Unsafe lane changes: Drivers who do not check to see if a lane is clear before merging can collide into an oncoming motorcyclist.
  • Failure to yield: Right of way rules apply to motorcycles just like drivers. Motorists who run a red light or stop sign, or fail to allow a motorcycle pass when it has the right of way, can collide with the motorcyclist.
  • Driving under the influence: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is very dangerous, impacting cognitive ability, motor skills, concentration, and judgement. These substances heighten the risk of an accident.
  • Driving while distracted: Texting and driving, talking on the phone or with others in the car, eating, drinking, or even fiddling with the radio takes a driver away from the road. If he or she is not paying attention, the driver can collide with a motorcyclist.
  • Speeding: Drivers must follow the speed limit to allow for proper reaction time and to keep others safe. If a driver is speeding, he or she can collide into an unexpected motorcyclist.

Hire a Law Firm with a Proven Record of Success in Chicago

When you hire a Chicago personal injury lawyer from Duncan Law Group, you can trust that your case is in the right hands. Our firm has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of past clients, and we are prepared to do the same for you. Not only has our lead attorney been named to the Super Lawyers® list for four years running, but he has even been named to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40.

When you call on our firm to handle your motorcycle accident claim, you will also benefit from a decade of legal experience. Get started today by calling (312) 202-3283 and taking advantage of our free case evaluation!