Although a motorcycle can be a convenient and enjoyable means of transportation, riders face significant risks of accidents, particularly in the busy urban area of Chicago. Even though motorcycle accidents represent a small share of all crashes in Chicago, they lead to a far greater percentage of catastrophic and fatal injuries.
In one recent year, 508 crashes in Chicago involved motorcyclists, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. That’s more than one crash every day. More than 60 percent of those crashes resulted in injuries, and 11 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in Chicago over the course of the year.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a motorcycle accident in Chicago that was caused by someone else, you need aggressive, skilled legal representation. Contact Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys. Our team can answer your questions, explain your legal rights, and discuss the financial compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Fatal?
Motorcycle accidents tend to be more fatal than other kinds of motor vehicle accidents because motorcycle riders, unlike the occupants of a car, truck, or bus, are much less protected from their surroundings. Even when riders wear helmets and safety gear, they lack other safety features available in vehicles, such as seat belts, crumple zones, and airbags.
In addition, motorcyclists who are hit by larger vehicles face a much greater and direct force of impact. When a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident with a car, truck, SUV, or other larger vehicle, their body can make a direct impact with the vehicle that hit them, other vehicles on the road, the ground, and other objects or debris. This all means that a rider faces a much greater risk of catastrophic, if not fatal, injuries.
What Is the Most Common Injury in a Motorcycle Accident?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most common injury suffered in motorcycle accidents in Chicago is head trauma, including traumatic brain injury.
Head injuries and traumatic brain injury frequently occur in motorcycle accidents when riders are thrown from their motorcycle, with their head making impact with the pavement. Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries more frequently occur and are greater in severity when riders are not wearing appropriate helmets and eye protection.
In addition to head injuries and traumatic brain injuries, other injuries that commonly occur in motorcycle accidents in Chicago include:
- Road rash, which occurs when a rider suffers cuts and abrasions when contacting the pavement following an accident
- Burns, which may occur if a rider falls over on the motorcycle and contacts the hot parts of the engine
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries, which occur when a rider is pinned under the motorcycle
- Neck and back injuries, including herniated and ruptured discs
- Organ damage, such as perforated organ tissue and internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries, including nerve damage and paralysis
- Amputations, which can occur if extremities are severely damaged in an accident, or when an extremity is violently amputated in the accident
After a motorcycle accident, it is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention and follow up with your doctor or other specialists as recommended. Save any receipts, medical records, or paperwork you receive from the insurance company. Then, contact a knowledgeable lawyer from our firm to discuss your next steps and how we can help.
Differences Between Motorcycle and Car Accidents
Motorcycle accidents have several important differences from other kinds of motor vehicle accidents, including:
- More serious injuries – Motorcycle accidents tend to result in more serious injuries to the rider. When a motorcycle rider suffers serious injuries in an accident, it can make resolving the rider’s legal claim more difficult. The rider may need to undergo months or even years of medical treatment and rehab to reach maximum medical improvement. As a result, a rider may still be undergoing treatment when his or her legal claim is being resolved. Any settlement or verdict in the rider’s favor will need to provide compensation for the injured rider’s future medical treatment and care, future lost wages, and lost earning potential.
- More costly – The serious injuries that a motorcycle rider tends to suffer in an accident mean that the financial recovery in the legal claim will likely be larger than the recovery in a car accident claim where victims suffered less severe injuries.
- Contested liability – Unfortunately, some at-fault drivers try to avoid liability for motorcycle accidents by relying on biases and preconceptions of motorcycle riders as reckless motorists who speed and weave in and out of traffic. An at-fault driver may try to claim that you were speeding or riding in a reckless manner at the time of the accident. As a result, you may need additional evidence to build a strong legal claim that shows the other driver was responsible for your accident.
Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Chicago, you may be entitled to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries and damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Contact the Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Our compassionate legal team is here to discuss the details of your case and explain more about your legal rights and options. During your initial case review, we will explain how our law firm can help you pursue the financial recovery and justice that you deserve following your motorcycle accident.
Call us today at (312) 372-1227 or reach out to us online.