If a motorcycle wreck has impacted your life, you may not know who to turn to. You may be aware that you need a settlement, but not about how to protect your rights. The best way to do that is with a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices.
We strive to provide the best legal services to our clients in Illinois. Our experienced and passionate lawyers will make sure that your rights are represented. We will find the negligent party and make sure they’re held accountable for their actions.
It’s common for insurance adjusters to contact you after the wreck to try and persuade you to settle early. Your injuries, however, may be more severe than you know. While settling early may seem like an appealing idea because you’ll be done with the matter and receive compensation, this may not be the best course of action because your settlement may not properly reflect the severity of your injuries.
Waiting and contacting a lawyer will take more time but will allow you to know everything about your injuries. From there, you’ll also know the treatment that will be required and what the costs will be. Your injury lawyer will take this into account when calculating your settlement.
Understanding the Reasons Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen
While a bike collision is usually caused by negligence, there are a few ways it can occur. Knowing the ways that a motorcycle accident can happen may help you determine what happened during yours.
- Unfamiliarity – Motorcyclists are much more difficult to spot on the road than cars. A new, inexperienced driver may not be used to looking for a smaller object when they’re about to turn or change lanes. They may also lack the ability to accurately judge how fast someone is traveling on a motorcycle or their distance from the car and, as a result, cause a collision.
- Aggressive Driving – Unfortunately, other drivers may feel that motorcyclists shouldn’t get to share the road with them. This could lead to aggressive driving like speeding, tailgating, or failing to yield right of way to motorcyclists. When they believe that they deserve the road more than bikers, they can cause tragic motorcycle wrecks.
- Reckless Driving – While an accident may not happen because of malicious intent, it can still cause a lot of harm. Reckless drivers may operate a motor vehicle while they’re distracted, like looking at their phone to text. Multitasking is not a safe choice when driving is involved. Anything that takes the driver’s eye off the road or hands off the wheel is a safety concern. This also includes eating, drinking, changing the radio station, applying makeup, flossing, and gawking out the window—also known as “rubbernecking.”
- Defective Auto Parts – The driver may not be at fault at all in your case. They could have been given a faulty auto part from a manufacturing company and the part was the reason why the driver lost control and caused an accident.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Dangerous?
Motorcyclists don’t have a lot of protection when they’re in an accident as opposed to a person in a motor vehicle that has the body to absorb the shock and reduce the amount of impact. The most a rider may have is the gear they’re wearing at the time. At best, they will be wearing a helmet and thick, long-sleeved clothing. However, even these elements don’t guarantee safety. As a result, they can incur severe injuries.
One of the categories of injuries is catastrophic, or an injury that prevents someone from doing gainful work. This can cause a major disruption to someone’s life. They could be looking at a future where they can no longer return to their job or may require medical equipment to help maintain a high quality of life. This could be something like a wheelchair.
Catastrophic injuries include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – When something penetrates the skull or harms the brain in any way, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may occur. These can harm how the brain functions, which may affect cognition or mobility.
- Paralysis – It’s possible that a motorcyclist could get a spinal cord injury. If the force is severe enough, the injury could result in paralysis. The injury site determines what kind of paralysis. Paraplegia affects the use of one’s legs, while tetraplegia affects the arms, torso, and legs.
- Loss of Limb – A severe motorcycle accident has the potential to either sever a limb upon impact or the limb may be beyond repair and doctors have to amputate it.
- Burn Injuries – Motorcyclists are at risk of getting road rash – which is a type of burn injury. If they make contact with the ground, the friction between the skin and the ground can cause burns. These are dangerous because the degrees of burns can vary. Severe burn injuries can reach through the layers of skin and reach the muscle and bone. There may be permanent nerve damage that prevents feeling in that area or the function of the injury site.
Catastrophic injuries need intense medical care immediately, but even with care, the patient may have long-lasting consequences from the injury. They will also likely need to have an adjustment period where they learn to live with the injury. This can be difficult and frustrating because it’s something that shouldn’t have ever happened, and they’re paying for someone else’s mistake.
Injuries don’t have to be catastrophic to be severe. Motorcycle accidents can cause a wide range of injuries that are severe in nature and require a lengthy recovery time.
Some examples of non-catastrophic injuries include:
- Broken Bones – If you’re thrown from your motorcycle, you may land on a limb and break a bone. Broken arms and legs are painful injuries that will most likely need to be set in a cast for a while.
- Lacerations, Scrapes, and Bruises – Falling and hitting the ground can cause cuts and bruising.
It’s common for those with motorcycle injuries to also suffer from psychological issues as well. Professional help may be needed and affording that care can get expensive. But we’ll do everything we can to make sure you get the care you need.
No matter the kinds of injuries you get, you deserve justice if you were not at fault. The Chicago motorcycle crash lawyers at Thomas Law Offices will carefully investigate what happened to you. We’ll look at your accident, find how the negligent party acted recklessly, how they caused your injuries, and how those injuries have affected you.
Illinois Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Helmets are a motorcyclist’s main form of protection; however, the laws in each state regarding helmets vary. Currently, Illinois does not have a motorcycle helmet law. They’re one of three states that do not. While riders have the right to choose not to wear a helmet, it can’t be ignored that they can be a critical factor in reducing injuries and death in the event of a collision.
Studies have shown that when states eliminate motorcycle helmet laws, fatalities typically increased. This happened in Florida when riders aged 21 and older weren’t required to wear helmets. Motorcyclist fatalities increased by 81 percent. In 2010, Texas repealed their universal helmet law and the number of fatalities increased while helmet used decreased.
Typically, riders who wear helmets have a lesser severity of injury, mortality rate, and use of resources than those who don’t wear them when involved in a motorcycle accident. There’s also a correlation between an increase in hospital admissions and costs without universal helmet laws.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also released information that says if all motorcyclists had been wearing helmets in 2016, then 802 more could have been saved.
Thomas Law Offices Can Provide Peace of Mind
The costs of a motorcycle accident can be much more than you may expect. In addition to possible economic damages that include medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages, the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers from Thomas Law Offices will also fight for your non-economic damages. This includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Collisions can cause considerable financial stress. You shouldn’t have to deal with this when the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence in the first place. That’s why we’ll stand up for you and demand that you get a fair settlement. Your compensation should be able to allow you to recover in peace.
It’s vital to contact your motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible so they can get started on your case. With most personal injury cases, there is a time limit starting from the date of the injury that you will be allowed to file a claim. In Illinois, you have two years to come forward with your claim. Waiting could possibly mean risking missing the deadline and having your case thrown out without review.
When you contact a lawyer immediately, you’ll have a better chance of remembering what happened and can account for details accurately. Your Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer may have a better chance of investigating the accident scene and find evidence to support your claim. And you’ll know that there isn’t a close deadline looming overhead.
For a free consultation, get in touch with us today. We’re here to help.