Driving a motorcycle is an exciting way to travel, whether for sheer entertainment or for easy transportation in and around chicago, but there are many risks inherent with this form of transportation that anyone who rides must be aware of. Defensive driving is an extremely important practice when it comes to safe motorcycle operation, but even the most defensive driver is still at the mercy of those who they share the road with. Unfortunately, these same drivers often walk away from accidents that they cause relatively unharmed, while motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than someone in a car.
Knowing that there is a lawyer for motorcycle accident cases ready to help you fight for the money that you deserve is important, and the team at Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers LLP is here to help. Contact our firm as soon as possible to connect with a motorcycle accident lawyer who is available to take your case as soon as possible. Once you are being represented by an attorney for your case, you will be able to focus on recovering from your injuries without taking on the additional burden of legal stressors.
Contact Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers LLP For a Free Consultation Today
Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers is available to help you through your case as soon as possible, and will be happy to discuss your unique situation during a free initial consultation today. We understand that this time in your life is overwhelming, which is why we believe that this free consultation is so important. In it, you will be able to talk to an experienced attorney who will help you make sense of your situation and understand how working with a lawyer will help you move forward. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have years of experience fighting for the compensation their clients deserve, and you can expect the same dedication for your case.
Read more about what to do after a crash, motorcycles and road safety, and more. The sooner you are partnered with an attorney after your Chicago motorcycle accident, the sooner you will have the confidence that you need in order to focus on your recovery.
Common Injuries from Chicago Motorcycle Accidents
There is a good reason why motorcycle riders gear up with kevlar body armor, helmets, gloves, and boots before they go out for a ride – because, without protective gear, there is little to no protection for them, since unlike a car, there is no protective frame surrounding them to dissipate the impact in a collision. There are multiple times during a motorcycle crash that the rider will experience an impact, starting with the initial contact with the other vehicle, followed by being thrown from the vehicle and to the ground. Depending on the speed that they are traveling, they may slide on the ground and hit other obstacles before coming to a stop. All of this is to say that the injuries from a motorcycle accident can be both unpredictable and severe. The following are some of the most common:
Road rash is the colloquial term for the serious skin abrasions that someone may suffer when they hit the pavement and slide across it. While the injury may look like a friction burn, it is actually many small lacerations that peel the skin off, and can do damage to deeper tissues and muscles, as well. This is why it is so important to wear protective coverings like leather, since serious road rash can happen even from a low-speed accident otherwise.
Whiplash is an extremely common injury to the soft tissues of the neck when the head is snapped forward, down, and back in a rapid motion, causing the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and spinal disks to stretch and tear. The resulting injury typically heals on itself, but causes serious issues like limited mobility, headaches, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, and more. In serious cases, surgery may be required.
Fractured bones are common with hard impacts such as after a motorcycle accident, and occur when a bone is met with a force greater than its own tensile strength. Fractures can range from hairline fractures that simply require a splint and to keep the bone stable, to serious and catastrophic injuries like compound fractures. Any fracture requires medical intervention to facilitate a complete recovery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Due to the nature of a motorcycle crash, such as hitting the ground, rolling, striking other obstacles, and more, spinal cord injuries are extremely common. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves running from the brainstem all the way to the lower back, and connects a person’s limbs to their brain. Severing the spinal cord can result in paralysis and other serious, lasting injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, as the name implies, are the result of trauma to the brain or skull, and include things like concussions, brain death, or may be fatal. Concussions are known as “silent killers” because they may not have any visible signs unless the victim is examined with a CT scan or MRI. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, make sure that the possible injury is looked at as soon as possible to provide the victim with the necessary care immediately.
Bruising happens when the surficial blood vessels known as capillaries are damaged from an impact, which is extremely common in a motorcycle accident. Bruises are sensitive to the touch, and often turn the affected area black, blue, green, or yellow.Typically a bruise will heal on its own with a few weeks rest, but in more serious accidents a bruise may be an indication of a more serious injury like internal bleeding, so it is important that you see a doctor.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Chicago
There are many possible causes of a Chicago motorcycle accident, and because all motorcycle accidents are unique the following list is comprised of only a few possible causes. Whether or not you see your own listed below, talk to a lawyer – Chicago motorcycle accident law does not necessarily depend on the cause of the crash, only that someone caused the accident and that you are the victim of their accidents.
Drunk drivers are a danger to everyone on the road due to a variety of reasons including their significantly handicapped reaction times, blurred vision, decreased caution, and more. When someone makes the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel while drunk, they are more likely to cause a motorcycle accident by not noticing the smaller vehicle sharing the road with them.
Texting While Driving
As with drunk driving, when someone is texting or using a smartphone for other reasons while driving they are unable to give their entire attention to the road and the vehicles around them. Motorcycle accident lawyers represent personal injury caused by texting drivers alarmingly often, and following all motorcycle accidents, attorneys will try to determine whether or not a smartphone played a factor.
Making the decision to disregard the speed limit is dangerous on a number of levels, given that the posted speed limit is as such to account for things like roadway hazards, merges, upcoming intersections, and other factors that can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle at a higher speed. Ask any lawyer: motorcycle accident claims commonly involve a speeding driver, and if the driver was cited for speeding at the scene of the crash this will greatly improve your argument that they are at fault for the accident.
Inexperienced drivers can get understandably overwhelmed when they are out on the road with other drivers, but all too often in warmer months, they may completely miss a motorcycle in the lane beside them while trying to pay attention to all of the other details that more experienced drivers register without much thought. If your motorcycle accident was caused by an inexperienced driver, the pain and suffering that you endure in the coming weeks and months can be exceptionally frustrating; fortunately, Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers LLP is here to take your case and fight for fair compensation.
Motorcycles are much smaller than even the smallest passenger car, meaning that it is much easier for them to be lost in a blind spot of a larger vehicle. When a driver is not paying attention and looking for motorcycles, they may hastily make a maneuver such as a lane change or turn without accounting for smaller vehicles, thus leading to a motorcycle accident.
Failure to Signal a Turn
Using a turn signal is extremely important, but a frustrating number of drivers on the road seem to forget that their blinkers exist. Failure to signal a turn can result in a number of types of accidents that can lead to a personal injury case, but even a low-speed crash involving a motorcycle can result in catastrophic injuries that may even prove fatal. Using a turn signal is not only the law, it is a courtesy to everyone else on the road. Motorcycle accident attorneys are familiar with these types of accidents.
When a driver is preparing to take a left turn, it is their responsibility to ensure that there are no drivers in the oncoming lane who have the right of way before committing to the turn. Motorcycle accident attorneys know that this is not always the case, and take on many personal injury clients who have endured horrible injuries as a result of someone’s decision to take a turn without noticing a motorcycle coming towards them.
Calculating Damages After a Motorcycle Accident
At its core a motorcycle accident is handled like any other personal injury case, meaning that the central question of the case is that of damages: how much is the victim owed? Your motorcycle accident lawyer will spend much of their time trying to determine the answer to this question before engaging in negotiations or taking the case to the Illinois courts to be determined by a judge or jury.
Your compensatory damages are divided into two distinct subcategories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages seek compensation for things like your medical bills, lost wages, and all other measurable financial impacts resulting from your accident. Non-economic damages seek compensation for more abstract damages such as pain and suffering, and the emotional impacts that your accident has on your life. Trying to calculate these damages for your own case is difficult, but by working with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer you can be confident that they will make a compelling argument on your behalf.
In addition to compensatory damages, a judge or jury may award a victim punitive damages in particularly egregious accidents where the defendant acted exceptionally negligent, malicious, or reckless. However, your attorney will not be able to seek these damages, so they will never be included in the calculations that your attorney brings to negotiations with the insurance company.