When you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, it can be overwhelming to deal with all of the issues that arise from your injury.
Your health and your ability to work might be compromised, earning an income for yourself and your family.
Were you involved in a motorcycle accident in Decatur, Illinois? Are you seeking maximum compensation for your damages from the negligent party?
Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for motorcycle accident victims like you.
Call our Decatur, IL, motorcycle accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Motorcycle Riding in Decatur, IL
Many passionate motorcycle enthusiasts in the Decatur, Illinois, area enjoy a leisurely weekend ride through beautiful Charleston, heading south and east to Vincennes just across the Indiana border.
The route takes biking adventurers through numerous small towns that offer quintessential Midwest food and beverages. Tired riders can stop along the way to visit the historic Lincoln Log Cabin State Park and the famous family home of President William Henry Harrison in Grouseland.
The 200-mile round trip adventure begins in downtown Charleston heading south to Janesville along Route 2 past Bradbury and Toledo, Illinois.
Then, turning east on Route 121, the biker and passenger ride through Greenup before turning south on Route 130 to Liberty Hill, Hidalgo, Rose Hill, Newton, West Liberty, and into Olney. The final lap of the adventure is on eastbound state Route 50 through Lawrenceville and across the Indiana state border into Vincennes.
The scenic views and the open air take the riders through beautiful farmlands on smooth road surfaces. Even the tight corners offer excellent visibility.
However, numerous slow-moving tractors, farm equipment, and vehicles can quickly pop up along the way.
Because of that, it is highly advisable to stay alert even on long straight roads through scenic farmlands to avoid any severe mishap, accident, or event.
Decatur Motorcycle Accident
Data shows that motorcycle accidents in Decatur, Illinois are common occurrences. Many times, these accidents leave devastating injuries and fatalities.
Most accidents result from someone else’s fault and carelessness, failing to see the motorcyclist or not defensively driving when sharing the road.
However, in the first few moments before a motorcycle accident, the injured victims sharing the roadway were at greater risk because they did not have the same protections as passenger vehicles.
On a motorcycle, riders have little protection against the impact of collisions with other motor vehicles or objects unless they wear proper personal protective equipment.
Motorcycle accidents can be dangerous to passengers who ride on motorcycles. Passengers often suffer injuries similar to motorcyclists, especially if not wearing a helmet.
In addition, if the rider is too young to wear a helmet in Illinois, the passenger likely will suffer the same fatal injuries as the motorcycle driver in an accident.
Riding on motorcycles involves inherent safety risks that can be minimized by wearing proper protective gear. That means wearing helmets, goggles, and other equipment to protect riders from injury during motorcycle accidents.
Illinois laws for motorcycle drivers and riders are similar to those of other states. Still, there’s a difference: Illinois is one of only three states where motorcycle riders injured in accidents may be entitled to recover damages from those responsible for their serious injuries.
It’s essential to speak with a Decatur lawyer as soon as possible after an accident so that evidence can be preserved and the best case can be built for compensation.
What Are Some Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles are smaller than commercial trucks and passenger vehicles and offer motorcyclists little protection even when wearing safety gear.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Illinois include:
- A lack of driving experience
- A car making a turn doesn’t look for a motorcycle coming their way
- Distracted driving
- Running a red light
- Failing to obey traffic signs and safety systems
- Riders can easily misjudge traffic while riding and end up getting into accidents that could have been avoided
- Drunk driving
- Motorcycle drivers might be riding under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other substances that impair their ability to drive safely
- Drivers can speed through intersections and lose control of their motorcycles if they try to stop suddenly
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
Several factors can lead to severe injuries or fatalities in motorcycle accidents, including:
- Driver error: Mishaps involving motorcycles often occur because the driver made a poor decision, such as speeding excessively. In addition, sometimes drivers lose control while navigating around potholes or other hazards that appear on the road.
- Poor weather conditions: Motorcyclists might also crash into an obstacle when the weather activity becomes distracting, including foggy conditions, heavy rain, and harsh winds, which can cause unstable surfaces for bikers to ride their bikes.
- Vehicle defect: A mechanical issue with the motorcycle itself could contribute to injury or death due to severe damage from impacts on other vehicles.
- Other factors: Other factors can cause motorcycle accidents, including driving distractions, loose objects on the road, and animal collisions with the motorcycle in some personal injury cases.
How Riding Wearing Protective Gear Save Lives
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles wearing protective gear have a significantly higher risk of surviving a catastrophic accident than those without a helmet or leather clothing.
NHTSA statistics show that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of dying in an accident by 37 percent, and using safety gear is even more effective at reducing fatalities.
In addition, according to NHTSA’s data, motorcyclists who use helmets are three times less likely than unhelmeted riders to suffer traumatic brain injuries.
Motorcyclists who wear safety gear are 41 percent less likely to suffer a spinal cord injury. In addition, riders with helmets and proper safety equipment have a 75 percent lower chance of dying in a motorcycle accident than motorcyclists who aren’t adequately protected.
Motorcycle fatalities often occur far from hospitals, leading to more deaths because medical help might be so far away when the accident occurs in a rural area.
Operating a motorcycle with the proper gear and obeying the laws makes riders more likely to survive accidents and reduces severe injuries for other drivers on the road.
Only 16 states in the US, including Illinois, require motorcycle helmets for all motorcyclists in individuals under 21 years old.
Illinois law allows riders at least 21 years old to choose whether to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, but those who aren’t wearing helmets can expect harsher penalties if caught by police officers.
If you’re under 21 years old:
- You must wear a helmet if you’re driving or riding on a motorcycle in Illinois
- Your passengers must be wearing them, too (except in the case of an emergency)
- Riders over 21 don’t face any specific age restrictions when riding
Without a Helmet
Motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets can accrue points on their Illinois driver’s license if police catch them, and those with 12 or more points within two years will have their license suspended.
In addition, those with 12 or more driver’s license suspension points within three years will be charged as a “habitual traffic violator” and required to retake the motorcycle written test and practical examination before getting licensed again.
Strengthening Illinois’ helmet laws would save lives since wearing protective gear significantly reduces the risk of motorcycle accident fatalities.
Riders might also benefit from riding slower than the speed limit; NHTSA data shows that high speeds make up almost half (43 percent) of all fatal motorcycle accidents.
Recent Decatur Motorcycle Accidents
The Decatur motorcycle accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC remind bikers and passengers of the inherent hazards of riding on the urban and rural streets throughout Macon County. Two recent fatal motorcycle accidents in and around the community include:
- In August 2020, a sixty-seven-year-old motorcycle rider from Decatur, IL, lost his life in a motorcycle accident in Macon County. The biker was ejected from his vehicle in a single-bike accident a few minutes after midnight on W. Elwyn Rd., close to US Route 51.
- In April 2014, a Decatur man died in a motorcycle accident at Ravina Park and Oakland. The biker rear-ended a pickup truck attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Ravina Park. Witnesses claim the motorcycle rider was traveling excessively and was seen swerving around traffic just before the collision.
- In June 2015, two male residents of Macon County lost their lives in a two-motorcycle / one-taxi accident minutes before midnight at Cundiff Road on Route 48.
- In March 2021, a male motorcycle rider traveling through Macon County was struck and severely injured when a passenger car veered into his lane on State Route 48. The motorcyclist was ejected from his vehicle and landed on the roadway’s shoulder, suffering a fractured neck and severe injuries to both arms.
- In October 2018, a motorcycle rider died near Decatur after a station wagon collision. The biker was traveling southbound on US Route 51 when he collided with the negligent station wagon driver at an intersection along Chestnut Road in Macon County. Witnesses claim the motorcyclist tried to cut through traffic but struck the driver’s side door of the station wagon before he came to rest in an adjacent yard.
If you or someone you love has been involved in any motorcycle accident, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for compassionate and personalized legal representation today.
Our Decatur motorcycle accident attorneys offer free consultations to any biker or passenger injured in a Macon County motorcycle crash.
Staying Safe on American Roadways
Bikers can take proactive measures to remain safe on America’s roadways. Safely operating the motorcycle is essential because, in 2017, over 1,900 motorcyclists killed in a motorcycle crash were not wearing an approved helmet in the United States.
Some bikers involved in accidents were unaware of the rules of the road and made poor decisions that led to severe injuries or death.
Every biker should learn to drive defensively, especially when traversing intersections and crosswalks, where approximately fifty percent of all accidents occur.
In addition, all bikers should avoid speeding and watch for deadly hazards, including maintenance hole covers, potholes, puddles, oil slicks, railroad tracks, debris, and gravel.
Motorcycle Accident Aftermath
The nature of riding a motorcycle with limited protection often leads to severe injuries for the biker, even if involved in only a minor crash. The most common motorcycle accident injuries involve harm to the lower extremities, followed by a severe injury to the torso or head.
Many motorcycle victims suffer severe fractures and leg breaks that often cause permanent life-long disabilities.
In addition, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, road rash lacerations, or head injuries can be devastating and require life-altering medical treatment.
After a severe motorcycle crash, many bikers cannot return to motorcycling again. The physical pain and emotional trauma often make it too difficult or impossible to enjoy unprotected riding in the open air.
When a motorcycle crash results from a motor vehicle driver’s negligent, reckless, or careless actions, the injured motorcyclist is usually entitled to receive fair compensation under Illinois tort law.
But unfortunately, victims often lose their quality of life and take on the financial insecurity and massive medical expenses caused by the high cost of care, hospitalization, surgeries, treatment, and their loss of income.
Macon County Motorcycle Accident Victim Injuries
According to data maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), common motorcycle accident injuries could involve:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe head and facial injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Paraplegia, quadriplegia, or tetraplegia
- Dismemberment (amputation)
- Severe burns
- Cuts, lacerations, and contusions
- Degloving injuries
Even with the best medical treatment available, the injuries are too severe for survival in many motorcycle accident cases.
Illinois Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation statistics, in 2020, 900 motorcycle crashes resulted in injuries and 12 fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents in Illinois.
Motorcycle crash data reveals that Macon County experienced three motorcycle accidents that resulted in 3 injuries. Additionally, 200 motorcycle crashes occurred in Moultrie County, with 28 injuries and five fatalities resulting from those highway accidents. 100 motorcycle crashes led to injuries within Dewitt County.
In Livingston County, 100 serious crashes involving motorcycles resulted in 68 injuries but only two fatalities. In Christian County, there were 70 motorcycle accident injuries in just 70 crashes.
Leaving the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident in Illinois
Under Illinois law, when a motorcycle accident causes injury to another party or property damage, you must stop your vehicle at the scene and provide necessary assistance.
When someone is injured in a motorcycle accident, it is crucial for law enforcement to arrive at the scene, and an ambulance should be called immediately.
Suppose a biker is involved in a severe accident and unable to stop or remains at the crash site for a necessary police investigation.
In that case, it can result in a felony hit-and-run motorcycle crash. Therefore, motorcyclists should not leave the motorcycle crash scene under any circumstances. Law enforcement officers can conduct a traffic stop and even seize the motorcycle if necessary.
If you are in a motorcycle accident or any Illinois car accident involving another vehicle, please call our law firm immediately for a free consultation with an experienced Illinois motorcycle accident attorney.
Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer for Injury Compensation
For bikers to have a strong motorcycle accident case against an at-fault driver, they must have access to experienced and knowledgeable representation with in-depth knowledge and expertise about Illinois motorcycle laws and standard civil procedures.
Our law firm has a successful track record of providing many motorcycle accident victims with experienced representation and recovering compensation for motorcycle accidents, including allowing the injured to receive fair and just financial compensation to cover medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disability, or disfigurement.
Macon County Decatur, IL Motorcycle Safety Tips
According to authorities, motorcyclists must prioritize their safety when riding on the streets.
These traffic safety tips include:
- Wear a helmet every time you are operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger
- Wear protective clothing, including long pants and boots that cover the ankles
- Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Don’t speed
- Make sure you can be seen by other drivers (illuminate your headlight if it is dark outside)
- Avoiding your blind spots is another vital safety tip; remember to look twice before changing lanes
Remember also that motorcycles are more agile than other vehicles on the road, not to mention smaller ones. As such, they can be more challenging for drivers to spot in time, especially if you’re coming up fast behind or alongside them.
Motorcycles are usually involved in accidents with passenger vehicles due to many factors, including driver error, the intoxication of motorists, and lack of attention.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation data, more than 20% of motorcycle fatalities involve colliding with vehicles coming out of intersections or side roads.
In contrast, cars are involved in 80% of accidents. There is also an increased risk of severe injury and death for those not wearing helmets.
Partially At Fault For the Accident? Receiving Financial Compensation
Do you suspect you are likely at least partially responsible for causing the motorcycle accident?
Are you still hoping to receive financial compensation from the other party to pay for your medical bills and lost wages?
Under Illinois civil tort law, you have a legal right to file a car/motorcycle accident lawsuit against any party found to be at fault for causing your property damage, injuries, or death of a loved one.
This legal remedy ensures you will receive the just compensation you deserve.
However, suppose it is determined that your negligence was more significant than the other party’s fault for causing the Decatur motorcycle accident. In that case, your claim may be reduced by an amount reflective of your comparative negligence.
For example, if, after careful review, it is found that the at-fault party shares 30 percent of the fault, then you may only receive 70 percent financial compensation (30 percent reduction) for your damages.
Contacting a Decatur Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows that damages, injuries, and losses in most motorcycle accidents are severe. Therefore, our motorcycle accident injury attorneys fight aggressively for motorcycle victims to ensure swift justice.
Have you or a loved one suffered a severe injury or property damage caused by another’s negligent actions in a motorcycle accident? If so, a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer can assist you in seeking financial compensation.
Your Decatur motorcycle accident lawyer will evaluate your case to determine the best legal courses of action to protect your legal rights—call (888) 424-5757 for a free case evaluation.
Allow your motorcycle accident lawyer to begin working immediately on your case. Our personal injury attorneys also handle wrongful death lawsuits where motor accident victims lost their lives due to negligent or reckless driving.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers accept all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are paid until your serious motorcycle accident case is resolved.