To make a claim for injuries sustained in an Illinois motorcycle accident, you will need to provide evidence of your injuries to the claims adjuster and eventually to the trial jury. This is generally done by presenting medical records and bills as part of the settlement negotiation process. It is best to avoid settling quickly to ensure you get all the financial benefit you are entitled to receive.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of motorcycle accidents and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were injured by the negligent actions of others. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of another driver's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Maintaining Your Rights for Compensation
If the motorcycle accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you might be entitled to receive financial compensation to recover your medical bills, lost wages, and other economic and noneconomic damages. However, the steps you take next could determine what you should expect to successfully resolve your claim.
If you have been injured at all, it is usually medically beneficial to see a doctor to ensure that there are no injuries that may be more severe. Some types of injuries, such as head trauma, back and neck injury, and even whiplash may not fully show their symptoms for days, weeks, or even longer. A comprehensive medical examination may uncover underlying injuries that you need to be aware of before trying to settle your accident claim.
Bear in mind that once you settle the injury part of a motor vehicle accident case, you cannot have the case ‘reopened' or ‘reevaluated.' You have one opportunity to either resolve your case with an insurance company or to present your case to a jury. Regardless of the outcome, it is important to recognize that the window of opportunity for recovery is brief, and it is in your best interest to present the most favorable case possible- and present the full extent of your injuries.
We encourage all injured victims involved in a motorcycle crash to do the following in the moments and months after the accident.
- Call 911 for law enforcement and medical assistance at the accident scene.
- Ensure your safety by moving off the roadway if possible.
- Ask to be transported to the local hospital even if you believe your injuries are minor. You were just involved in a motorcycle crash and your adrenaline is pumping. You may not be aware of the severity of your injuries that will require a comprehensive physical examination, x-rays, and other equipment to determine your condition.
- Do not speak to anyone about the details of the accident except to law enforcement and never admit you would cause the accident or blame others. There is no need to wait at the scene of the crash to give your side of what happened for the police report. Instead, give your statement in the emergency room or afterward.
- Exchange pertinent info with others involved in the accident including their contact details including their name, address, registration, and insurance carrier.
- Keep a written record of what you remember about the accident including what you can recall about the actions of the other driver, roadway conditions, adverse weather conditions, and other factors.
- Never give a written or verbal statement to the insurance carrier. Instead, contact your attorney and discuss pertinent facts about your case.
- Consider hiring an attorney who can speak directly with the insurance company, handle your claim, and build your case for compensation.
Your attorney will also contact your insurance carrier and obtain a police report to identify how the case was reported and who the reporting police officer believes is at fault for causing the accident.
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have handled many cases for our clients who were injured or killed in a motorcycle crash. In some cases, our clients were unaware that they were injured until after they had visited the emergency room and undergone extensive tests and examinations. Most of the motorcycle accident cases involve severe injuries to the victims that included:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – Motorcyclists involved in crashes that wear helmets can suffer serious head trauma and those without a helmet can experience life-altering traumatic brain injuries. Any crack or damage to the skull can result in a concussion or life-threatening brain injury that will require immediate medical attention. Nearly all TBIs also involved neck injuries that can partially or completely paralyze the victim.
- Severe Road Rash – Even a short slide across asphalt pavement or concrete during a motorcycle crash can lead to severe road rash, where exposed skin is removed from the arms, leg, back, head, and hands. Victims wearing thin clothing during a motorcycle accident can also suffer road rash and other injuries including bruises, scrapes, and cuts that produce permanent damage to the skin. Many road rash victims are exposed to infection, permanent nerve damage, and skin irritations that require ongoing treatment including strong antibiotics.
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCIs) – Even minimal damage can cause a permanent injury to the spinal column that can lead to complete or partial paralysis. Nearly all victims with a spinal cord injury require full-time care and hygiene support for the remainder of their lives. Usually, the lifetime costs in providing ongoing treatment can be insurmountable if the victim requires ongoing assistance, additional surgeries, and access to durable medical equipment to maximize their life experience during daily activities.
- Muscle and Tissue Damage – Catastrophic motorcycle accidents often result in permanent muscle damage when the rider is not wearing sufficient protective gear. These injuries can usually be prevented if the rider is wearing a protective helmet, riding leathers, and other safety gear.
- Broken Bones – Without the protection of a vehicle surrounding the victim during an accident, motorcycle riders will often reach out in front of themselves after flying off the handlebars to lessen the severe impact when crashing to the ground. However, this movement can easily break or shatter the bones in the hands, fingers, arms, and shoulders, or the lower extremities. Additional injuries that occur when tumbling off a motorcycle during a crash include bruising, large cuts, scrapes, and road rash caused by skating.
- Severe Leg Injuries – Laying the bike down during a motorcycle crash can result in severe leg injuries where the skin is ripped away from the bone, which may also be fractured or broken. Wearing protective leather clothing is essential to protecting the lower extremities. This protection usually involves motorcycle boots and long pants.
- Disfigurement – Many motorcycle victims have suffered permanent disfigurement to their face, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, back, and lower extremities. The disfigurement is often the result of severe lacerations, burns, or broken bones that leave scars. Other bikers experience amputated limbs. Nearly all disfigurement injuries can lead to ongoing depression that might be challenging to manage.
- Wrongful Death – Many motorcycle riders who will take into the open road for the experience an enjoyable ride have been killed in accidents that were not their fault. Some victims have died at the accident scene while others succumb to their injuries in the emergency room months after the crash.
How Much is my Case Worth?
Estimating how much you could receive for your motorcycle accident lawsuit can be challenging because the facts and evidence involved in your case are unique to you. However, your attorney will likely calculate the value of your case based on known factors including:
- Your ongoing medical expenses and hospitalization costs,
- Your need for ongoing medical care including future surgical procedures, rehabilitation, and therapy,
- The extent of your property damage including your motorcycle repairs or replacement costs,
- Your out-of-pocket expenses associated with your injuries,
- Lost wages due to your time away from work because of your permanent or temporary disabilities,
- The loss of future earnings because you are not able to return to your job immediately or at all,
- Non-economic damages including pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, depression, and anxiety,
- Funeral costs, burial expenses and wrongful death cases filed by surviving family members.
There are also additional factors to consider when evaluating a case. As an example, if the victim now has a permanent leg disability and can no longer participate in their previous active recreational activities, they may have a diminished quality of life that has value in their case. Additionally, the plaintiff might be permanently disabled and needs to install wheelchair ramps, grab bars, and other equipment inside their home or office. These unexpected needs will add value to the case.
Typically, attorneys working on behalf of the victim will use other motorcycle settlements and verdicts to determine the value of their client's case based on averaging. In 2007, Reuters published a jury verdict research article that outlines common settlements and verdicts involving motorcycle crash victims. Some of these included:
- $1.6 Million Negotiated Settlement – The plaintiff and defendants negotiated a settlement in a case involving the victim suffering nerve damage and crushed vertebrae after sliding across loose gravel during an accident.
- $350,000 Negotiated Settlement – The victim's surviving family members settled the case after their loved one died on a motorcycle while being struck by the defendant's truck. At the time of the accident, the defendant was pulling a trailer while turning left in front of the biker while traveling at high speed.
- $300,000 Jury Verdict – The jury believes the plaintiff's attorney and provided a financial compensation award believing the evidence that the driver of a truck made a left-hand turn in front of the motorcycle rider causing severe soft tissue injuries and aggravating a pre-existing herniated disc. The victim also suffered a torn ligament in their knee.
The Most Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes
In many cases, the other driver never saw the motorcycle sharing the roadway. The most common types of crashes involving other vehicles and motorcycles include:
- Blind spot collisions
- Sharing a lane accident
- Lane splitting collisions
- Rear end crashes
- Failure to yield crashes
- Accidents occurring in intersections
- Motorcycles taking a curve while traveling too fast
Do You Need Help Recovering Compensation for Injuries and Medical Expenses Related to an Illinois Motorcycle Accident?
If you have questions about your injuries or medical care related to an Illinois motorcycle accident, we invite you to contact our office for a free case evaluation. Our law office handles motorcycle crash cases on a contingency fee basis where there is never a fee charged unless there is a financial recovery for you.
The motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that the accident was not your fault but was caused by the negligent actions of others. Our law firm has successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.
Our law firm encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim at no charge to you or your family. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and motorcycle crash injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.
For additional information see the following pages:
- Do I Have Any Recourse For Injuries Sustained In An Illinois Hit and Run?
- Do I Have To Answer The Insurance Adjuster?
- Do I Need An Attorney To Settle My Illinois Motorcycle Accident Case Or Should I Try To Do It Myself?
- How Much Will It Cost Me To Get A Lawyer To Represent Me In My Illinois Motorcycle Accident Case?
- I Was Found “At Fault” In The Police Report That Was Filed. Does This Mean I Do Not Have A Chance In Filing An Injury Motorcycle Accident Case?
- If I Am Not Able To Go Back To Work Right Away After My Chicago Motorcycle Accident, Will I Be Reimbursed For My Lost Income?
- Is There A Time Limit In Illinois on How Long After A Motorcycle Accident That A Lawsuit Can Be Filed?