Motorcycle Accidents at Intersections
Chicago Intersection Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents at intersections are a serious problem, but it's also hard to get people to take notice. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 51% of fatal motorcycle crashes occur at intersections.
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident, or did you lose a loved one through another's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured victims harmed in motorcycle accidents.
Contact motorcycle accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Motorcycle intersection accidents are among the most dangerous types of crashes that can impact drivers on the road. Unfortunately, Chicago streets can be dangerous places, and the unfortunate reality is that many intersection collisions involving motorcyclists occur across the city every year.
The failure of motorists to acknowledge traffic signals can account for the high number of dangerous intersection crashes that cause severe injuries to Chicago motorcyclists.
Intersection motorcycle crashes can be particularly deadly. According to the latest crash data published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately three-quarters of fatalities in traffic collisions happen at dangerous intersections.
Most drivers are accustomed to looking out for other vehicles when inspecting intersections but fail to give motorcycles adequate warning time or safe clearance while making their approach.
Hiring an Intersection Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Chicago, IL
If you or a family member sustained serious injuries or was killed in a motorcycle accident at a Chicago intersection due to a careless driver, speak with a lawyer right away. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has years of experience representing injured motorcyclists in Chicago and across Illinois.
Contact our personal injury lawyers to discuss your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim to recover financial compensation for your injuries.
Statistics for Illinois Intersection Motorcycle Accidents
The Illinois Department of Transportation carefully tracks the number of motorcycle collisions that occur in the state annually.
The department has reported that 3,869 motorcycle accidents involving an injury occurred in Illinois in 2017. Out of those reported collisions, 177 took place when a motorcycle driver was making a left turn.
Over 140 accidents took place while a motorcycle rider was making a right turn. Out of the 3,869 motorcycle accidents that happened in 2011, there were 143 riders ultimately killed.
A 2018 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report revealed that over 33,000 accident fatalities occurred the year before. In addition, over 7000 fatal motorcycle crashes occurred at dangerous intersections, making it clear that intersection crashes pose a grave danger to bikers.
Motorcycle riders should be particularly cautious when crossing intersections and should do whatever they can to avoid accidents. In addition, motorcycle riders should be on the watch for intoxicated driving in other vehicles, always wear a helmet, and stay alert to pedestrians crossing at intersections.
Intersection Motorcycle Accidents Causes
Many factors can cause motorcycle accidents at an intersection or red light. Motorcycle riders have an advantage when aware of the common causes of accidents and take steps to limit their exposure to the known risks.
Common causes of intersection accidents in the Chicago area include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to see oncoming traffic or coming to a complete stop
- A failure to acknowledge traffic lights, stop signs, and red lights
- Sudden or sharp turns
- Failure to utilize defensive driving tactics
- A failure to yield the right of way
- Intoxicated driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Poor weather
- Lane changing without looking at blind spots
- Texting while driving or riding on the road
- Listening to loud music and ignoring traffic signals
Were you, or a loved one, involved in a crash in Illinois? If so, speak with a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC as soon as possible.
Our excellent track record of successful recoveries for injured motorcyclists via insurance company settlements and litigation has helped our clients. We obtain financial recovery for medical expenses and future medical care necessitated by your injuries.
Time is of the essence. Your attorney can analyze the factors involved in your case, determine who is at fault, and submit a personal injury claim on your behalf.
Multiple factors might have caused an intersection accident in your motorcycle accident claim, such as a failure to acknowledge traffic signals and driving while intoxicated.
Common injuries associated with stoplight motorcycle accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Fatal injuries
Many of these injuries can be life-altering and require extensive medical treatment. Therefore, it is vital to seek help from an Illinois motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision.
The Importance of Defensive Riding to Avoid Intersection Accidents
Defensive driving saves the lives of motorcyclists sharing the roadway with commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Responsible motorcyclists use defensive driving tactics, such as veering to the side of the road when there is an oncoming car.
Paying attention to signs that another driver may be intoxicated is also vital for a motorcyclist because this could also result in an intersection collision. In addition, driving defensively requires remaining alert when other motorists on the roadway are acting recklessly or negligently.
Avoiding Intersection Accidents
Motorcyclists must be aware of changing traffic patterns at intersections. For example, quickly stopping might be necessary to avoid a car running through a red light or stop sign. Unfortunately, all too often, motorcycle drivers are involved in accidents when turning left at an intersection.
Drivers of other vehicles may fail to yield the right of way and turn without looking into blind spots that contain motorcycles.
The risk of being involved in an accident is increased if a motorcycle driver slows down or stops before an intersection because other drivers may not see the motorcyclist and come to a complete stop.
Intersections pose a significant danger to a motorcycle sharing the road with passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. In addition, intersection accidents involving a motorcycle account for disproportionate fatalities because a car weighs thousands of pounds while a motorcycle weighs hundreds of pounds.
Left Turning Motorists
All drivers turning left at intersections risk causing accidents with an oncoming motorcyclist sharing the road. In addition, a left-turning vehicle might not check its blind spot before making a left-hand turn, which could result in an accident if another motorist is present.
New drivers are at especially high risk for failure to yield the right of way because they lack experience on the roadway or may panic when presented with a challenging driving situation.
A driver pulling out of driveways and parking lots must also be on guard for nearby motorcycles. Motorcycles riding in the correct lane may appear to be moving too quickly when pulling into traffic or turning into a driveway or parking lot.
Intersections Should Be Avoided When Riding a Motorcycle
Motorcyclists should avoid dangerous intersections when riding to reduce the risk of accidents.
The best route should be chosen even if it involves entering traffic at a point further along the roadway, such as two or three intersections ahead of an intersection where another car is stopped for a stop sign or red light.
Intersections become increasingly dangerous because vehicles must slow down and check their blind spots before entering an intersection. In addition, motorcyclists should take the safest possible route when riding on the road with commercial trucks and passenger vehicles to avoid accidents.
Motorcycle drivers may pass traffic intersections by taking side streets, utilizing highways, or crossing over sidewalks. Unfortunately, hitting pedestrians on sidewalks can also result in serious injury depending on the motorcycle's speed and weight.
While motorcycles can pass through intersections at various speeds, this would not be advisable when sharing roads with commercial trucks and passenger cars. These vehicles are extremely heavy, difficult to maneuver quickly, and can cause serious injury in an intersection motorcycle crash when colliding with another vehicle.
Seek Punitive Damages After a Motorcycle Accident at an Intersection
There are many dangers on the road for a motorcyclist. Traffic jams, bad weather conditions, and distracted driving can create hazardous driving situations.
Unfortunately, there is often nowhere for a motorcyclist to go at intersections when involved in an accident. Hence, intersection accidents tend to result in a more severe injury than other types of accidents.
Were you recently injured in a motorcycle accident at an intersection by another driver's egregious actions? If so, you might be able to pursue compensatory and punitive damages from those responsible for your personal injuries.
Punitive damages are a way to punish the person or company at fault for causing the accident. They are intended as a form of "punishment" by the courts. The judge determines the amount and could be three to nine times the amount awarded for compensatory damages.
A lawsuit that includes punitive damages may take longer than other lawsuits because discovery will need to be conducted, and court proceedings will likely extend beyond the typical two-year statute of limitations.
Understanding the Elements of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
To pursue legal action against the at-fault driver or company responsible for your personal injuries, you will need to prove four elements by a preponderance of the evidence (the civil standard).
Those four elements are:
- The defendant was a negligent driver
- The defendant's negligence was the actual and proximate cause of your injury
- You were harmed
- Your damages included medical expenses
Is There Any Legal Precedent for Motorcycle Accidents?
Although there is not a large body of case law that deals exclusively with motorcycle accidents at intersections, several legal precedents are instructive for motorcycle accidents at intersections.
In one case, a woman attempted to cross an intersection when her light turned yellow, and another driver struck her. The court found that even though the other driver was speeding, he had not committed any negligent driver acts at the intersection and dismissed the case.
In this case, the plaintiff could not prove that the defendant had been negligent or that his negligence had caused her personal injuries.
In another example, a court found that a driver was legally responsible for causing an accident at an intersection when she failed to stop at a light as it turned from yellow to red. As a result, the motorcyclist was awarded $13,516 for medical expenses and $80,000 to compensate him for his personal injuries.
When an Intersection Pose a Special Risk to Motorcyclists
In many cases, dangerous intersections pose more of a hazard to a motorcyclist than other types of roads. As such, you might be able to claim that the intersection is inherently dangerous and should have been designed differently.
To prove this theory, you will need to show that the intersection was either unsafe for a motorcycle rider or that the specific circumstances of the accident could have been avoided if the intersection had been safer.
If a road is designed in a way that makes it more dangerous for motorcycles, you might be able to file a product liability case against the manufacturer of the road. It is similar to how a product liability case might work if there was an issue with the brakes on your motorcycle.
Stoplight and Intersection Motorcycle Crash FAQs
Our personal injury law office understands that many families have unanswered questions about filing insurance claims after being involved in a motorcycle accident at a stoplight or intersection. A motorcycle accident lawyer has answered some of those questions below.
Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for additional information.
Who Has the Right of Way in a Green Light?
If you are approaching a green light to make a left-hand turn, all oncoming traffic has the right of way. You must always give the right of way to an oncoming motorcycle or motorist traveling toward you through the intersection when the light is green, even if you reached the intersection first.
Many motorcycle accidents happen when a stoplight turns green. If you are making a left-hand turn, it is best to wait until the intersection is clear before moving in front of approaching traffic that might have the right of way.
When Coming to a Two-Way Stop, Who Has the Right of Way?
Any intersection with a two-way stop requires a driver approaching the stop sign to come to a complete stop and look for all traffic not required to make a stop at the intersection before moving into the junction.
If two vehicles approach an intersection with a two-way stop and there is no approaching cross-traffic, the vehicle that reached the stop sign first has the right-of-way to turn left, turn right, or cross the intersection.
Who Has the Right of Way at a Four-Way Stop Light?
All vehicles at a four-way stoplight must come to a complete stop and then turn left, turn right, or cross the intersection in the order they arrived. If two vehicles reach the intersection simultaneously, and the vehicle on the right goes first. The left driver can proceed to the intersection before any other vehicle drivers arrive at the stoplight.
When Traffic Lights Are Not Working, Who Has Priority?
You must treat the intersection like a standard unmarked crosswalk if the traffic light is not working or blinking yellow and red. For example, if the light blinks yellow in one direction and red in the other, a driver with a yellow light has the right-of-way.
Motorists with a red blinking light must wait until the traffic with yellow blinking light is cleared before turning left, turning right, or moving through the intersection. If the light blinks red in all directions, treat the intersection like a traditional four-way stop sign junction.
In the order, each car should make its move it arrives at the intersection. For example, if two cars arrive simultaneously, the vehicle on the right moves first.
Can You Turn Right on a Green Light Without Stopping?
Legally, you can turn right at a steady green light if no sign prohibits that movement. However, when you make the turn, you are legally required to yield to any pedestrian, bicyclist, or other parked vehicles in the intersection at the crosswalk.
When Turning Left, You Don't Need to Yield to Oncoming Traffic, True or False?
In all cities and states, turning left requires the driver to yield to approaching traffic moving toward them. If you reached an intersection with a four-way stop, you could proceed before any other motorists arrive after you have come to a complete stop.
Trusted Illinois Stoplight Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC
Are you a motorcycle rider involved in an intersection collision? If so, our car accident lawyers can provide immediate assistance with your motorcycle accident case on a contingency fee basis.
Family members who have lost a loved one in a severe accident have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek financial compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, burial costs, loss of consortium, pain, suffering, and loss.
Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation for legal advice on your motorcycle injury case. All discussions with our motor vehicle injury attorneys remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.