Justia Badge
Illinois State Bar Association Badge
Million Dollar Advocates Forum Badge
Super Lawyers Badge
BBB Badge
Avvo Raiting

Understanding Wrongful Deaths in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC helps victims and families after motorcycle accidents. They happen a lot in Illinois. Our expert comes right to the scene. We immediately take steps to keep in place your right to recover. Unfortunately, more and more motorcycle crashes cause fatalities. This destroys the victim's right to happy and successful life. It also shocks and forever disrupts the victim's family of the victim. They feel the shock and awe for a long time. They deserve justice too. They deserve recovery that only the law can provide. We review motorcycle accident fatality issues here. They touch on the Illinois legal system. Do you have a loved one that died in a motorcycle crash? Call our offices! We can help you through this difficult time.

  1. How Fatalities Occur in Motorcycle Accidents
  2. Fatality Statistics in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents
  3. What is the Value of Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claims?
  4. Claims for Wrongful Death Damages After a Motorcycle Accident
  5. Defenses to Wrongful Death Claims After a Motorcycle Accident
  6. Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits With Wrongful Deaths
  7. Motorcycle Accident Lawyers That can Help in Chicago!

How Fatalities Occur in Motorcycle Accidents

Not all motorcycle accidents end in death. Yet, these accidents cause deaths thirty times more than other motor crashes. Thus, it is important to learn about what causes these collisions. This should change your behavior to avoid any incident. Here are some common causes of crashes with motorcycles.

  • Head-On Crashes. These account for almost half of motorcycle crashes causing fatalities. Generally, the motorcyclist gets hit in the front instead of in the back. Yet, both can be deadly. Normally, a head-on accident in this situation involves one motorcycle and one car

  • Left-Hand Turn. Possibly the deadliest circumstance for motorcyclists are left-hand turns. They make up almost half of all fatality situations. Typically, the other vehicle smacks into the motorcycle. This happens when the latter is entering an intersection, passing a car, or going around a car. They can come in other varieties as well. The motorcycle's small size makes these types of accidents extremely common. It makes them extremely serious too. Plus, motorcyclists often exaggerate the rate of these collisions by going around cars in the same lane and employing other dangerous moves.

  • Lane Splitting. We've all seen motorcyclists split lanes. Some of us have split lanes on motorcycles. It can be frustrating to other drivers. Obviously, it can be very dangerous. It is one of the leading contributors to accidents. Also, it leads to deaths a lot. The reason why lane splitting is so risky is because motorcyclists don't have a lot of room to cut between other vehicles and those drivers are not expecting the motorcyclist.

  • Miscellaneous Causes. Many other things cause fatalities in motorcycle accidents. Causes include inclement weather, surface objects, alcohol, and sport bikes. Also, motorcycle malfunctioning is a serious problem too. It leads to accidents and deaths as well.

There are many ways in which motorcycle accidents can arise in Illinois. When they do happen, they can quickly cause death. Here are just some of the most frequent ways. Use this information. It will help you drive safer and prevent injuries on the road!

Back to the Top

Fatality Statistics in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle crashes are dangerous and devastating. It is important to know the facts so that you can protect yourself. They will help you be a better driver and add to road safety. Read these facts about Illinois motorcycle crashes and deaths.

  • Motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur at night.
  • Most motorcycle accidents occur due to speeding.
  • 4 of 5 motorcycle accidents injure or kill the driver.
  • 7 of 10,000 motorcyclists gets into a fatal accident. That number is almost 6 times higher than for other drivers.
  • Fatality rates for motorcyclists increases a lot with distance driven.
  • Almost 20% of fatalities in motor accidents are motorcyclists.
  • 1 in 10 people injured on the roads are motorcyclists.
  • Motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be injured than other drivers.
  • Motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die than other drivers/riders .
  • Motorcyclists are inordinately injured/killed in crashes compared to other motorists.

Back to the Top

What is the Value of Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claims?

Clients ask us what the value of their claims will be. A favorable answer will most likely goad them into a filing a case. An unfavorable answer might make them shy away from litigation. Yet, positive or negative developments can change their prospective recovery. Stay on top of these changes. Protect your compensation!

What can You Recover After a Motorcycle Death?

Damages that arise from a motorcycle crash death are different than a mere injury. This is true even if they're from the same event. Next, we review recovery that families of dead riders pursue. They should help you understand what the value your claim might be.

When estimating claim value, distinguish between time periods. Generally, we look at before the victim died and after the victim died. This determines the financial compensation of the decedent's family. Before the victim died, the family (or other loved ones) can seek compensation for pain, expenses, and other damages that that person racked upon prior to passing. After the victim died, the family can seek compensation for the pain, costs, and other losses that the death caused them (such as funeral expenses or lost financial support). Plaintiffs can seek damages for consortium sometimes too. This accounts for the companionship and relationship damages that the death created.

Who can Recover After a Motorcycle Death?

Consider who can bring an action for wrongful death claims. There is no hard and fast rule to this question. Courts look for a relationship with the deceased motorcyclist. You must suffer due to that lost relationship to recover. This list includes spouses, children, and parents. It can extend to others as well.

How Much can Recover After a Motorcycle Death?

This depends entirely to how much you suffered. The law is supposed to repay you for your losses. Plaintiffs receive the amount that they prove they suffered due to the crash. They can easily show things like medical bills and lost wages. Intangible injuries are harder to prove. Lost companionship, suffering, and other non-economic damages arise after these incidents though. Plus, you can get two to five times what your economic damages were. Work with our experienced attorneys. Use our formulas to predict your compensation! Give us a call today!

Back to the Top

Claims for Wrongful Death Damages After a Motorcycle Accident

Negligence is the most common civil cause of action. They make out that the defendant's unreasonable actions caused the plaintiff injuries. The injuries must produce damages. Damages has a legal meaning. Wrongful death claims from motorcycle accidents are similar. Yet, they differ in a few ways too. First, the victim is not seeking recovery. The victim's loved ones are seeking recovery. Second, it states that the defendants' conduct caused the decedent's death of. Third, due to these claim differences, wrongful death suits may seek different compensation. This can include burial expenses, lost support, and lost companionship. Here are the elements of a motorcycle accident wrongful death lawsuit.

  • Someone died (namely, the motorcyclist).
  • The defendant caused the motorcyclist's death.
  • The driver's loved ones had injuries due to the death.

Back to the Top

Defenses to Wrongful Death Claims After a Motorcycle Accident

The defendant will not go down without a fight. In all cases, defendants find a way to point the finger at someone else. With your case, that will not be any different. They start by blaming the motorcyclist. They argue that he or she acted negligently. They say this is why the accident occurred. They might also try and claim that some other person did it. It could be another motorist or independent contractors. If all else fails, defendants attempt to weaken your claim for damages. They might doubt your right entirely or just the amount you claim. These are just some of the maneuvers that defendants take. They use them a lot in wrongful death motorcycle accident suits. To learn more about them, contact our offices today. We can tell you how to dodge and win your case!

Back to the Top

Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits With Wrongful Deaths

Here, we want to show you what other plaintiffs in Illinois have recovered in court when their loved ones passed away after a motorcycle accident. They involve both jury awards and settlement amounts but both illustrate the opportunity for recovery in Illinois.

Schaafsma vs. Gonzalez; Will County; $1,050,000 Jury Award
A 53-year-old man was riding his motorcycle when he was unexpectedly hit by a truck at an intersection. The motorcyclist was driving east, and the truck was driving south. However, as the former entered the intersection, the latter refused to yield to him, and the two collided into each other.

The man died from injuries related to the crash. Representatives for the motorcyclist later brought action against the truck driver for negligence because they claimed he should have slowed down and yielded to the other driver.

They also sued the truck driver's employer under vicarious liability because he was working at the time of the incident. Both defendants denied that they were at fault and argued that the motorcyclist was driving too fast. The opposing sides could not reach an agreement. Thus, the case went to trial where the jury awarded the plaintiff $1,050,000 for wrongful death damages.

Pieczkowski vs. Rietveld; Will County; $200,000 Settlement
A motorcycle driver tried turning left through a lane to enter another when he was hit on his broadside by a truck, sending him to the ground. Complications from the incident would later lead to his death.

He was survived only by his sister, and she eventually brought a wrongful death action on his behalf against the truck driver who hit him. The suit alleged, among other things, that the defendant was driving too fast and should have yielded to the motorcyclist.

The defendant denied any liability, but we cannot judge with what voracity he would have rebuffed the plaintiff because they settled out of court after the filing of the lawsuit for $200,000.

Donahue vs. Hilt; Lake County; $1,040,000 Settlement
In this incident, a truck driver left the bar and grill he worked at with the company's truck. According to allegations later made at trial, this driver was intoxicated as he left.

While driving, he made a left turn into the plaintiff's lane and hit him head-on. The plaintiff soon died from the impact of the crash. In the wrongful death action that followed, the next-of-kin to the decedent claimed that the driver was driving drunk and was negligent by turning into the plaintiff's path.

The plaintiff also instituted a dram shop action against the bar and grill as the driver's employer and server. The defendant driver actually defaulted in this case and could not be found but the company settled with the plaintiff for $1,040,000.

Shirkey vs. Flad; Dupage County; $1,350,000 Settlement
The defendant, in this case, was hopping around bars in DuPage County before he decided to head home. When he did, he came upon a motorcycle driver and tried to go around him. While doing so, he clipped the back of the motorcycle and sent the other driver into a tailspin.

The motorcyclist later died from complications related to the accident. His representatives brought a lawsuit against the other driver for negligence and the two bars he had visited prior to the crash under dram shop laws.

All sides reached an agreement at $1,035,000 for medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of consortium under the Funeral Expense Act and Survivor Act.

Mcchrystal vs. Morgenthaler; Cook County; $1,060,000 Jury Award
The victim, in this case, was only 21 years old. He was struck and killed when a motorist travelling in the opposite direction tried to execute a left-hand turnthrough his land but, instead, ran right into his broadside.

He died immediately upon impact. In the subsequent lawsuit, representatives of the decedent alleged that the other driver was negligent in failing to yield to the plaintiff and failing to adequately control his vehicle to avoid the crash.

The defendant quickly responded that the motorcyclist was the party at fault with very similar allegations as the plaintiff. The jury awarded the plaintiff with approximately $60,000 in damages for medical bills and $1,000,000 for pain and suffering.

Mercier vs. Corranza; Lake County; $380,000 Settlement
In this gruesome accident, a woman was riding on the back of a motorcycle when another vehicle crashed right into it as the car attempted to make a left-hand turn through the motorcycle's lane. She was actually thrown off the bike and dragged by the car in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Naturally, she was seriously injured and she actually died from these same injuries.

Next of kin for the plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the drivers of the motorcycle and the car. It claimed both were negligent in driving too fast, failing to keep a proper lookout, and not yielding to each other. Obviously, neither defendant had a leg to stand in countering any of these charges, so both looked to settle fast.

The final agreement forced the car driver to pay $360,000 and the motorcycle driver to pay $20,000. More was apportioned to the former probably because he initiated the crash and was probably more at fault by not yielding to the other driver.

Back to the Top

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers That can Help in Chicago!

The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has an extensive network of experience and resources. We can turn your tragedy into legal relief. We will immediately consult with you without hassle or fee. This will let us show you how and where you can recover. Then, we will file a claim on your behalf at no upfront cost. We will relentlessly pursue every dollar of compensation available in Illinois. To hear about how we can help you get through this terrible event, call our offices. Speak with one of our team members. You can get on the path to recovery with one phone call!

If you would like to learn about other kinds of injuries sustained in Illinois motorcycle accidents, then please read the following pages:

Understanding Bone Fractures in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding Brain Injuries in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding Lacerations in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding Paralysis Injuries in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Understanding Back and Neck Injuries in Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Back to the Top

For More Information

For more information about , please contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today by calling 888-424-5757. Talk to a lawyer now. Free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
★★★★★
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
★★★★★
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
★★★★★
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
Contact Us for a Free Consultation (888) 424-5757
Chicago Office Map