Motorcycle Passenger Injury Lawyers: Chicago, Illinois
When a passenger on a motorcycle is injured, they are victims regardless of whether the motorcycle operator or another driver is at fault. With no control of the situation, passengers are helpless to prevent or stop what may occur.
Injured motorcycle passengers have a legal right to receive financial compensation for their injuries. The rights extend even if they were a motorcycle passenger in a single-vehicle crash caused by the biker's negligence.
Hiring a Chicago Motorcycle Passenger Injury Attorney
The motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent victims with serious injuries harmed while riding as a motorcycle passenger. We offer every potential client a free case evaluation to discuss the merits of your personal injury claim.
If you were injured or lost a loved one through wrongful death, contact our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys today. We currently represent clients in Illinois and the Chicago area, including the following localities: Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Cicero, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan.
Motorcycle Passenger Injury FAQs
How Common are Motorcycle Accidents?
Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes are prevalent throughout the United States, including in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 3,442 motorcycle accidents statewide in 2017.
Of these accidents, eighty-three individuals died in biker accidents on urban streets, freeways, and state routes.
What Should I do if I'm in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, handle the accident like all other collisions and call 911 for the immediate response of law enforcement and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Next, wait for EMTs to arrive to transport you to the local hospital, even if you believe you are not injured.
It may take hours or days for some injuries to appear through discomfort, bruising, confusion, infection, or internal bleeding. Only a competent emergency room or urgent care doctor can accurately diagnose your condition using the best diagnostic tools to determine if you are injured or not.
What is the Number one Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
The leading cause of motorcycle accidents involves other motorists and commercial truck drivers, making a left-hand turn into an oncoming bike's right-of-way. These accidents often occur when the other motorists do not see the motorcyclist approaching and make a left-hand turn crashing into the front or side of the bike.
The results of a left-hand turn crashing into a motorcycle can be catastrophic, causing severe injuries to the biker and passenger, or wrongful death.
What are My Rights as a Passenger Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you were riding as a passenger on a motorcycle and were involved in an accident, you have legal options for compensation. Many bikers carry insurance coverage for their passengers. However, the amount of coverage might not be sufficient to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, or funeral costs.
Depending on who was at fault for the accident, you could file a civil lawsuit against other drivers involved in the accident through multiple claims. Accident reconstruction investigators might determine that another motorist cut off the motorcycle, or another vehicle swerved into the bike lane, making them responsible for your injuries.
How Much can You Sue for a Motorcycle Accident?
A report issued by the Jury Verdict Research Organization (Thomson Reuters Publishing) revealed the median jury verdict for motorcycle injury case at trial is approximately $73,000, based on 2016 data. However, some victims who have suffered severe injuries or wrongful death could receive hundreds of thousands or millions based on the unique circumstances of their case.
Motorcycle Operator Fault for Injuries Caused to Passengers
Many motorcycle accidents do not involve other vehicles, making the biker at fault for the accident. Although not all accidents are due to recklessness or intentional negligence, in these cases, the passenger is still just a victim.
In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System showed that 43% of motorcycle accidents that resulted in a fatality were single-vehicle accidents, causing over 2,000 motorcycle rider deaths. Many of these deaths were passengers who were just along for the ride.
Common Causes of a Motorcycle Accident Case
Nearly all motorcycle crashes could have been prevented had one or more motor vehicle drivers, or the biker remained alert while sharing the roadway. The causes of motorcycle accidents often involve distracted driving, inattention, or failing to yield to the motorcyclist's right of way.
Motorcycle accident victims can suffer various injuries, including:
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Wrongful death
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many motorcycle accident victims were harmed in crashes involving hitting potholes, illegal lane changes, and distracted driving. Another cause of the accident is traveling in inclement weather.
Recovering Damages for Motorcycle Passenger Injuries
Injured motorcycle passengers are entitled to have their damages covered by the person responsible for the crash. If another vehicle is involved whose driver was at fault, the injured passenger could pursue a claim against that motorist.
The same is true if the motorcyclist is to blame for the accident. Just as in a passenger vehicle accident, the motorcycle driver is responsible for the safety of their passenger.
However, there are a few reasons that passengers may refrain from filing a claim. Most times, the person riding as a passenger has a close relationship with the motorcycle operator.
The injured passenger might be concerned about the cost of the accident to the operator. It is important to remember that insurance is specifically designed to cover these types of accidents.
No passenger should feel obligated to pay for their medical expenses when they are hurt in a motorcycle accident. The insurance company will make a payment directly to an injured motorcycle passenger to cover medical bills, hospitalization costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Negotiating a Claim for Injuries Sustained in a Motorcycle Collision
When filing a claim against a motorcycle operator's insurance company, the passenger with the injuries is entitled to receive the full amount of compensation that they deserve. They need to remember that the insurance company will pay up to the maximum limit of the driver's policy, if necessary.
In most cases, the operator does not pay for the damages. If the cost exceeds their policy, the passenger can also use their underinsured motorist policy to cover the difference if they have this coverage.
Hiring a Chicago Motorcycle Passenger Injury Attorney
It is always beneficial to have a personal injury attorney on your side to negotiate your claim whenever insurance companies are involved in paying for personal injury damages. Insurance companies are not on your side and have a vested interest in paying as little as possible.
Some motorcycle passengers may also feel more comfortable not having to negotiate a claim themselves against a personal acquaintance, even if it is through their insurance company.
The Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC handle these types of motorcycle accident claims for our clients and will get the best possible financial outcome for your injuries.
Contact our law group today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle injury case. All discussions concerning your personal injury case with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.