Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Illinois insurance regulations and dishonest insurance carriers can complicate the process of recovering compensation for injured motorcyclists. Therefore, it is important for injured riders, or loved ones acting on their behalf, to retain an attorney who has experience handling these types of claims. Our attorneys have a successful history of handling claims against insurance companies and, for one rider, a $47,5000,000 verdict for injuries sustained in a head-on collision. While each case is different and damages will vary, our attorneys are committed to helping motorcyclists recover compensation for their losses, which may include medical bills, and property damage.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may have legal recourse. To learn more about how our attorneys may be able to help, please fill out our no cost case review form today.
Why Should I Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
It may be difficult for injured riders to recover compensation following a crash, especially if they are pursuing their claim without the assistance of an attorney. Because Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in some states is only required for vehicles with four or more wheels, motorcyclists are not permitted to carry PIP coverage. Even if the motorcyclist owns a car that is covered by PIP insurance, the coverage does not extend to accidents that occur on the motorcycle. If the motorcyclist is uninsured, they may struggle to pay for costly medical bills, especially if the injury prevents them from working.
If you were injured in a crash, an attorney can explain your options for pursuing compensation for medical bills and other losses. If you contact an attorney immediately after the accident, he or she can begin to collect information and evidence to support your claim for compensation. To help build your claim, your attorney may:
- Collect scene and police reports
- Gather witness statements
- Photograph the scene
- Investigate the other motorist’s driving history
- Reconstruct the accident scene
- Recreate the accident
- Review medical records
- Consult experts
- Contact insurance companies on your behalf
Why Scott W. Sheen & Associates, P.C.?
Scott W. Sheen & Associates, P.C., the motorcycle accident attorneys are familiar with laws governing motorcycles- which differ significantly from those pertaining to car accidents- and have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. We have access to the top experts, including accident reconstructionists and medical experts. By working with these individuals, our attorneys have established a successful track record of results in recovering compensation for injured motorcyclists.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims
If the motorcyclist was not at-fault, they may be able to seek damages from the party negligent in causing the crash. While motorcyclists are not covered by PIP insurance, they are also not bound by its restrictions. Injured riders are not limited in the damages they may seek to compensate for their losses, including damages for pain and suffering. Motor vehicle accident claims involve PIP insurance- which requires the injured party to pass an “injury threshold” to be able to pursue compensation from the negligent party- and do not allow for the recovery of pain and suffering damages. Motorcyclists do not have to pass an injury threshold to seek compensation for damages, which may include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
After an accident, your attorney may contact the negligent party’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement for costs incurred as a result of the accident. He or she will leverage information collected to recover compensation for your expenses. If negotiations with insurance companies are unsuccessful or unsatisfactory, you may be able to pursue legal action against the negligent party with the help of your attorney.
Motorcycle accidents lawsuits fall under the category of person injury, which in turn is based on the theory of negligence. In other words, your attorney will have to prove that the other driver in the accident was at fault because he or she failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care. In order to do so, your attorney will conduct an investigation to learn more about the incident, including whether the other driver followed traffic laws, paid attention to his or her surroundings, was driving under the influence, etc.
In some cases, a defect in your car, or the other party’s car, could have led to the accident. In these cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car or its parts to recover compensation for your injuries. In these circumstances, the attorney will have a conduct an investigation to study the car and determine whether it had any defects prior to the accident, he or she will work alongside forensic experts to determine whether:
- The defective motorcycle or part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The motorcycle was being operated as intended
- The motorcycle’s performance had not changed since its initial purchase
Some examples of what defects you may be able to file a product liability case for are defective tires, brakes, accelerators, and defective fuel systems.
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may have recourse to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney can help the family of the deceased prove the negligence of the other driver was the cause of the victim’s death.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered?
In negotiations or litigation against an insurance company or negligent party, the attorneys in our office may be able to help you recover compensation for the following:
Past and Future Medical Expenses: Victims can file to receive compensation for emergency visits, hospital care, surgery, etc., if the injuries were directly related to the accident.
Lost Wages: Motorcycle accident victims can claim compensation for wages they could have earned if the accidents hadn’t taken place. Victims can recover compensation for the period of time they had to be away from work to recover.
Pain and Suffering: As motorcyclists may not be offered PIP insurance, they may file a lawsuit to claim compensation to combat their pain and suffering after the accident. To determine whether the victim requires compensation, factors such as the nature of the injury, along with the duration and extent of pain, will be considered.
Mental Anguish: Victims and families may also be provided compensation for the emotional pain they had to face after the incident. Emotional suffering includes feelings of fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry and grief.
Loss of Consortium: The spouse of the victim can file a separate claim for loss of marital benefits, including companionship, sexual relations, affection and comfort.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including driver negligence. Negligent acts that may result in an accident include the following:
- Swerving in front of a cyclist
- Cutting off motorcyclists at intersections
- Failing to follow posted speed limits
- Failing to yield when appropriate
- Failing leave sufficient room between the vehicles
- Failure to see a motorcyclist changing or entering lanes
- Neglecting to pay appropriate attention to other drivers
- Driving under the influence
Failure to yield and an inability to recognize motorcyclists in traffic are among the common causes of motorcycle accidents. These crashes may also be caused by motor vehicles drivers who do not exercise proper care when making left-hand turns at intersections. Left-turn accidents are commonly caused by drivers who:
- Misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed or distance
- Fail to see the motorcyclist
- Panic and stop in the motorcyclist’s path
- Rely on the judgement of another driver, who also fails to see the motorcyclist
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists have little protection from the elements and other vehicles; therefore, injuries sustained in an accident can be serious and life-threatening and may include the following:
- Bone Fractures
- Brain damage
- Loss of limbs
- Neck injuries
- Severe head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
If you were injured, or lost a loved one, in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.