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IL accident lawyerAs temperatures are warming up and spring is coming into full bloom, more people are taking their motorcycles out of their garages, out from under their tarps, and out onto the open road. Riding a motorcycle can be a refreshing activity on a brisk spring day in Northern Illinois, but it can also be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 84,000 motorcyclists injured in motor vehicle crashes across the United States in 2019. Car accidents happen all of the time for a variety of reasons, but when accidents happen because of the negligence of another person, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to claim compensation for your injuries.

Common Motorcycle Injuries

Motorcyclists are extremely exposed to the elements when they ride, which is why safety advocates highly recommend wearing safety clothing along with a DOT-approved helmet. Even still, accidents involving a motorcyclist and an actual vehicle typically result in the majority of the injuries being sustained by the motorcyclist. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: In many accidents involving motorcyclists, head or neck injuries are of concern. Riders who wear helmets are much less likely to sustain a head injury, but they are still at risk of suffering from a concussion, which can cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, and potentially even a coma or other loss of consciousness.
  • Road Rash: Road rash is a type of skin abrasion that occurs when a person’s skin makes contact with the pavement and is essentially scraped off. Not only is it painful, but it comes in varying degrees, can cause scarring, and has the potential to also cause infection.
  • Broken or Crushed Bones: Broken bones can occur simply from the sheer impact of a person making contact with other things at a high rate of speed. It is not uncommon for motorcyclists to walk away from an accident with a broken limb or rib.
  • Burns: In some cases, motorcycle accidents can cause burns from hot engines or other machine parts that come into contact with the skin. If this happens, permanent scarring or disfigurement and extreme pain could occur.

Discuss Your Case With Our Lake County Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you should speak with a Waukegan, IL motorcycle accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Salvi & Maher, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be to balance typical living expenses when you are suddenly faced with lost income and extravagant medical bills. Let us help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Call our office today at 847-662-3303 to discuss your options.

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IL injury lawyerThe weather is finally starting to warm up in the Waukegan area. Some individuals are taking their motorcycles out for the first time this year. While enjoyable, riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous hobby. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle collision, it is important to know your rights. You could be entitled to financial compensation for damages. However, the amount of compensation that you may recover may be influenced by a legal theory called “comparative negligence.”

Damages in a Motorcycle Collision Case

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you could potentially recover compensation for damages through a personal injury claim. Compensation for the damage to your motorcycle and other personal property, medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and pain and suffering may be recoverable. Damages in a fatal motorcycle accident may include the loss of your loved one’s income and services, the loss of companionship or guidance provided by your loved one, medical and funeral expenses, and more. However, in motorcycle accident cases, the legal concept of comparative negligence can reduce the compensation you are entitled to.

Contributory Fault on the Part of the Motorcyclist

If you or your loved one’s actions contributed to the motorcycle accident or to the severity of the injuries, this will reduce your potential recovery proportionally. For example, if you were speeding or ran a red light, you could be considered partially at fault for the incident. Another common complicating factor in a motorcycle accident case is not wearing a helmet. Although Illinois law does not mandate motorcycle helmets, it is generally accepted that wearing a helmet can mitigate head and neck injuries in an accident. If you were not wearing a helmet or other safety gear at the time of the accident, it may be argued that this decision worsened your injuries.

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IL injury lawyerFor many Illinois residents, riding a motorcycle is one of the highlights of summer. Although a motorcycle can be an enjoyable mode of transportation, it is also one of the riskiest ways to travel. Statistics show that just under half of all motorcycle accidents result in serious injury. Motorcyclists are also 29 times more likely to die in an auto accident than drivers in passenger cars. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other life-changing injuries are commonly caused by motorcycle accidents. In many cases, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious injury. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle crash in Illinois, you may have questions about how helmets influence personal injury claims involving motorcyclists.

Illinois Law Regarding Motorcycle Helmets

Illinois is one of a handful of U.S. states that do not have a mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Helmets are strongly encouraged, but a motorcyclist cannot receive a citation for not wearing a helmet. However, the law does require motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear eye protection. Glasses or sunglasses made of shatter-resistant material, goggles, or a transparent shield are all acceptable forms of eye protection. Although not required by law, research shows that helmet use significantly reduces the likelihood of serious injury to the face, head, and neck during a motorcycle accident. If an injured motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet or eye protection at the time of his or her accident, it is very possible that this fact will influence his or her personal injury claim.

Pursuing Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle collisions can cause horrific injuries that result in massive medical expenses. An injured motorcyclist may also be unable to work for months or even years after his or her accident. Fortunately, it may still be possible for an injured motorcyclist to receive compensation for these and other expenses even if he or she was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear at the time of his or her accident. Personal injury claims in Illinois are subject to a legal doctrine called “modified comparative negligence.” If an injured party is found to be less than 51 percent responsible for an injury-causing accident, he or she may still pursue compensation through an injury claim. However, the amount of compensation that he or she is entitled to is reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

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Waukegan wrongful death lawyersIllinois is known for its icy, windy, and often snow-covered winters. When spring finally arrives, many people are eager to get back to the warm-weather activities they love. For motorcycle enthusiasts, little compares to the excitement of the first ride of the season. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can be a risky mode of transportation. Because the vehicle offers virtually no protection to the rider in the event of an accident, many motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or death. Just under 5,000 riders lost their lives in fatal motorcycle accidents in 2018 alone. If your loved one passed away in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent party, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

When is a Motorcyclist’s Death Considered a “Wrongful Death?”

There are two criteria in Illinois law regarding wrongful deaths. A death is considered wrongful when:

  • The death was caused by “wrongful act, neglect or default” and
  • If the deceased person would have survived his or her injuries, he or she would have been entitled to bring an action to recover damages

Wrongful deaths are often caused by the negligent actions of another party. A motorcycle accident may be caused by negligent motorist who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting and driving, driving in a dangerous or reckless manner, or violating traffic laws. It is also possible that fault for the accident lies with a company such as the company that manufactured the motorcycle or constituent motorcycle parts. Because so many different factors can contribute to the severity of a traffic accident, determining fault for a fatal motorcycle accident can be a highly complex process. Therefore, legal guidance from a wrongful death attorney experienced in motorcycle accident cases is essential.  

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysIf you drive on any major road on a regular basis, you have almost certainly encountered motorcycles. Some riders ride alone while others like to travel in groups of two or more. Unfortunately, there are certain riders who insist on riding recklessly, exceeding the speed limit, and weaving in and out of traffic. Such riders may be confident about what they are doing, but the reality is that this reckless driving of a motorcycle can and does lead to serious accidents causing injuries or death.  

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of accidents involving motorcycles has been going up even as those involving all other motor vehicles have been going down. The CDC says the economic burden from motorcycle crash injuries and deaths in one year alone totaled more than $12 billion. Given the rise in the number of people using motorcycles, the CDC has sounded an alarm, calling this increase in motorcycle accidents a major public health concern, besides the associated economic loss.

Vulnerabilities of Motorcycles

The Illinois Division of Traffic Safety says of all motorized vehicles on the road, motorcycles are the most vulnerable because of their small size and weight compared to other motorized vehicles. Their small size also makes them vulnerable to being hit or run over by large trucks who do not see them as they ride in the truck’s blind spot.

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