Belleville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
When you hit the road on your motorcycle, you rely heavily on other drivers around you to exercise appropriate care and decrease your risk of serious injury on the road. Unfortunately, when those drivers fail to exercise proper care when navigating around motorcycles, you may find yourself suffering from serious injuries. The Belleville personal injury lawyers at NST Law can help you pursue compensation for the injuries you may have sustained during a motorcycle accident.
Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Often, motorcycle accidents result from the negligence of another driver. Other factors, however, can increase the risk of a serious accident or worsen the overall severity of an accident. Here are some of the factors that contribute to motorcycle accidents:
- Rider negligence, from excessive speeds to attempting to ignore the rules of the road
- Driver negligence, including failure to look for motorcycles or failure to yield to motorcycles
- Lane splitting on the part of either the motorcycle rider or another vehicle that fails to leave adequate room for a motorcycle on the road
- Poor weather conditions, which may decrease visibility and make it harder for motorcycle riders to navigate safely
- Dangerous road conditions, including poorly-maintained roads or potholes
Common Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries due to the lack of protection from the road, the vehicle, or obstacles faced during the collision. Many of those injuries can lead to high medical bills, severe limitations, and ongoing pain.
Types of injuries include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury
- Facial injuries, especially if the motorcycle rider does not wear a helmet
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Broken bones
- Internal damage
- Severe road rash and lacerations
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Around 5,000 motorcycle riders die in accidents each year. Helmets save the lives of around 1,800 riders each year—and about 800 deaths could be prevented with motorcycle helmet use.
Around 30% of riders involved in fatal crashes do not have a valid motorcycle license. Additionally, motorcycle and auto accidents are responsible for nearly half of new spinal cord injuries each year.
Illinois Motorcycle Laws
If you’re going to ride your motorcycle in Illinois, it’s important to be familiar with local laws and keep your information up to date. Illinois motorcycle laws include:
- Illinois motorcycle drivers must follow the same rules as other drivers regarding traffic signals, laws, and signs.
- Motorcycle riders in Illinois must have a motorcycle license.
- Illinois law does not require adult riders to wear a helmet. However, you do have to wear eye protection, including glasses, goggles, or a transparent shield designed to protect the face.
- In order to have a passenger on your motorcycle in Illinois, your motorcycle must be designed for two people, including an appropriate seat and footrests for the passenger.
Illinois Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of a motorcycle accident to file a personal injury claim. However, you should contact a Belleville injury attorney as soon after your motorcycle accident as possible to learn more about your rights and how to pursue a settlement for your injuries and financial losses.
How to Prove Fault by the Other Driver
To prove that the other driver caused your accident, you will need to show:
- That the other driver owed you a duty of care. Since all drivers owe you a duty of care on the road, simply by virtue of driving, this may be the easiest element to establish.
- The driver breached this duty of care. The breach may include texting and driving, speeding, failing to yield to you, ignoring the rules of the road, or other dangerous behavior on the road.
- The breach led to your accident and your injuries. You will need to show that the proximate cause of the accident and your injuries is due to the other driver not exercising the necessary caution on the road.
- You suffered injuries/damages because of the other driver’s negligence.
Having legal representation on your side can make it much easier to establish fault after an accident. While a police report may help establish fault for an accident, a personal injury lawyer can collect and present vital evidence that may make it easier to prove your claim.
Can I Still File a Claim if I Am Partially Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?
In some cases, you might have contributed to your motorcycle accident. Illinois comparative fault doctrine in motor vehicle accidents establishes that you can still move forward with a claim as long as you bear less than 50% liability or fault for the accident. However, the compensation you can recover for the motorcycle accident might be reduced by the percentage of liability you bear.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
In an Illinois motorcycle accident lawsuit, you have the right to claim compensation for the losses you experienced due to your accident. This may include compensation for:
- Your medical bills
- Your wages lost due to the accident
- Your pain and suffering
- Property damage to your motorcycle
Can I Recover Damages After a Belleville Motorcycle Accident if I Wasn't Wearing a Helmet?
While you should always wear a helmet to protect yourself when riding your motorcycle, you can recover damages even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. Contact a law firm that handles motorcycle accident claims to learn more about your rights.
What Steps Should I Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
From the moments immediately after your motorcycle accident to the following days and weeks, you may find that the steps you take have a significant impact on your ability to recover compensation. Make sure that you:
- Report the accident. Even if you feel pressured to ignore the accident or think you can walk away, you should always report the accident to the Belleville police.
- Seek medical attention. Even severe injuries can be overlooked in the immediate aftermath and trauma of a motorcycle accident.
- Seek legal advice. Consult a Belleville motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait to pursue legal help, the harder it can be to collect evidence and establish the basis for the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Responsible For My Injuries?
The driver that caused your accident will often bear liability for your injuries. You may also need to pursue compensation from another party that shares liability, from a mechanic who caused damage to or failed to repair your motorcycle, leading to an accident, or a vehicle manufacturer who created a faulty design.
How Can a Lawyer Help After a Belleville Motorcycle Accident?
A lawyer can help motorcycle accident victims in Belleville pursue compensation for their injuries through a motorcycle accident claim. A lawyer experienced in these types of claims can help:
- Collect evidence related to the accident
- Provide comprehensive legal advice that can help you manage your claim
- Build a compelling claim that establishes the compensation you deserve
- Represent you to the insurance company and, if needed, in court
How Long do I Have to File an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
In Illinois, you need to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit within two years of the accident. However, you should contact an attorney as soon after the accident as possible.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Motorcycle Accident?
Working with an attorney can help prevent many issues in managing your claim. Sometimes, insurance companies try to limit the compensation they have to pay out after a serious motorcycle accident. An experienced Belleville motorcycle accident attorney can help increase the odds of getting the compensation you are due.
Contact Our Belleville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you need legal services after a Belleville motorcycle accident, contact us today to learn how we can help.