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Motorcycle Accidents in Edwardsville, IL

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,172 motorcycle deaths in 2017, and motorcycle accident fatalities happen 28 times more frequently than fatalities in car accidents.

Even more frightening, motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal in Illinois. Due to Illinois’ lenient helmet laws and regulations, Illinois motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious head trauma or even wrongful death when involved in an accident.

Were you injured as a result of a motorcycle accident? You may qualify for an Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawsuit. TorHoerman Law Firm can help. Contact our firm to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney and find out how we can get you back on the road to recovery.

Edwardsville, IL Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Illinois is one of three states that does not have any sort of helmet law established. However, we highly recommend you wear a helmet at all times to protect the safety of the rider. Between 2016 and 2017, motorcycle fatalities increased by 5.2% in Illinois, unlike the rest of the country which saw fatality rates decline.

According to the National Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.

Despite the enforcement of helmet laws, not wearing a helmet in the event of a crash can lead to serious and even life-threatening injuries. It can also lead you, the rider, to be held at fault for your injuries.

7 Steps to Take Immediately after an Edwardsville Motorcycle Accident

  1. If you see anyone who is injured, call 911 right away to report the injury. Even if no one is injured, you should still contact the authorities and report the accident right away.
  2. If you are able, move out of the roadway and into a safe area near the road, such as the shoulder. This will reduce the risk of further accidents. If you or others cannot move off the roadway, set out hazards to let other drivers know that there has been an accident.
  3. Mitigate all injuries and losses. Seek medical attention, even if your injuries are minor. Even very minor injuries can progress into or warn of more serious injuries that are not immediately apparent. Do not forget to document all medical expenses that you incur as a result of the accident.
  4. Contact an experienced Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawyer. TorHoerman Law, Edwardsville injury lawyers, offers free, no-obligation consultations.
  5. Document all of the details of the scene and the accident and gather evidence. This may include taking videos and photos of the scene, writing down your recollection of what happened, obtaining the contact information of witnesses and others involved, and giving a statement to authorities.
  6. After the accident, report the accident to your insurance provider. Be sure to provide your insurance company with all of the information that you gathered from the scene of the accident, including photos, videos, statements, etc.
  7. Keep detailed records of all costs associated with the accident. This may include, but is not limited to, time off work, medical expenses, personal property damages, pain and suffering, costs of enjoyment of life, etc.

Common Injuries in an Edwardsville Motorcycle Accident

Some of the most common injuries that we see as Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawyers include:

  • Head Injuries
  • Road Rash / Skin Burns
  • Neck Injuries / High Back Injuries
  • Broken Arms / Legs
  • Serious Brain Injury
  • Death

While some of these injuries are unavoidable, others can be avoided through proper safety precautions, like wearing a helmet and other protective equipment.

Who is Liable in an Edwardsville Motorcycle Accident?

There are many factors that determine liability in a motorcycle accident, and it is all based on the individual accident and its factors.

Other drivers on the roads have a responsibility to watch out for motorcyclists. If they do not follow the rules of the road, are under the influence, or are distracted, they could be held liable for an accident. The same can be said for owners of vehicles who allow someone to drive their vehicle but are not properly licensed or are underage.

Manufacturers have a duty to produce parts that allow the vehicle to run efficiently. If the vehicle or part has a design flaw, the manufacturer of that part can be at fault for the accident.

Liability can also be given to employers of company vehicles. If an accident is caused by a courier for a larger company, that company could be held responsible.

How Much is My Edwardsville Motorcycle Accident Worth?

After an accident, you may wonder what you’re entitled to. The question is common, but the answer depends on the specific accident.

You must take into account both liability and damages in personal injury cases. If another individual was to blame for your accident, they are held liable for any damages that you incur. Damages can pertain to both physical and emotional damages such as the loss of income if you were not able to work as a result of the injury or the emotional turmoil you experienced as a result of the accident. There are many types of physical and emotional damage, but the job of a lawyer is to outline those damages to then either take your case to trial or negotiate a settlement.

To get a better idea of what your motorcycle accident is worth, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner your case can be resolved.

Hiring an Edwardsville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

An Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawyer at TorHoerman Law Office can navigate the civil litigation process and many Illinois laws and statutes surrounding motorcycles and accidents. An experienced lawyer will decide the best legal avenue for your case, whether it be dealing directly with insurance providers, negotiating a settlement, or taking your case to court.

Your Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawyer will work to gain you compensation to cover the total amount of your losses.

The choice of legal representation is an important one and should not be taken lightly. Seek representation from an attorney with experience, an understanding of the law, the resources necessary to litigate your case, and a commitment to you and your best interests.

TorHoerman Law, Edwardsville Motorcycle Accident Law Firm

If you believe that you may qualify for an Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawsuit, contact an experienced Edwardsville motorcycle accident lawyer  from TorHoerman Law today. We will fight to get you full compensation for the losses that you incurred at no fault of your own.

Our team of award-winning attorneys are considered some of the best personal injury lawyers in Illinois. We are a local Edwardsville law firm with experienced Edwardsville motorcycle accident attorneys that are familiar with the laws and courts in the region.

We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we do not charge our clients any legal fees until they have been awarded compensation for their losses. No compensation – no fees. We will foot the bill if we do not win your case. That is our guarantee to you that we are dedicated to your lawsuit.

TorHoerman Law – your Edwardsville motorcycle accident law firm.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Unless you have suffered only minor injuries, it is definitely worth it to hire a personal injury lawyer after suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident. What seems like a minor injury today, may develop into a more critical condition tomorrow. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will help you gather evidence and fight for compensation.

In most accidents involving motorcycles, drivers of cars are at fault for the collision. Car drivers are often held responsible for motorcycle collisions, but the actions of both drivers will be considered during the court’s decision. Due to the limited visibility of motorcycles, drivers in cars may struggle to locate the smaller vehicles on the road. In turn, this creates a hazardous environment for all drivers.

Legal expenses can add up if you are not care in picking a law firm. Legal fees differ depending on the firm’s billing methods. At TorHoerman Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients do not owe any type of payment until they have been compensated.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Early estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) show that motorcycle fatalities have decreased in recent years. But, that is still one too many accidents. Any accident can seriously injure or result in the wrongful death of its driver or passenger.

  • In 2016, 5,286 people died in motorcycle crashes. That is up 5.1 percent from 5,029 in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • In 2016, a motorcyclist was 28 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers of traditional auto accidents.
  • Of the motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2017, 29% were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • Motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities while representing only 3% of the entire registered motor vehicle fleet.

 

Do I Have to Wear a Helmet to Drive a Motorcycle?

Federally, there is no mandatory helmet law, although the federal intervention was prevalent for a number of years. In 1967, the federal government required each state to enact motorcycle helmet laws in order to qualify for certain federal safety and highway construction funds. But, in 1976, Congress revoked the ability to “assess penalties for noncompliance.” Many states took the initiative to either completely reverse a required helmet law or lessen the requirements.

It is proven that helmet laws drastically reduce the number of serious injuries or death. It is also each state’s responsibility to determine the use of a helmet while driving, or riding, a motorcycle.

  • Three states have no helmet law at all – Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire. There is no law requiring a helmet to be worn in these states. But, we still highly recommend you wear one for your own safety.
  • 28 states have laws mandating helmets for riders younger than specific age, usually 18.
  • 19 states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws. Regardless of age or experience, every driver and rider is required to wear a helmet.

Regardless of your state’s law, it is important to wear a helmet at all times – it could prevent a serious head injury or save your life. The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,870 motorcyclists in 2017. 750 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Operating a motorcycle takes much more skill than any other type of vehicle. Just like any other vehicle, operating skills are developed over time with practice. Unlike other motor vehicles, the consequences of making a mistake are much more drastic for a new rider. Many motorcycle accidents occur at least in part due to a new rider’s lack of skills.

Motorcycles are much smaller than other motor vehicles. They also move with more agility and ease, giving motorcyclists the ability to shift in and out of lanes quickly. Often times another vehicle may not recognize a motorcycle, because it is too small and moves too quickly, and the other motorist runs into the motorcycle. This is especially true in intersections, which is where nearly 70% of all motorcycle automobile accidents occur.

Any hazard on the roadway, such as a pothole, blown tire, debris, etc., is a minimal threat to a normal automobile. For motorcycles, however, these hazards are often the cause of accidents. Common accidents from hazards are either due to a motorcyclist running into the object, trying to avoid the object only to hit another vehicle, or sliding off the road.

Along with the risk of lack of visual recognition by other drivers, high speeds can cause an array of dangers to motorcyclists. More commonly, motorcycles operating at higher speeds can experience “speed wobbles”, the consequence of a misalignment of the front tire causing it to wobble unsteadily. Speed wobbles can actually be an issue with the manufacturing of the motorcycle itself. In certain situations, the manufacturer can be held accountable for product liability.

 

Read our blog regarding the five most common types of vehicle accidents, for more information on the causes of accidents.

 

What is my Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim Worth?

You, a friend, or a family member have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and are deciding whether to file a lawsuit to recover damages. But, you may be wondering how much you could really receive. Frankly, it is a difficult question to answer because each case is dependent on its individual circumstances. But, here is what to consider:

Like other vehicle accidents, the negligent party is held responsible in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Consider negligence liability when deciding who should be responsible for accident damages. If both parties are somewhat at fault, there may be comparative negligence. Your attorney will need to decide to what degree each is liable for damages.

Unlike other motor vehicle accidents, product liability is more common among motorcycle accidents. An issue with design or performance in a vehicle likely just means that it needs to go to a shop, but for motorcycles, there are serious consequences. If your motorcycle wreck was due to a malfunction in your bike, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer.

As mentioned above, if you were partially at fault for the accident, your ability to recover compensation may be reduced. For example, when determining liability, it is decided that you were 10% at fault for the accident because of your failure to reduce speed on a curve. However, the other vehicle crossed the dividing line and hit your motorcycle, meaning they were 90% at fault. When compensation is awarded, it is likely your gross amount will be reduced by 10% per the comparative negligence rule. So, if you were awarded $100,000, you will only receive $90,000 because of your partial involvement in the accident.

Physical, financial, and emotional damages all qualify for compensation. In a motorcycle accident lawsuit, damages are generally categorized into two categories:

Compensatory damages – These can all be calculated exactly. For example, the injuries you suffered and subsequently, the medical treatment and medical expenses you accumulated to recover, can be determined down to the cent. The same applies to lost wages during your recovery because of your inability to work. If there was property damage to your motorcycle, this can also be determined monetarily.
Punitive damages – On the other hand, damages that cannot be measured exactly are called punitive damages. Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress are all examples.

Both liability and damage calculation plays a vital role in your motorcycle accident lawsuit. The legal industry can be confusing. It is important to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to navigate the intricacies of your case.

Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle road laws and insurance laws differ in every state. Even within your state’s automobile laws, motorcycle laws are likely a separate entity from other motor vehicle laws. It is helpful to seek consultation with motorcycle accident attorneys who are familiar with the road laws regulations that apply to you. Additionally, their experience will make them skilled in negotiating motorcycle accident cases with an insurance company and other defendants.

The steps necessary to compile a product liability case are extremely complex. Do you believe that you were an accident victim due to a malfunction in your motorcycle? Contact an attorney to help make a motorcycle accident claim against the manufacturer.

At TorHoerman Law, our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys is here to help you with your motorcycle accident lawsuit.

 

 

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