Whether you were a rider hit by a passenger vehicle or a driver involved in a crash with a motorcyclist, you need to speak with an experienced Joliet motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates has represented injured people in Illinois since 1924. We have experience in all personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents.
We understand how devastating a motorcycle accident can be. That’s why our Joliet personal injury lawyers are committed to fighting for the best possible outcome for our clients. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, damaged property, and more.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you determine the best action.
After a motorcycle accident, there are several steps you should take to preserve your rights.
1. Seek medical attention.
If you have been injured, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. Your personal injury attorney will help you recover by making sure that all of your hospital bills are paid and helping you through every step of the process.
2. Take pictures of the accident scene.
If it is safe, you should take photographs of the motorcycle accident scene with your cell phone or camera. These photos will be important evidence in proving how the accident took place.
3. Do not speak to insurance companies without legal representation.
Never consult an experienced Joliet motorcycle accident lawyer without consulting an insurance adjuster. Insurance companies are looking to pay as little money as possible for your claim and will often try to offer you a quick settlement before hearing all of the facts of your case.
4. Do not give a recorded statement.
Under no circumstances should you speak to investigators or give a recorded statement without first speaking with an attorney from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates.
What Are The Elements of A Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
There are several elements to a motorcycle accident claim, including:
Damages – Damages in a personal injury case include damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.
Negligence – The other party was negligent (or legally at fault) if they breached their duty of care to you and injured you.
Proximate Cause – Proximate cause is a legal term that essentially means to establish that the defendant was, in fact, responsible for your injuries.
Causation – Causation looks at whether or not there are any other factors involved in the accident, such as defective machinery, improper road conditions, etc.
What damages can I claim in a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Economic damages are any costs directly attributed to the accident, such as medical bills and lost income.
Several economic damages can be claimed in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Costs of rehabilitation
- Property damage.
Economic damages are calculated by determining the costs that stem from the accident, such as lost wages and future income losses. That’s why it’s so important to keep all of your medical bills, car repair bills, and other records.
Several types of non-economic damage claims can be made in motorcycle accident claims.
Some of these include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement or permanent scarring
- Loss of consortium.
Pain and suffering damages are the most common type of damage claim we see in motorcycle accident cases.
Pain and suffering are non-economic forms of damage, which means they cannot be calculated on paper. Instead, pain and suffering claims weigh heavily on how much money a jury awards to compensate the injured party.
Punitive damages are only awarded in the most extreme cases.
Three factors determine an appropriate amount to award for punitive damages:
- The conduct of the defendant leading up to the accident
- Whether or not there was any criminal wrongdoing involved with the accident, such as drunk driving
- How much money have you already received in compensation?
To win a punitive damages claim, you must prove that the defendant’s conduct before and after the accident was so reckless that it warrants a punitive charge. The judge determines whether the facts meet the standard for allowing the jury to consider punitive damages, and the jury determines the amount.
The point of punitive damages is not necessarily to award you, the plaintiff, but to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. Remember, this type of damage is rare but occasionally awarded.
What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
One of the most common types of injuries we see in motorcycle accidents is traumatic brain injury (TBI). This type of injury can range from mild to severe and puts the patient at high risk for long-term brain damage.
A traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is crushed against the skull or when an object pierces through the skull into the brain. This type of injury can have serious or even deadly long-term effects, including reduced cognitive function and coma.
Road rash is a common motorcycle accident that occurs when the skin gets scraped off by asphalt or pavement due to an uncontrolled fall. These injuries usually occur on the rider’s arms, legs, and buttocks.
Because road rash takes time to heal, it can cause further problems for the patient. If left untreated, these injuries can turn into serious infections.
It takes just a small amount of force to fracture a bone, which should tell you how easy it is for riders to get their bones broken when thrown off their bike.
Compound fractures occur when the rider’s bone pierces through the skin, which can be very dangerous.
Because of this, compound fractures are considered an emergency medical condition.
If the bone is not set correctly upon immediate treatment, it may heal improperly or develop arthritis later.
Internal injuries occur when the rider’s internal organs are damaged during an accident, but they may not show signs of pain until several hours later.
Any body part could have internal damage, but it is most commonly seen in the liver, spleen, and kidneys.
These injuries can be very serious and often require surgery.
Internal bleeding is another common injury that can occur with internal damage. This type of bleeding can be difficult to stop and may cause lifelong damage.
Soft Tissue Damage
As the name suggests, soft tissue injuries are injuries to the body’s muscles and other soft tissues.
Soft tissue injuries are caused either by stretching or tearing. The most common cause is overuse, which occurs when the muscles are stressed more than they are accustomed to. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and weakness.
Neck and Back Injuries
When people are involved in motorcycle accidents, the impact causes the upper part of their body to go forward while the rest remains stationary.
If you are not wearing a helmet, the sudden stop can cause your head and upper back to move faster than your trunk and pelvis, leading to injuries such as whiplash.
Even if you were wearing a helmet, you are still at risk for upper back injuries. The parts of the body most likely to be injured include the ribs, sternum, and spine.
Rear-End Motorcycle Accident
The most common type of motorcycle accident is when a vehicle hits a motorcycle from behind.
This usually happens because the car fails to see the motorcycle or is tailgating them. This means they are driving too close behind a motorcycle and cannot stop quickly.
If another vehicle hits the back of a motorcycle, the bike is thrown forward, and the rider is usually injured.
This could be avoided if a car is aware of its surroundings and gives plenty of space when driving near a motorcycle. Without driver negligence, this would not be nearly as common a cause of accidents.
Poor Road Conditions
Motorcycle accidents are also common in poor weather conditions.
These conditions include rain, fog, snow, and ice, which make it difficult for motorists to see motorcycles.
If another car were to hit the motorcycle because they failed to adjust their driving due to bad road conditions, this would be an example of driver negligence.
Poorly maintained roads can also be problematic, especially if they are uneven or have potholes.
If you were to get into an accident on an unsafe road, the organization or government responsible for maintaining that road could be held liable for your injuries.
Poorly signed road construction can spell disaster for motorcyclists. Heavy construction as crews are repaving or adding new lanes may seem inconvenient for most drivers, but it can cause dangerous conditions for two-wheeled drivers.
Poor road friction due to gravel, loose dirt, or water may cause motorcyclists to spin out and crash. Less road surface may be available due to milling grooves, steel plates covering holes, or sudden height changes from repaving. Having a solid connection to the road is vital for handling and safety when you only have two tires.
Pooled water at construction sites may mask open manhole covers or other seemingly innocent spots on the road. Water is used in road construction to clean or cool down equipment, but workers should be vigilant about any pooling water that could cause an accident.
Sudden road barriers and lack of signage can give motorcyclists seconds to react and get over. These barriers can annoy larger vehicles but spell catastrophic injury for motorcyclists could potentially be flung over them.
It’s also possible for a motorcycle to crash into another vehicle in their blind spot.
People in passenger vehicles usually only pay attention to what is immediately in front and back of their vehicle.
However, motorcycles are small enough that drivers may not see them in their lane or, worse, directly beside them.
Blind spot accidents commonly happen when a driver merges onto a highway or changes lanes without looking. If they have not adequately checked their surroundings, they risk hitting a motorcycle.
It is essential to do so before changing lanes and always to leave plenty of room if a car cuts you off when merging onto the road from an entrance ramp.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is when a car passes the bike and then cuts it off.
This often happens because the driver fails to notice the motorcycle as he or she makes a turn onto a side street.
If this happens, it can cause either injury if their actions led to your accident or if you crashed because you could not avoid them. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings and always look for motorcycles before making turns.
One of the most common causes of any form of automobile accident.
Distracted driving has been around for years but since smartphones, it is worse than ever before. Drivers, especially those traveling long distances, often check their phones or lose focus.
This is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, especially when it involves bikes and large vehicles like trucks.
If drivers are not attentive to their surroundings or focus on what’s important (the road), they could end up putting bikers in danger.
Motorcycle accidents are also common when the driver of another car is driving under the influence.
This can be anything from drugs or alcohol but it does not have to be illegal for you to file a claim. For example, if someone took prescription medication that made them drowsy and they hit your motorcycle, their insurance company would still pay for your damages.
It is important always to be aware of your surroundings. If you suspect that a driver may be intoxicated, it’s best to call the police immediately.
Do I need an attorney for my motorcycle accident?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, consulting an attorney is certainly in your best interest.
Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly complicated, and insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid compensating you for your injuries. You need an experienced Joliet motorcycle accident lawyer on your side.
Not only can your attorney assist you in negotiating settlement amounts, but they can also help you receive the medical treatment you need to recover. They will work to support you while you heal and handle the complex proceedings of managing your legal claim.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates at (800) 985-1819. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation that is rightfully yours under Illinois law.
When to Get a Joliet Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is necessary to get an experienced Joliet motorcycle accident lawyer on your side immediately.
Motorcycle accident injuries can be very serious and in most cases require immediate medical attention. Your attorney will need the time to fully investigate the circumstances of your case to build a strong legal argument on your behalf.
A personal injury lawyer can help you receive the medical attention and financial support you need during this difficult time.
We will take care of all the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on getting better.
Contact a Joliet Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, it is important to contact a lawyer right away.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is a renowned Joliet law firm that can help you recover.
We know how challenging accidents can be for victims. That’s why our goal is to provide compassionate legal representation with every case we take. We are experts in personal injury law and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
You may be entitled to money for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Don’t wait – call (800) 985-1819 today for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Questions and Answers
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Illinois’s standard statute of limitations is within two years of the accident. If the injuries affected your memory or left you incapacitated, you may be able to file an accident claim beyond this statute.
An experienced lawyer knows how to handle the different aspects of a motorcycle accident case. They will be able to help you file a claim, deal with the insurance company, and represent you in court, if necessary.
You must hire an attorney who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law and has experience with motorcycle accident cases.
The attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates have helped victims of motorcycle accidents for years. We know what it takes to get the best results for our clients.
How much does a motorcycle accident lawyer cost?
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is a contingency-based firm. This means that you only pay us if we win your case! We do not charge any upfront fees. Our business is built on relationships and providing our clients with the best representation possible.
What if I was partially to blame for my motorcycle accident?
It is possible to recover compensation even if you are partly at fault.
However, the amount of money you will receive will depend on how much responsibility the court decides falls on each party.
For example, if the other driver was speeding and ran a red light but it was determined that you were 20% at fault, then you can only recover 80% of your damages from the other driver. Call (800) 985-1819 now to learn more.
What if a loved one died from a motorcycle accident?
If your family member has died as a result of a motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the incident.
This is a separate case from an ordinary personal injury lawsuit.
We have handled these cases for years and know how to work with families in this difficult time so that they can focus on what is most important: remembering their lost loved one.
Motorcycle accidents can happen in an instant, leaving victims with serious injuries and high medical bills. A Joliet motorcycle accident lawyer, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, wants to help victims get the compensation they deserve. Call (800) 985-1819 now to speak with an attorney.