What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois?

Posted in: Personal Injury

Motorcycles offer a sense of freedom and alternative transportation. They also can pose a risk to their riders as other motorists aren’t as attentive. A crash can be caused by rider error, but motorcycles can crash for a variety of reasons.

If someone’s negligence causes your crash, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Learn more about why motorcycle crashes happen, how a lawyer can help, and where to begin your claims process.

Illinois Motorcycle Crash Statistics

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s records, motorcycle crashes accounted for about 1% of all the state’s crashes in 2022. However, the deaths associated with motorcycles were more than 10% of all fatalities — 11.7%, or 145.

Injury accidents outnumbered fatal accidents, 3,069 to 145. Most accidents happened as cyclists were moving straight ahead, and a few happened because the driver lost control of the bike. A few even happened when the bike was parked.

Although the number of injury accidents is much higher than the fatal ones, that doesn’t mean negligent drivers shouldn’t be held accountable for the damages they caused.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois

Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Sometimes there are a combination of causes, which can impact a personal injury claim.

Excessive Speed

Excessive speed is a major factor in many motorcycle accidents. Speeding not only reduces the rider’s reaction time but also increases the severity of any crash that occurs.

Motorcyclists must navigate various road conditions, and driving too fast for the conditions, whether it’s bad weather, heavy traffic, or winding roads, greatly increases the risk of losing control.

Additionally, speeding in construction zones presents unique hazards, where unexpected obstacles and changes in traffic patterns can lead to dangerous situations.

Approaching turns at high speeds is particularly perilous for motorcyclists, as it can cause riders to veer into oncoming traffic or off the road entirely.

Visibility Issues

Motorcyclists often face the challenge of not being seen by other drivers. This lack of visibility can lead to cars changing lanes into the motorcycle’s path.

When a vehicle suddenly moves into the motorcycle’s lane, the rider may have to make quick evasive maneuvers, such as veering into another lane or onto the shoulder.

These sudden movements increase the likelihood of a collision with another vehicle or a wipeout. It’s crucial for drivers to be vigilant and always check their blind spots, especially in heavy traffic or during lane changes.

Fender Benders

While fender benders are typically minor for cars, they can be devastating for motorcyclists. Drivers may not notice a motorcycle slowing down or stopping and can misjudge the distance between their vehicle and the motorcycle.

A tap that might cause minimal damage to a car can result in serious injuries for a motorcyclist. The lack of protection on a motorcycle makes even minor collisions potentially life-threatening.

Left-Turn Collisions

Collisions involving a vehicle making a left turn and a motorcycle going straight are common and particularly dangerous.

Drivers often fail to see an oncoming motorcycle when making a left turn, leading to severe accidents. For motorcyclists, it’s vital to remain cautious at intersections, but ultimately, drivers need to be more aware and vigilant.

During nice weather, when motorcyclists are more likely to be on the roads, drivers should take extra care to check for motorcycles, especially while making left turns.

Why Knowing the Cause of a Crash Matters in a Personal Injury Claim

Understanding the cause of a motorcycle crash is crucial in personal injury claims for several reasons:

Establishing Liability

Identifying the cause helps determine who is at fault. Proving another driver’s negligence, such as speeding or failing to yield, is essential for securing compensation. Clear evidence of the cause supports the injured motorcyclist’s claim by showing the direct link between the other party’s actions and the accident.

Calculating Compensation

The cause of the crash impacts the type and amount of compensation awarded. For example, if excessive speed was a factor, it can demonstrate the severity of the impact and injuries, leading to higher compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Identifying All Responsible Parties

Crashes often involve multiple factors and parties. Understanding the cause allows the injured party to pursue claims against all negligent parties, potentially increasing the total compensation available.

Supporting Legal Strategies

Knowing the cause helps attorneys gather relevant evidence, such as eyewitness testimonies and accident reconstruction reports. This information strengthens the case, making it more compelling in negotiations or court.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help an Injured Motorcyclist

Navigating the aftermath of a crash can be overwhelming, especially as you try to recover. A personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance. They will ensure that you receive the support and compensation you deserve. From the moment you hire a lawyer, they become your advocate, handling the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on your recovery.

A personal injury lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine its cause. They’ll identify all responsible parties. They gather crucial evidence, such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements, to build a strong case on your behalf. This detailed approach helps establish liability and supports your claim for compensation.

Your lawyer will also handle all communications with insurance companies. These companies often try to minimize payouts. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. With their experience and dedication, a personal injury lawyer provides peace of mind and a higher chance of a successful outcome.

Staver is Ready to Help You

If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle-vehicle accident, do not hesitate to call us at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for advice. We can review your accident and help you build a case to recover compensation.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free confidential consultation.