Reasons For Cook County Motorcycle Accident Injuries And Fatalities

Cook County Motorcycle Accident Injuries

There are many types of Cook County motorcycle accident injuries that can occur.  Riding motorcycles remains popular in Cook County.  However, due to many factors, riding a motorcycle often entails accident risks.  As seen in various Illinois motorcycle accident statistics, the level of fatal motorcycle accidents remains at historically high levels; as well, there are far more motorcycle accidents that result in accident injuries.

According to IDOT crash statistics for the year 2016 – the most recent statistics as of this writing – there were 1002 Cook County motorcycle crashes, which involved 27 fatalities as well as 608 crashes resulting in motorcycle accident injuries.

As further discussed below, many of these non-fatal injuries can be very serious in nature and lead to a range of permanent accident injuries and various types of temporary and permanent physical and mental impairments.

Party At Fault In Illinois Motorcycle Accidents

Generally speaking, there are two reasons for motorcycle accidents.  Motorcycle accidents can be caused by the actions of the motorcyclist (i.e. the motorcyclist was at fault in the accident) or the motorcycle accident can be the fault of another party, such as a motorist who is driving negligently.  In certain instances the accident can be caused by such things as road hazards, such as when cargo falls off of another vehicle and causes the motorcyclist to crash.

Reasons For Cook County Motorcycle Accidents

There are a broad range of reasons for Cook County motorcycle accidents.  On this site, many Cook County motorcycle accidents have been summarized.  Among these crashes are fatal motorcycle accidents.

Among common reasons for these motorcycle accidents include:

Motorcycle accidents that occur when a motorist makes a left-hand turn immediately in front of an oncoming motorcycle, thereby causing a collision with the motorcycle.

This reason remains a very common accident cause.  For many reasons these collisions are often highly physically traumatic to the motorcyclist (and, if applicable) passenger.  This type of collision usually results in serious accident injuries for the motorcyclist;  many of these accident injuries result in an immediate fatality, i.e. the motorcyclist dies at the accident scene.  One example of this type of crash is a July 7, 2018 Homewood motorcycle accident summarized in the “Fatal Homewood Motorcycle Accident Involving Car-Motorcycle Collision” post.

Motorcycle accidents that occur when another vehicle crosses the center line, thereby causing a collision with an oncoming motorcycle.

This is another reason for serious motorcycle collisions.  Often, these accidents are “head-on collisions” which are highly forceful in nature.  As a result of these accidents the motorcyclist is often seriously injured, and often such injuries result in the motorcyclist being pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Wrecks Caused By A Loss Of Motorcycle Control

One common type of collision, which often results in a fatal accident, is when a rider loses control of the motorcycle and crashes.  This type of incident is common, and has been especially prominent throughout Illinois in 2018.  One example involving fatal injuries is seen in a July 21, 2018 fatal motorcycle crash on a Kennedy Expressway exit ramp, which is summarized in the post titled “Fatal Loss Of Control Motorcycle Crash On Kennedy Expressway Exit.”

There are various, wide-ranging reasons as to why these losses of control can occur.  For instance, a defective motorcycle part or component can cause or contribute to a crash.  Another cause of loss of motorcycle control is if there is a tire blowout, which often leads to a loss of control crash.

Crashes That Occur When A Motorcyclist Rides After Drinking

One leading cause of motorcycle accidents continues to be drunk motorcyclists who crash their bikes.  This has been a long-term (i.e. decades) leading accident cause.  Due to the skills and balance needed to safely ride a motorcycle, motorcyclists who are inebriated place themselves at a high risk of crashing.

Crashes Due To Speeding And Other Risky Motorcycle Riding

Many motorcycles have the ability to quickly accelerate and reach high speeds, often 100+ mph.  Some motorcyclists who use this available speed and power at some point lose control and crash.  Speeding is just one of many behaviors that can be considered to be “high-risk.”  Other “high-risk” behaviors include “stunt riding,” lane-splitting and lane weaving.

“Drugged Drivers” And Drunk Drivers

Many motorcycle collisions with other vehicles happen when another motorist “fails to see” a motorcycle, and collides with the motorcycle.  This “failure to see” a motorcycle is more likely to occur if the motorist is impaired by drugs (i.e. a “drugged driver”) or impaired by alcohol (i.e. a “drunk driver.”)  Of course, the danger of these impaired motorists depends upon the level and type of their impairment.  The subject of drug-impaired motorists and the danger they pose to other road users is further discussed on the “Cook County Car Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page.

Road Hazards

Due to the fact that motorcyclists have to maintain balance in order to safety ride a motorcycle, any factor that causes a loss of balance can quickly lead to a crash.  Road hazards have caused imbalances that have led to many serious motorcycle accidents, including fatal crashes.

Road hazards can take many forms, and are often unexpected.  Many types of road hazards suddenly appear.   A type of road hazard is debris that is sitting on the roadway or highway, and creates motorcycle instability if it is hit or run over by the motorcycle.  One accident that occurred in September 2011 on the Edens Expressway involved a motorcyclist who hit a urinal that had fallen off of a truck.  After hitting the urinal, the motorcyclist fell off of his motorcycle and suffered injuries including a broken ankle.

Another example of a road hazard is a large pothole or other type of road deformity.  The City of Chicago recently approved a $4 million lawsuit settlement over a fatal motorcycle accident that involved a motorcyclist who crashed his motorcycle after hitting a pothole in the 2600 block of South Damen in the year 2010.  The incident and subsequent fatal accident injury is discussed in the July 23, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Alderman sign off on $4.5M in settlements tied to police wrongdoing.”

Another type of hazard – one that has led to various crashes and fatalities – is when a deer suddenly runs in front of an oncoming motorcycle.  This may lead to the motorcyclist losing control if the bike hits the deer, or if the motorcyclist suddenly swerves to avoid hitting the deer.

Mechanical Failures And Improper Maintenance

Mechanical failures on motorcycles, as well as riding motorcycles that need maintenance, can lead to a crash.  One of the causes of motorcycle crashes, which has led to serious motorcycle wrecks in Illinois, is when a tire blowout occurs.  While these tire blowouts can occur due to various reasons, a tire blowout is more likely to occur if the tire is overly worn and/or is underinflated.

What To Do After Motorcycle Accident Injuries Occur

After motorcycle accident injuries occur, there are a number of actions that should be taken.  Generally speaking, these actions address both medical and legal issues.

From a medical perspective, it is imperative that all injuries are promptly and properly identified and treated.  There are a broad range of serious injuries that can occur.  These injuries can include broken bones, external and internal bleeding, skin abrasions, injuries to the back and spinal cord injuries, chest trauma and various types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Due to the broad range of motorcycle accident injuries that can occur, as well as the possible difficulty in knowing what injuries have occurred, it is recommended that a thorough medical exam is conducted to identify and properly treat any and all accident injuries.  The reasons for needing such a thorough medical exam is further discussed on the “Important Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After An Accident” page.

Legal issues, including getting compensated for motorcycle accident injuries if the accident was not your fault, are another key issue that should be addressed as soon as possible.  In order to best protect your legal rights, it is highly recommended that as soon as possible after the motorcycle accident you speak with a qualified and experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer.  The lawyer can tell you what steps you should take – and what to avoid doing – in order to protect your legal rights and to maximize the potential injury compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that occurred.  The lawyer can tell you if a personal injury lawsuit should be pursued, and if so how much your case may be worth.  For fatal motorcycle accidents, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by relevant parties.

Potential compensation for non-fatal motorcycle accident injuries varies depending on many different factors, including the types of accident injuries as well as their severity and degree of permanence.  Various types of potential compensation exist.  The injured motorcyclist or passenger may be able to attain various types of compensation including that for past and future medical bills; past and future lost wages; loss of consortium; pain and suffering; rehabilitation costs; out-of-pocket expenses; and loss of function.  For many injured motorcyclists, there is a great need for injury compensation, as medical costs can be substantial.  If needed, ongoing medical treatment and lost wages can present formidable financial challenges.  For this reason, injured motorcyclists often seek the legal counsel of a proven injury lawyer.

The Elman Joseph Law Group’s Proven Capabilities In Personal Injury Lawsuits

Elman Joseph Law Group’s concentration in Illinois personal injury law – as well as an intense focus on vehicle-related accidents – gets proven results for clients who have had motorcycle accident injuries.

Over the last 25+ years, we have handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury lawsuits.  Due to this experience, we know how much cases are worth – and how to get you the maximum injury compensation possible.  We have a reputation as accomplished trial attorneys, and have a proven capability of successfully taking cases to court should settlement offers prove inadequate.

Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of The Elman Joseph Law Group, has been selected by Thomson Reuters as a “Super Lawyer.”  This designation is granted based upon both professional achievement and peer recognition.  Only the top 5% of lawyers can receive this designation.

We offer a free legal consultation to advise you regarding your motorcycle accident injuries.  Please call Tony Elman at 773-392-8182 (or email [email protected]) at any time for a free, no-obligation legal consultation concerning your accident injury.

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