Skip to content

Motorcycle Accidents

Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Professional and compassionate Illinois injury attorneys helping riders and families

Motorcycle accidents often cause death or permanent injury. Motorcycle operators and passengers have little protection when an accident happens. There is no hood, rear, or side of a vehicle to protect the riders. When a collision occurs, the driver and passenger are almost certain to fall off their motorcycle onto the hard ground – often at high speeds.

The Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Gainsberg Law fight for injured drivers and riders throughout Illinois. Our lawyers work to prove that another vehicle operator, defective parts, poorly designed roads, or other types of negligence caused the accident. When fault can be proved, we demand compensation for pain and suffering, payment for all hospital and medical bills, and compensation for any lost earnings. In egregious cases, we ask for punitive damages.

How can we help?

[view all Motorcycle Accident videos]

How common are motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycle fatalities have been rising in recent years. Per the Illinois Department of Transportation, over 2,961 people were in motorcycle accidents in 2020. “The number of motorcyclists killed increased by 10.1%, from 138 in 2019 to 152 in 2020. These motorcycle fatalities accounted for 12.7% of all fatalities in 2020. The number of motorcyclists injured – 2,404 – increased by 14.6% in 2020.”

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):

Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. Yet only 18 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders. NHTSA statistics confirm that motorcycle operators are much more likely than automobile drivers to die if an accident occurs.

Why do motorcycle accidents happen in Chicago?

There are many reasons why motorcycle accidents occur. Some of the many causes our legal team investigates are:

  • Distracted drivers. Many automobile drivers do not anticipate that motorcyclists are on the same road. Car and truck drivers often fail to see the motorcycle because a motorcycle is much smaller. Drivers of larger vehicles also often fail to account for the speed, passing ability, and stopping ability of the motorcycle operator. These failures are compounded when the weather is poor.
  • Hazardous roadways. Any defect in the road is a danger to the motorcycle operator. Two-wheeled vehicles with smaller wheels cannot handle changes in the road in the same way as larger vehicles. A pothole, a dead animal, a change in the type of road surface, road construction, a change in the curve of a road – any change can cause the motorcyclist to fall.
  • Drunk drivers. A drunk driver poses a more serious threat to riders than, perhaps, to others on the road. Because motorcycle riders and passengers do not have the protective lawyers around them that a car or truck would provide, they are more likely to be hurt if they are hit. We can help you take back control of your life if you were struck by a drunk driver.
  • Defective motorcycle parts. Motorcycles, like other vehicles, can be manufactured improperly. A poor helmet design or a faulty brake line can lead to a serious injury. Our Chicago motorcycle accident law firm works with experts to determine if the brakes malfunctioned, the tires were faulty, the handlebars were defective, the motorcycle was not balanced, or if other defects caused the accident.

Motorcycles can be crushed by a car or truck immediately after a collision, which only makes the injuries more serious or deadly. Even with helmets and other safety gear, the riders can suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken arms and legs, spinal cord damage, limb loss, or worse. No matter what kind of injury you sustained, Gainsberg Law can protect you.

Types of driver distraction that can lead to a motorcycle accident

Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers understand that motorcycle operators and passengers are especially likely to be hurt by distracted drivers on the road. Motorcycle riders have virtually no protection if an accident happens. Most car and truck drivers already pay little attention to motorcycles.

There are many ways drivers can become distracted, including:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Reading
  • Playing with the radio station
  • Talking on a phone
  • Texting while driving
  • Trying to read a map or looking at a GPS system
  • Watching a TV show
  • Combing or brushing one’s hair

Drivers who need to perform any of the above tasks should do them before they get in the car, wait until their journey is finished, or pull off the side of the road and stop. What seem like simple, ordinary tasks can turn into deadly mistakes on the road, and motorcyclists are often the victims of these mistakes.

Just a momentary lapse in concentration or control can cause a motorcycle accident. Drivers who are distracted:

  • Fail to focus on the roadway. This makes it difficult to react to dangerous traffic conditions, fail to brake on time, or fail to steer out of trouble.
  • Fail to have control of the steering wheel. Vehicles going the speed limit on highways travel close to 90 feet in a second. An accident can happen in just a few feet. In the time it takes the driver to react to danger and then grab the steering wheel, a motorcycle rider can be killed.
  • Fail to alert a rider or brake in time. Operators who have their minds on a sandwich or a smartphone aren’t ready to react in time to warn other drivers or to stop at a safe distance.

How hazardous Chicago roadways lead to motorcycle accidents

Any small change in the road surface, such as an object on the road, a sudden change in the road surface, or an oil spill, can cause the rider to fall off his/her motorcycle. In addition to poor design of a road, some other common hazards include:

  • Bad lighting. Roadways should be properly lit at night so motorcycle riders can see the road.
  • Poorly places warning signals. There should be properly places signs that indicate construction ahead, a dangerous curve in the road, and standard signs such as yield and stop signs.
  • Poor weather management. Agencies and businesses responsible for the roads should also regularly inspect the roads for the ability to handle ice, snow, and rain, which can make bridges unsafe and roadways treacherous.

Motorcycle operators should also constantly be on the lookout for potholes, dead animals on the road, gravelly roads, and other objects or changes to the road surface.

Who is liable for a motorcycle accident in Chicago?

Our attorneys fight to hold every liable party responsible. Some of the entities that can be held liable for a motorcycle accident, depending on how it happened, are:

  • The owner(s) of the vehicle the caused the accident
  • A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the motorcycle or defective motorcycle parts
  • The company that hired a trucker to drive his/her truck – if the truck driver caused the accident
  • Illinois or a government subdivision of Illinois
  • Anyone or any business responsible for road maintenance
  • A tavern that served liquor to someone knowing that person was intoxicated

Motorcycle passengers may have a direct claim against the driver of the motorcycle for careless or negligent conduct. We work to determine the exact reason for the accident for several reasons:

  • Fault. Primarily, any skilled Chicago motorcycle accident attorney needs to prove how the accident happened to assign fault or to prove liability.
  • Injuries. The manner of the accident is useful in determining the extent of a person’s injuries.
  • Who to sue. Determining the cause of the accident is also a key factor in determining which people or companies to sue.

Motorcycle accident claims against government agencies

Counties, states, and the federal government have some obligations to properly maintain the interstates, highways, and roads. This duty begins with making sure the roadway is intelligently designed, that traffic speeds are carefully set, and that traffic signals are at the correct intersections. There is a duty to manage known traffic hazards, such as auto accidents, which can halt traffic and potholes.

Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers explain that notice must promptly be given to any governmental agency after an accident happens. Lawsuits against government agencies generally also must be filed in a much shorter time than standard personal injury claims. We work to show that the government or any maintenance crews failed in their obligations to make the road safe. Our firm also works with engineering professionals who can analyze what steps the agency should have taken and why their failure caused the motorcycle accident.

At our firm, we leave no stone unturned to hold everyone who played a role in the accident accountable. In cases of wrongful death, our lawyers work with the family on behalf of the deceased victim and the family itself.

How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident claim in Chicago?

You have up to two years after the injury occurred to file a personal injury lawsuit. You should speak to your Chicago motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible, as there are exceptions to every rule.

Is there a motorcycle accident lawyer near me?

Gainsberg Law P.C. is located at 22 W Washington Street, Suite 1512 right in downtown Chicago, across from the consulate building and about a block away from City Hall. There are two bus stops right near us if transportation is an issue.

Speak with an experienced and trusted Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer today

The insurance companies will have strong counsel representing their clients. Injured motorcycle accident victims need their own tough Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys who will fight for them and their families. Gainsberg Law has extensive experience in state and federal courts. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can answer your questions, investigate your case, and fight to get you a full recovery. Please call us today at 312-600-9585 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Related Articles