If you or a loved one were severely hurt or killed in a Chicago motorcycle accident because of another person's negligence, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Ktenas Law today. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers are experienced and compassionate and they'll respond promptly and start working on your personal injury claim. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, we can guide you through filing a wrongful death claim.
At Ktenas Law, our legal team offers:
- Decades of experience in representing personal injury clients, including those who sustained catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents.
- A proven track record of recovering fair compensation for motorcycle accident victims.
- The integrity and honesty you expect from a personal injury law firm you want representing you and your family’s best interests.
We'll help you recover the financial compensation you need to cover your medical care costs, lost earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, and other financial losses. Contact our Chicago law offices today at (312) 300-2515 to schedule a free initial consultation.
How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?
Motorcycle crashes cause substantial damages. Most motorcycles don't make it out of catastrophic crashes intact. Often, motorcycles require full replacement, and motorcycle riders have minimal protection from collision impact. A motorcycle crash can easily cause substantial economic damages, and if you're contemplating taking legal action for a recent motorcycle accident, it's essential to know how to calculate the value of your motorcycle accident claim.
Determining Economic Damages
A motorcycle accident injury claim can cause substantial economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the direct financial costs of an accident and noneconomic damages are the intangible damages and financial losses, such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
- Vehicle repair and replacement costs qualify as economic damages. If the at-fault driver completely wrecked your motorcycle, you can seek compensation for the full value of your motorcycle. Other types of property damage are also covered under economic losses.
- Medical costs normally form the bulk of an injured motorcyclist’s financial damages. If a negligent driver causes a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle accident victim can pursue monetary compensation for immediate and future medical expenses, such as emergency room costs, hospital bills, and long-term medical costs for rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Lost wages also form a significant portion of a claimant’s economic damages if the crash makes him or her unable to work for a prolonged time. If an accident causes a permanent disability or disfigurement, you can claim compensation for your lost future income.
Typically, economic damages are easy to prove because you can easily produce medical records, medical bills, and medical receipts to prove the extent of your losses and expenses. Further, your motorcycle accident attorney can help you establish causation between those financial damages and the at-fault driver's actions.
Calculating Noneconomic Damages
Noneconomic damages are difficult to prove. Thus, it's difficult to determine how much a plaintiff will receive. The physical pain and emotional trauma from a motorcycle accident can be severe for a victim than the economic losses. The justice system allows defendants to recover financial compensation for emotional distress, physical pain, and mental anguish resulting from the at-fault driver's negligence. However, different courts have different methods for determining pain and suffering damages. The nature of your damages can also influence your compensation for pain and suffering.
Some courts use the multiplier method to award compensation for pain and suffering as a lump sum. For instance, if you sustained severe bodily harm and incurred $40,000 in medical bills, the court might multiply this number by four to reflect the pain and suffering associated with your motorcycle accident injuries and award $160,000 as compensation for your pain and suffering. Further, an injured person who only suffered minor injuries might recover a small amount of compensation for pain and suffering, such as an additional $6,000 for $6,000 worth of medical expenses for treating a physical injury that'll fully heal with minimal recovery time.
Other courts use a per diem method to award compensation for pain and suffering. Instead of a lump sum, the defendant receives compensation for every day he or she spends in recovery until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement. For instance, if it took 6 months or 180 days to recover from a bodily injury, and the jury awarded $200 per day in pain and suffering compensation, you would receive $36,000 as financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
Some motorcycle crash cases involve illegal activity on part of the negligent driver, such as drunk driving, or the at-fault party's negligence exceeds typical negligence. Here, courts often award punitive damages to further punish the at-fault driver for his or her negligent behavior and improve the plaintiff’s recovery. Some states limit the amount the accident victim may receive in punitive damages. Punitive damages are taxable income for the injured party, unlike the other financial damages associated with his or her bodily injuries. Finally, it's difficult to determine how much a motorcycle accident injury claim is worth without analyzing the specific circumstances of the crash.
What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes?
Even though motorists have the same obligation of safety to motorcyclists as to the drivers of motor vehicles and trucks on the road, most motorcycle crashes involve collisions with motorists breaching a motorcyclist’s right of way.
Common causes of motorcycle collisions include:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failure to stop;
- Failure to yield;
- Crossing the centerline;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Improper passing;
- Improper turns; and
- Poor road conditions
After a motorcycle accident, if possible, get witness contact information and preserve any evidence that proves the motorist’s liability. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, and get the other driver's information, including their license number and vehicle registration.
Who Is At Fault in Most Motorcycle Collisions?
Like other types of personal injury cases, liability in motorcycle accidents is based on the laws of negligence. If a driver acts recklessly and harms another person, that driver is responsible for the victim’s injuries.
Often, motorists violate traffic rules and regulations, driving while distracted, or don't pay attention to motorcyclists on the road. Similarly, a motorcycle rider may be liable for the accident, especially if he or she violated traffic laws. Also, not wearing a motorcycle helmet can make the motorcycle rider at fault for any head injuries he or she may have sustained. If the motorcycle wreck occurred because of a manufacturing error or defective parts, then the manufacturer is held liable for the accident.
It’s possible for the involved parties to share responsibility for the motorcycle crash. When this happens, the injured person can still seek monetary compensation but the court will reduce the final damages reward by how much the injured party contributed to the motorcycle accident.
What are the Most Common Motorcycle Injuries?
Even minor motorcycle crashes can cause severe injuries to the rider. From skidding on loose gravel to head-on collisions, motorcyclists regularly sustain injuries while riding their bikes, and sometimes they suffer fatal injuries. Common motorcycle accident injuries are:
- Road rash: Motorcyclists often suffer significant abrasions and scrapes on parts of the body that are dragged along the road surface.
- Burns: Motorcycle riders and passengers also may suffer second and third-degree burns from contact with hot motorcycle engine parts.
- Soft tissue injuries: This includes strains, sprains, and whiplash-type injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
- Fractures and broken bones.
- Internal Injuries: This includes a ruptured spleen, a bruised kidney, and punctured lungs (secondary to broken ribs).
- Head Trauma: This is a common cause of death among motorcyclists who aren’t wearing a helmet. Head trauma includes a concussion, a fractured skull, and a traumatic brain injury.
- Neck and Spine injuries: This includes herniated discs, cracked vertebra, permanent paralysis, and death.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!
At CCAL, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can help you determine all your damages and make sure you submit an accurate insurance claim. Also, we can help you seek a fair motorcycle accident settlement if the insurance company tries to deny your personal injury claim or offer you less than what can cover your financial losses.
At CCAL, we have extensive experience helping motorcycle accident victims get the financial compensation that matches what their personal injury claim is worth. For a free initial consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate motorcycle crash attorneys, contact us today at (312) 300-2515, or fill out the contact form on this page to learn how we can help you.