joliet motorcycle accident lawyers
From April until November, Joliet is a motorcycle city. You can literally buy a new Harley-Davidson at Conrad’s, jump on Interstate 55 (formerly Route 66) and ride for days. You can even drive parts of the old Route. There’s danger out there though, and for an experienced rider, that danger is usually the other guy who either doesn’t see you or sees you when it’s too late to avoid a crash. Unlike car crashes, when you’re in a motorcycle crash, there is no steel body or frame to shield you. There aren’t any seat belts or air bags either. Other than perhaps a helmet, even at relatively low speeds, you’re exposed and vulnerable to serious injuries or even death. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers and passengers of other vehicles.
As per the Governors Highway Safety Association, 4,995 motorcyclists or passengers died in motorcycle crashes in the United States in 2017. About 50,000 were injured. Of the fatalities, 162 occurred on Illinois roadways.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In 1981, the University of Southern California released a motorcycle accident study that was prepared for the U.S. Department of Transportation. It remains the most comprehensive motorcycle accident study in history. It’s primary author was Professor Harry Hurt, Jr. Here are some of the “Hurt Report” findings:
- In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle failed to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist about 67 percent of the time.
- The major cause of motorcycle accidents with other vehicles is the failure of the other motorist to detect the motorcyclist in traffic. That driver of the other vehicle either failed to see the motorcycle at all, or didn’t see it until it was too late to avoid a collision.
- The accident configuration that is most often seen is with the motorcycle going straight and the other vehicle turning in front of it.
- Intersections are the most likely place for those types of accidents to occur.
- In about half of the multiple vehicle accidents, the other driver’s vision was limited by glare or obstructed by other vehicles.
- Motorcycles present low and narrow profiles on the road. Motorcyclists need to be conspicuous by using their lights, even during daytime hours.
- The medium speed of the motorcycle before the crash was 29.8 mph. At time of impact it was 21.5 mph.
- Motorcyclists typically have less than two seconds to attempt to avoid an impact with another vehicle.
- The likelihood of injury is extremely high in multiple vehicle accidents. About 98 percent of all motorcyclists suffer some type of injury.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle crashes are usually high impact and violent events. Being thrown from a motorcycle commonly leads to severe injuries or death. Riders will likely strike moving or stationary objects in their path as well as the pavement or ground. Here are some common motorcycle accident injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: These will be caused by blunt force trauma to the head. That causes the brain to slam back and forth on the sides of the skull. Sometimes the skull is even fractured, and bone fragments penetrate the brain. In either case, permanent cognitive impairment or death can result.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Some people can overcome a spinal cord injury with treatment or therapy. A partial spinal cord tear can render a person a paraplegic. A complete tear can render him or her a quadriplegic.
- Leg, Hip and Arm Fractures: These can render a person permanently disabled. Scarring can render him or her disfigured. In either case, one or more surgeries are likely.
- Organ Damage: A rider can suffer damage to vital organs like the heart, a lung, the liver, pancreas, stomach or intestines.
- Joint Damage: Ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders and the spine are all particularly vulnerable in motorcycle accidents.
- Road Rash: Abrasions and lacerations can lead to serious infection.
If you’re able to move after a motorcycle accident, you’ll want to get away from immediate danger right away. If you are unable to call for police and an ambulance, ask somebody at the scene to do so. Then, ask paramedics to transport you to the nearest emergency room. After that, contact our offices, and arrange for a free consultation and case review. We’re going to listen to you carefully, and then, we’ll answer your questions. After that, we’ll advise you of all of the legal choices available to you. Make that call as soon as you can.