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Common Questions Regarding Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle crashes can have a devastating impact, leading to tragic loss of life or debilitating injuries. At Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. Trial Lawyers, we help accident victims and surviving family members pursue financial recovery. Here, you will benefit from our attorneys’ 75-plus years of combined experience navigating complex personal injury and wrongful death claims. Read on for answers to some of the common questions we hear about motorcycle collisions.

What are common motorcycle product defects?

Virtually any component of a motorcycle could be defective, contributing to an accident. Product defects frequently involve parts such as:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Fuel lines
  • Fuel tanks
  • Frame
  • Handlebars
  • Engines

A single part may roll off the assembly line with a defect, or there may be a problem with the part’s design, making it dangerous and unsuitable for use. Determining which part was defective often requires a detailed investigation and the involvement of experts.

What percentage of motorcyclists get in accidents?

It’s difficult to gauge exactly how many motorcyclists get involved in traffic accidents. Anecdotally, virtually every avid biker will have a story of falling off their bike or going down to avoid a more serious crash. Thankfully, many of those accidents don’t involve serious injuries.
As far as reported accidents, about 1% of registered motorcycles will get hurt or killed in a crash, according to the Insurance Information Institute. However, that statistic does not factor in how many registered motorcyclists ride their bikes with regularity.

Can being in a motorcycle accident cause PTSD?

Yes, motorcycle crashes can absolutely cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – and not only for those involved in the accident, but loved ones and those who witnessed it, as well. For survivors and surviving loved ones, it’s important to seek mental health care after an accident. PTSD can take a lasting toll on your well-being, especially when left untreated.

What is the number-one cause of motorcycle accidents?

The most common cause of motorcycle accidents, by far, is left-turning vehicles. More than one-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve left turns, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Drivers often don’t see bikers in the oncoming lane or fail to accurately judge their distance and speed, resulting in serious collisions.

Can I sue after being in a motorcycle accident?

You can bring a personal injury lawsuit if someone else contributed to the accident. Frequently, that’s another driver who was negligent – perhaps due to distracted driving, turning left in front of you or rear-ending you, for example. But it could also be the manufacturer of your bike or bike components. It could even be the government entity responsible for poor road design or dangerous intersections. In complex cases, you could have injury claims against multiple parties.

What happens if I am partially at fault for my motorcycle accident?

Illinois allows you to pursue a personal injury claim for damages even if you were partly at fault for the accident, as long as you weren’t more than 50% at fault. Under this law (called contributory negligence), the amount of damages you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Are motorcycle helmets required in Illinois?

Illinois is one of only a handful of states that does not require motorcycle riders or passengers to wear helmets. However, it’s always wise to wear a helmet anyway. Helmets lower your risk of fatal injuries by 37% and your risk of head injuries by nearly 70%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What’s the safest motorcycle you can buy?

It’s a great idea to look at safety ratings and reviews for motorcycles before you commit to a purchase. Of course, those ratings are always changing with new products and technologies. Currently, according to a list compiled by Money Inc, some of the safest models include:
  • Yamaha YZF-R6
  • Yamaha V Star 250
  • Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
  • Ducati Multistrada D-Air
  • Honda CB 650 F

Are heavier motorcycles safer?

Heavier classes of motorcycles aren’t necessarily safer. They do tend to hold up better in a crash – and withstand tougher road conditions – with more stability. However, they can be more difficult to maneuver than lighter bikes, especially for newer riders. There are pros and cons to the safety aspects of both heavy and lightweight bikes. When deciding on a bike, you should consider your skillset, as well as where you’ll be riding.

Get Answers To More Of Your Questions About Motorcycle Crashes

Learn more about the legal process and how Pfaff, Gill & Ports, Ltd., can help you navigate it to pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Our personal injury lawyers have a proven record of success securing seven- and eight-figure recoveries in serious motor vehicle accident cases. For specific guidance on your legal questions, call our office in Chicago at 312-638-2407 or send us an email. We offer free consultations.