Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

While motorcycle accidents are not as numerous as car accidents, they are significantly more dangerous. Because motorcyclists are not shielded by the same protective barriers as occupants of passenger vehicles, motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities than car accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 96,000 motorcyclists were injured and 5,290 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2008.

Motorcycle Accidents and Helmet Laws

Many of the fatalities from motorcycle accidents are the result of serious brain injury. These injuries are far more likely if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. Helmets are mandated by law for all riders or riders under a certain age in some states. In states with mandatory helmet laws, failure to wear a helmet may have some impact on a motorcyclist’s personal injury claim for an accident. In some cases, failure to wear a helmet may be considered an act of negligence that could limit recovery for damages. Illinois currently does not have a mandatory helmet law.

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Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Most motorcycle accidents are not caused by the motorcyclists themselves. Most motorcycle accidents are cased by motorists in other vehicles failing to see a motorcyclist or failing to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist. Additional common causes for motorcycle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Bad weather
  • Improper braking and turning
  • Bad road conditions
  • Road hazards
  • Lane splitting
  • Alcohol-related accidents

Determining the cause of any motor vehicle accident is vital to establishing fault for the accident and seeking damages. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s critical to hire a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible so an investigation into your case can begin immediately. At Ankin Law, our attorneys are skilled in handling motorcycle accident cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your case with our firm.

Illinois Motorcycle Helmet Laws Attorneys

Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets in 20 states. Illinois does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, but the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual urges riders to use helmets that fit snugly, have no obvious defects and meet U.S. Department of Transportation and safety standards. According to the Manual, one in five motorcycle accidents results in head or neck injuries, which can be reduced by the proper wearing of an approved helmet.

The Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to supporting safe motorcycle riding practices and protecting the rights of motorcycle riders who are injured as a result of the negligence of another motorist. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle accident, contact one of our experienced Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys to learn more about whether you may be able to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Required Protection

Although Illinois does not require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, other states do require helmet use. Illinois does require riders to wear protective eye gear, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen. Motorcycles must also be equipped with a passenger seat and a footrest for passengers.

What to Do If You Are In a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries or even death, and the legal issues regarding liability can be particularly complex for a motorcycle accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need the advice and counsel of a skilled Illinois personal injury lawyer that is familiar with motorcycle laws and liability issues. The Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Ankin Law have represented victims of motor vehicle accidents, including auto accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents, for years and we are highly knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to personal injury and wrongful death claims.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact one of our knowledgeable Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and remedies following a motorcycle accident.

Liability for Accidents Caused While Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is the dangerous practice of moving between lanes of vehicles that are moving in the same direction but may be stopped or are moving slower than the motorcycle moving between them. Lane splitting is also referred to as lane sharing, white lining, filtering or white-striping and it is illegal in most states. According to the Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual, “ automobiles and motorcycles need a full lane to operate safely and, therefore, lane sharing is usually prohibited.” Regardless of whether lane spitting is prohibited or not, it is a risky practice than can increase the chances of an accident occurring.

The Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Ankin Law are familiar with lane splitting and other motorcycle laws and we will advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies following a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting.

Liability for accidents caused when a motorcyclist is lane splitting depends a great deal on whether or not lane splitting is illegal in that state. Most states prohibit lane splitting but the laws of each state vary on the specific practices that are illegal, only California allows lane splitting.

Liability also depends on whether the other driver contributed to the accident in some way, such as inattentive driving, cell-phone use while driving, changing lanes too quickly or driving while intoxicated.

Other Factors Affecting Liability

Other factors that can affect liability if an accident occurs while a motorcycle is lane splitting, include:

  • Whether the motorcyclist was riding safely by not speeding or weaving in and out of lanes or between cars
  • Whether the motorcyclist is an experienced rider
  • Whether the motorcyclist has completed a motorcycle safety course

Motorcycle Accident Advocates You Can Trust

Because the issues of liability for motorcycle accidents involving lane splitting can be complex, the advice and representation of a skilled Illinois motorcycle attorney is critical. The Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Ankin Law are familiar with Illinois motorcycle laws and the variety of legal issues that can arise following a motorcycle accident. Contact one of our skilled Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys to learn more about your rights and remedies following a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting.

Chicago Road Hazards Attorneys

Motorcycles are much more susceptible to accidents due to road hazards. Motorcycle riders must pay close attention to the road surface and take care when encountering a road hazard. The knowledgeable Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Ankin Law, LLC have considerable experience representing victims in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. Contact one of our skilled Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and remedies following a motorcycle accident.

Common Road Hazards

Some common road hazards that can cause serious accidents for motorcycle riders include:

  • Railroad tracks and crossing areas
  • Cattle guards
  • Oil, antifreeze and other slippery car fluids
  • Snow, ice and rain
  • Gravel on pavement
  • Leaves, especially if wet
  • Crosswalks and painted road lines, which can become extremely slick when wet
  • Telephone poles, downed trees and objects in the roadway
  • Potholes and wheel ruts
  • Edge breaks (two traffic lanes are different heights)

Obligations to Maintain Roads

It is the obligation of the federal, state and municipal governments to maintain their roadways. Failure to properly maintain roads in a safe condition can cause accidents to occur – accidents that are often more serious for motorcycles. Frequently, these accidents could have been avoided if they road had been properly maintained.

How We Can Help

Motorcycle accidents caused by road hazards present several complicated legal issues. The knowledgeable Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys at Ankin Law have experienced dealing with complex legal issues, such as negligence, insurance coverage and third party causes of action. Our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys have represented victims of a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents, including auto accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents, in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been in an accident caused by a road hazard, contact one of our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident.

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