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.
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:
- 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 Office, 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.