Last month, a 42-year-old Stone Park man was killed in a motorcycle collision on the Northwest side of Chicago. Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said the motorcycle driver was headed east on West Diversey Avenue when a sport utility vehicle (SUV) pulled out of a parking lot in front of him. The motorcyclist reportedly struck the side of the SUV prior to being thrown from his bike. According to police, a second vehicle also struck the man’s Harley Davidson and fled the scene of the crash. Following the accident, the 42-year-old man was transported to Loyola University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The crash is currently under investigation by the police department’s Major Accident Investigation Unit. Greer stated the 28-year-old driver of the SUV was ticketed for failing to yield and driving without a valid operator’s license. It is unclear whether the man killed was wearing a helmet at the time of the fatal crash. Currently, there is no motorcycle rider helmet law in the State of Illinois.
In 2010, 4,013 motorcycle accidents were reported in Illinois. Although motorcycle crashes accounted for less than two percent of all motor vehicle accidents, they represented more than 14 percent of all Illinois traffic fatalities. Still, because riding a motorcycle is an economical means of travel, the number of registered motorcycles throughout our state has increased in recent years.
As this tragic case demonstrates, motorcycle riders are frequently catastrophically injured or killed when involved in a collision with another vehicle. Because motorcycles offer little protection, drivers may suffer traumatic head and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, paralysis, burn injuries, or even death. Despite that some believe motorcyclists are more likely to engage in speeding and other unsafe behavior, the majority of motorcycle accidents in Illinois are caused by another motorist’s negligence. Because Illinois is a comparative negligence accident state, a motorcyclist may still be able to recover compensation for any injuries sustained in a collision even if he or she was partially to blame. If you or a close family member were hurt in a Chicago motorcycle crash, you should contact a qualified attorney as soon as you are able.