Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

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.
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A Chicago motorcycle crash attorney at Abels & Annes has settled a case on behalf of a Skokie resident.

This claim stems from a car vs. motorcycle accident that occurred on July 2, 2010 in Northfield Township, Illinois. Our client was driving a motorcycle westbound on Euclid Avenue approximately .25 miles East of River Road. At that time the defendant, who was driving a 2008 Jeep grand Cherokee, rear-ended the plaintiff’s motorcycle. The biker was knocked off his bike and onto the pavement, landing on his left side and back. The negligent motorist fled the scene of the accident but was tracked down by witnesses a short time later.

Cook County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene of the accident. The driver admitted to police that he rear-ended the plaintiff, and that he left the scene of the accident. The Sheriff’s Department ticketed the defendant with three separate counts of leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

On the date of the crash, the plaintiff was treated at Glenbrook Hospital due to road rash abrasions on his back. He was instructed to ice the affected areas over the next 48 hours, take pain medication as needed, and follow-up with a physician for further evaluation.

Shortly after the accident, the motorcyclist started to experience neck and back pain. On July 7, 2010 he followed up with a doctor’s office. He rated his back pain as 9/10, stating that the pain was constant and he was having difficulty sitting and difficulty at work. His neck pain was rated as 4-5/10. He was also experiencing significant pain in both his right and left big toes. He was diagnosed with cervical sprain, lumbosacral sprain with a possible bulging disc, and bilateral first digit toe injuries. At that time diagnostic tests were ordered, and he was to be reevaluated for physical therapy after test results.

On July 8, 2000 he underwent an MRI. The scan revealed no significant injuries. X-rays were negative for fractures.

The plaintiff then started a course of physical therapy consisted of electric stimulation, heat treatment, manual therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, mechanical traction, chiropractic manipulation, and therapeutic exercises. He attended physical therapy on 12 occasions that lasted through August 10, 2010.

On July 20, 2010 my client was examined by a medical doctor. The physician diagnosed our client with a lumbar disc injury, cervical and lumbar sprain/strain, big toe injury/contusion, and stress/anxiety due to the accident.

On August 10, 2010 he was again examined by the doctor. At that time the client was still having intermittent neck pain and low back pain that would increase with prolonged sitting, and decrease with rest and therapy. The doctor gave a diagnosis of lumbar sprain/strain that had improved, cervical sprain/strain that had improved, and bilateral toe injuries that had resolved. He was discharged from treatment at that time.

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A Chicago-area motorcycle crash that occurred on Friday night on Interstate 88 has claimed the life of an Aurora resident, according to the Beacon News. A witness to the accident is saying that an Illinois state trooper caused the accident.

The victim, age 29, was riding to Chicago with two friends who were on two separate motorcycles. According to state police, around 9:15 PM in the area of Winfield Road, one of the bikers swerved in front of the other, and that led to the second biker taking evasive action.

But a friend of the motorcyclist killed is stating that a state trooper was the main factor in causing the accident. The witness is saying that the motorcyclists were cut off by a police car. The witness was reportedly riding around 150 feet behind the accident.

He says that, for reasons unknown, the police vehicle passed motorcycle riders, and then hit the brakes. This caused the victim to swerve, but he was unable to complete the maneuver, and was ejected off of his bike. He might have then been hit by a passing truck. The rider next to him was able to pull his cycle over to the side of the interstate.

Witnesses also said that the state police car did not have lights or sirens activated. The other bikers did not know the vehicle was a police car until it passed them by.

A spokesperson for the Illinois State Police is stating that the accident is still under investigation and that no further information is being released yet. They are also saying it is also unknown yet if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. However, the victim’s friends and stated that he had not been drinking and that he was wearing a motorcycle helmet.

To make matters worse, it is being alleged that when the victim’s wife arrived at the scene, she started to run towards the victim and was then tackled by police, causing minor injuries.

It is further being reported that friends and family of the deceased have called in a branch of the NAACP to help fully investigate the occurrence. Other than the fact that the victim was African-American, there is no other reason given as to why the NAACP was contacted, and no other indication that race played a role in the state trooper’s alleged actions. Further, it was nighttime and the victim was wearing a helmet, so it is unclear as to how the state trooper would have known the race of the motorcyclist.

It has not been reported if a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer is involved in the case yet or if a civil lawsuit has been filed.

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A Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer at Abels & Annes was able to secure compensation for a biker’s injuries after negotiating a settlement for the full policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance, as well as additional payments from an under-insured motorist claim and a medical benefits claim.

On August 27, 2010, the victim was riding his Honda motorcycle northbound on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago when he approached the intersection with Paulina Street. As he proceeded through the intersection, a man driving a 1998 Chevy Blazer southbound on Milwaukee initiated a left turn onto Paulina without adequately checking if he had a safe path to travel and T-boned the victim.

The front driver’s side of the negligent motorist’s vehicle hit the left side of the victim’s motorcycle, striking the rider’s left leg in the process. The force of the impact ejected the victim from his motorcycle, causing him to land on his back and skid 20 feet across the pavement. The Chicago Police Department arrived at the scene and ticketed the driver of the Chevy for failing to yield when making a left turn, which he was found guilty of at trial.

It has been a dangerous week of Chicago area motorcycle crashes as a string of collisions have the claimed the lives of five people.

A 37 year-old woman was killed in Dolton, Illinois after a man driving a Ford SUV failed to yield to her before taking a left turn, causing her to collide into the SUV. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the motorist involved in SUV vs. motorcycle crash, who was driving with his 16 year-old nephew, exited his vehicle, removed his license plate, and attempted to leave the scene after the accident. A group of residents were able to restrain the man until police arrived, however, and he was soon placed under arrest.

According to 2008 nationwide statistics from the NSTSA, these types of accidents, where an automobile driver taking a left turn fails to yield to an oncoming motorcyclist, accounted for 41% of all fatal accidents involving a motorcycle and another car. This type of collision is particularly dangerous because the rider’s momentum continues as their vehicle comes to a sudden halt, resulting in them being launched headfirst into the street at a high velocity.

In another incident, a 26 year-old man and a 23 year-old woman were killed in Wheeling after the motorcycle they were riding lost control and struck a utility box. The Chicago Daily Herald is reporting that prior to the crash, Buffalo Grove police attempted to pull over the man and his passenger after they sped away from a gas station on the 200 block of Milwaukee Avenue. After seeing the officer’s emergency lights, the pair sped away at what was described as a high rate of speed. As is protocol, the officer did not pursue the riders and alerted the Wheeling police that a speeding motorcycle was headed their way.

Soon after, at about 3:07 a.m., Wheeling police responded to a crash at the intersection of Milwaukee Road and Center Avenue where the riders were found dead. It appears that the riders, who were not wearing helmets at the time, were traveling at a right rate of speed when the driver lost control. Police are still working on reconstructing exactly how the crash occurred.

The Chicago Tribune reported on two other accidents where motorcyclists were killed as well. The first occurred in Glenview, Illinois when a 26 year-old man failed to obey a stop sign on Magnolia Street before attempting a left turn onto East Lake Avenue. A driver traveling eastbound down the center lane struck the rider, who was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. The other accident reported in the Tribune involved a 51 year-old man who died after rear-ending a car on the Dan Ryan expressway and losing control of his vehicle.

Summers are traditionally a dangerous time for riders in Illinois. After the long winter, motorcyclists come out in droves to take advantage of the state’s warm weather and lack of mandatory helmet laws. In fact, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the number of registered motorcycles in Illinois has risen 76% since 1999 to go along with the 26% increase in fatalities during that same period.

While motorcyclists cannot control the negligence of automobile drivers on the road, there are a number of things they can do to hopefully reduce their injuries:

• WEAR A HELMET! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that wearing a helmet saved the lives of 1,829 riders in 2008 • Drive defensively and do not assume other drivers can see you or are aware of your presence. The NHTSA reports that the majority of multiple-vehicle motorcycle accidents happen because the motorist does not see the rider • Make sure your lights are functioning so people can see you • Don’t drive too fast. Even experienced riders can lose control
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Active Transportation Alliance continues to offer resources to bicyclists and pedestrians and their families — including support groups for injury victims, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Our Chicago accident lawyers understand that bicyclists and pedestrians are most vulnerable to suffering serious or fatal injuries in an accident.The Tribune reports that 34 people were killed and 503 were severely injured in Chicago pedestrian accidents in 2009. Chicago bicycle accidents killed six riders and seriously injured 165 that same year.

The Alliance offers support groups that meet once a month in the conference room of the organization’s downtown office — it is perhaps the only group of its kind in the country. The organization is dedicated to biking and walking safety. The support group is facilitated by personnel from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

The organization also operates a crash support hotline, which it started in 2010.

The group was instrumental in pushing for the tracking of bicycle accidents caused by dooring, as we reported recently on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog.

The Alliance is sponsoring the Ride Lake Shore Drive event on May 29, one of spring’s most popular cycling events.

The group is also promoting the Bike Commuter Challenge June 11-17 Continue reading

The United States Department of Transportation recently reported a 2 percent drop in motorcycle deaths. The country experienced 80 fewer motorcycle fatalities from January through September of 2010 as the same time period the year before, according to The New York Times.

Typically this wouldn’t be cause for celebration. However, motorcycle accidents had been on the rise for more than a decade, despite a steady decline in the overall number of traffic accidents nationwide.Our Chicago car accident lawyers remind motorists that spring is the most dangerous time of the year for Illinois motorcycle accidents. While officials are cautiously optimistic regarding the decrease, many do not expect it to last. As conditions in our state improve along with the nation’s economy, officials worry that the risks of a motorcycle accident in Illinois will increase as well.

“The drop is all in the front half of the year,” said report author Jim Hedlund, a safety consultant. “It looks very much as if we’ve hit bottom and may be starting back up again.”

More than 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There were an additional 96,000 motorcyclists injured in the same year. Illinois saw more than 120 fatalities in 2009.

“Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable of highway users, and we want to work together to promote motorcycle safety and help protect all of the motoring public,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.

As we recently discussed on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, a campaign was launched in Illinois to address the number of accidents that involve fault on the part of the rider. The “Gear Up” campaign kicked off statewide in effort to encourage riders receive the proper motorcycle riding training and to wear proper equipment while biking. The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Gold Wing Road Riders Association and a Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) were the organizations behind the campaign.

The Illinois Department of Transportation offers these motorcycle safety tips to help our riders stay safe on our roadways:

-Drive to survive. As the smallest vehicles on our roadways, a motorist is not offered much physical protection in the event of an accident. Drivers are asked to pay close attention to signals, other vehicles and brake lights. Always practice defensive driving and be extra cautious of the movement of other vehicles.

-Never ride between lanes, share a lane with another vehicle or drive aggressively.

-As motorcycles accelerate faster than other vehicles, it is important for you to keep a close eye on your speed.

-Wear protective gear. Motorcycle riders should often wear a helmet, a jacket, gloves and boots to protect themselves from debris, unpleasant weather conditions or an accident.

-Be aware of no-zones. As all vehicles have blind spots, be sure to steer clear of these areas. If you can’t see the driver the driver can’t see you.
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The government has released a report detailing a half-century of safety initiatives as part of the reason for the historic decline in serious and fatal car accidents. However, as our Chicago injury lawyers have reported, the economic downturn has also played a significant role in the reduction. And, as the economy slowly recovers, the number of fatal Illinois car accidents is again on the rise.

Car accidents and traffic fatalities have been declining steadily since reaching a peak of 43,510 in 2005. Most recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that traffic fatalities declined from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808 last year — a level not seen since the 33,186 deaths that occurred on the nation’s roads in 1950.

Safety officials are quick to point toward the success of enforcement efforts aimed at increasing seat belt use and reducing drunk driving.”Today’s numbers reflect the tangible benefits of record seat belt use and strong anti-drunk driving enforcement campaigns,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in announcing the record-low fatalities. “But we are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving. We will continue to work with our state partners to strictly enforce both seat belt use and anti-drunk driving laws across this nation, every day and every night.”

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have frequently reported the drastic decline in traffic crashes. But recently that trend has changed. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 746 people have died in Illinois car accidents thus far in 2010, compared to 742 during the same period a year ago.

That increase could be linked to the (albeit slow) economic recovery — many cite the sagging economy as a primary reason for the reduction. To counter this argument, the government points to an overall increase in miles traveled. However, it does not report whether a significant reduction in peak congestion (due to high unemployment and less holiday and vacation travel) could be partially responsible.

Additionally, not every category bears good news: Motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents have continued to increase over a three-year moving average.

Recently, the government completed a study that does offer some insight into where the reductions are occurring, even if the reasons why remain a mystery.

-Crashes involving young drivers declined 17 percent between 2007 and 2008.

-Fatalities involving children under the age of 16 decreased by 20 percent.

-Multiple-vehicle fatalities decreased by 13 percent.

-Fatalities involving large trucks decreased by 12 percent.

-Weekend fatalities decreased by 11 percent.

The government cites a number of safety milestones along the historic downward trend in traffic fatalities that began in the 1970s:

1968: Front-seat lap and shoulder belts are required for all vehicles.

1970: NHTSA is formed by an act of Congress.

1971: Standardized training for EMTs.

1974: Nationwide 55mph speed limit enacted by Congress in response to energy crisis.

1978: First child safety-seat law enacted.

1980: Mothers Against Drunk Driving is formed.

1984: First seat-belt law enacted by New York.

1987: Passive restraint rules (airbags) began with the 1987 model year.

1988: All 50 states have raised minimum drinking age to 21.

1990: NHTSA begins providing crash worthiness tests.

1996: Safety campaign to move children to rear seats.

1998: All 50 states have zero tolerance alcohol policy for drivers under 21.

2002: First nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

2005: All 50 states have .08 legal limit for alcohol.

2008: Seat belt use up to 83 percent as states continue to enact primary enforcement laws.

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El Sun-Times de Chicago informa que un carro de Chicago contra accidente de motocicleta ha resultado en la muerte de un residente local. El accidente ocurrió en la madrugada del lunes por el bloque 3700 Norte de la Lake Shore Drive.

La investigación de los agentes de policías informan que la motocicleta golpeó la parte trasera del otro vehículo y que ambos intentaron cambiar de carril, al mismo tiempo. El motociclista fue lanzado fuera de su vehículo y golpeó el pavimento. Fue pronunciada muerta en la escena. Ella llevaba puesto un casco.

El conductor implicado no resultó herido, y no emitió ninguna violación móvil en la escena. Sin embargo, el conductor recibió tres violaciónes de cumplimiento (No se informo de que fueron las violaciónes).

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that a Chicago car versus motorcycle accident has resulted in the death of a local resident. The accident occurred early Monday morning and 3700 block of N. Lakeshore Dr.

Investigating police officers reporting that the motorcycle hit the back of another vehicle as both attempted to change lanes at the same time. The motorcyclist was thrown off her vehicle and struck the pavement. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was wearing a helmet.

The driver involved was not injured, and was not issued any moving violations at the scene. However, the driver was given three compliance violations (what the violations were for was not reported).

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