Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Automobile accidents are serious, but motorcycle accidents are particularly troubling. These collisions occur in split seconds, and can have devastating effects on not just one person’s health, but on an entire family’s wellbeing.
Because motorcycle accidents can be so complex and devastating, it’s important to have a legal advisor who’s experienced and prepared to fight for you. The Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team is renowned for its advocacy for motorcycle accident victims, and our Chicago team is ready to help you, and your family, recover from your accident.
We know first-hand how serious injuries can be after a motorcycle accident.
Our Chicago team, including the lawyers at our partner firms, are committed to getting you, and your family, the financial recovery you deserve. We can do this through a settlement, in arbitration, in mediation or through a verdict.
If I was in a motorcycle accident should I try to settle it myself or do I need an attorney?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle collision, you should always cooperate with the police on the scene. However, you should talk to an attorney before you agree to anything with an opposing party’s insurance provider.
If you have major injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident that results in only minor injury or damage to your property, you may want to work with the insurance company to settle your claim and cover your damages.
However, it is important to note that many times the insurance company’s adjusters ask questions in a way that may make you admit liability, so if your injuries are serious it is important to speak with an attorney that will be able to advise you whether you have a viable personal injury claim.
At no point should you admit fault without talking to an attorney, and you should not make any official statements to an insurance company without first consulting a lawyer. You should know your rights – and the full extent of the collision – before talking to any insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
If I am involved in a motorcycle accident in Illinois, how long do I have to file a lawsuit for personal injuries?
Time limits in which a plaintiff (injured person) must file a lawsuit or be barred from doing so are called statute of limitations.
A plaintiff must file a lawsuit for personal injuries within two years of the date of the accident. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202. If the plaintiff fails to file the lawsuit within this time, they will be prevented from doing so and will never receive damages for their injuries. Plaintiffs under the age of 18 have within two years after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-211(a).
Do motorcycle riders in Illinois have to have insurance?
In the state of Illinois, all drivers must carry liability coverage insurance. 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-601(a). The minimums each driver must carry are: (1) $25,000 liability coverage per person for death or injury; (2) $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people; and (3) $20,000 for property damage. 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-203. If a driver does not have this mandatory liability insurance, their license plates may be suspended. 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/7-601.
Additionally, if you drive a motorcycle in Illinois you must carry uninsured/underinsured coverage. The minimum must equal the amount of your liability coverage, which is $25,000. 215 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/143a. Having uninsured/underinsured coverage is very important because it will cover you, or your passengers, if you are in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages.
If my insurance company asks me questions concerning the accident should I answer them?
Yes, you should answer your insurance company’s questions involving the accident. However, it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney before speaking with your insurance company. Insurance claims adjusters are trained to ask you questions that may make you answer in their favor. Speaking with an attorney first will provide you guidance regarding the value of your settlement, the terms of your insurance policy, or if you suspect bad faith on the part of your insurance company.
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts me, do I have to speak with them?
No. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, it is best to obtain the name, number and claim number of the adjuster calling, and then respectfully decline to speak with them. Insurance companies’ claims adjusters are highly trained to get the best outcome for the insurance company, and at times the adjusters are attorneys themselves. After you have all of the pertinent information, have your attorney contact the insurance company.
Should I go to the doctor after minor injuries relating to my motorcycle accident?
Yes. It is highly recommended that you see a medical professional after being involved in a motorcycle accident, whether or not you see any visible injuries or notice any symptoms that may be related to your accident. You may have internal injuries that may be serious and would not be noticed until weeks after the accident. Seeing a medical professional is important because it documents any injuries sustained from the accident, and it makes sure that you are being treated for any unforeseen injuries related to the accident.
May I recover lost wages if I was injured in a motorcycle accident?
Yes. In Illinois, you may recover damages to compensate for your injuries. This may include past and future lost wages, salaries, sick time and vacation time that you had to take while in the hospital, or during your recovery.
While I was riding my motorcycle I was involved in an accident because a car turned left in front of me. Who is at fault?
Generally, a car making a left turn is almost always liable for a collision with a motorcycle coming straight in the other direction. There may be exceptions to this rule, such as if the motorcycle going straight was going well over the speed limit, or ran a red light.
Do I have to wear a helmet while I drive my motorcycle in Illinois?
Many states have enacted mandatory helmet use laws for motorcycle riders and their passengers; however, Illinois does not have a law requiring a motorcycle rider or passengers to wear a helmet.
In Illinois what type of damages may I receive from injuries relating to my motorcycle accident?
The Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions states that a plaintiff may claim damages for disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, past and future emotional distress, medical expenses, past and future lost wages, caretaking costs, and any shortened life expectancy of the plaintiff when involved in an accident.
How much will a personal injury attorney charge to handle my case?
The Lamber Goodnow legal team does not charge a fee for the initial consultation or to review facts that surround your case. We assist clients on a contingency fee basis, which means our lawyers only get paid when we secure a settlement or verdict. However, this does not include court-filing fees, costs related to deposing a witness, or medical records. Contact our office to schedule a consultation so that we may evaluate your specific case.
What if I was in a motorcycle accident and the person who caused the accident does not have insurance; or it was a hit and run accident?
If you have followed the Illinois law requiring drivers to obtain uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance should cover (up to your maximum) your damages.
Illinois law requires that drivers obtain uninsured and hit and run motorist coverage with limits that are equal to your bodily injury liability coverage ($25,000). 215 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/143a. This uninsured motorist coverage will pay for injuries to you, or your passengers, if a person who does not have insurance hit you. Additionally, most hit and run accidents are covered under the driver’s uninsured or underinsured portion of their insurance policy.
When you hire us, we’ll launch an investigation on your behalf. This thorough process includes evaluating not only the police report, evidence and witness statements from the incident, but also conducting our own independent analysis of the accident.
We may work with accident reconstructionists and experts ranging from medical professional to vocational experts who can help explain your injuries and prognosis.
We’ll also be able to understand the factors that went into the collision so we can properly establish liability, and put the best case forward on your behalf.
While we investigate, we’ll be looking for evidence of these factors in your motorcycle collision:
- Sudden left turns
- Unexpected lane changes
- Cutting corners
- Suddenly stopping
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Sudden breaking
- Unexpected turns
- Hazardous road conditions
- Manufacturing issues with the motorcycle and/or its safety equipment
While our team analyzes all this information, well make assessments as to the value of the damages. Our goal is to get you the maximum possible compensation for your injuries and damages.
If we’re able to successfully prove negligence and liability – through a settlement or a verdict in your favor – you may receive compensation. Typically, this compensation covers these types of expenses and costs:
- Medical bills
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Any damage to your future earning potential
- Psychological injury
- Disability or permanent injury
- Living expenses during recovery
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois
According to the CDC, more than 500 motorcyclists have been killed on roadways in Illinois since 2000 – almost half of them in Cook County alone. Because of the exposed nature of riding in a motorcycle, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries and even death than other victims in roadway accidents.
If you’re driving a car, it’s important to always be on the lookout for other vehicles, especially motorcycles. When we drive inattentively or fail to look at our surroundings, we put innocent cyclists at risk.
When we take on a new case in Chicago or throughout Illinois, one of our first tasks is proving negligence. We investigate the scene, the reports, your injuries, and work to protect your rights.
The Lamber Goodnow Difference
We know you have many options when it comes to who will handle your personal injury case, but we believe that the lawyers with the Lamber Goodnow team are different, and special. And our track record – and the opinions of our colleagues – proves it.
Our work is continually recognized for being not only innovative, but also successful. We were among the first lawyers to employ technology such as iPads and Google Glass to help our clients with their cases. We search for creative ways to tell our clients’ stories and help explain their injuries and the effect they’ve had on their families.
Our No-Fee Promise
While we’re researching your case and developing a strategy – and throughout the entire process of handling your case, you won’t have to pay us a fee for our work. We call this our No-Fee Promise. It means that we don’t get paid for our efforts unless and until we recover money on your behalf in a settlement or a verdict in your favor.
You can call our Chicago team today at (312) 757-7777, 24/7 to learn more. Our team has motorcycle accident attorneys at our firm and our partner firms ready to consult with you, listen to your case and help determine the best course of action.
When you schedule an appointment with us, your initial consultation is free and you’re under no obligation to hire us. It’s your chance to tell us your story, let us listen, and ask us questions. We’ll give you recommendations, and then you and your family can decide the best course of action for your case.
 Helmet Laws, Illinois DMV, http://www.dmv.org/il-illinois/safety-laws.php#-Helmet-Laws-.
 Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions (Civil) Nos. 30.02-30.09.