Best Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle riders are almost 30 times more likely to die in car crashes than vehicle occupants. That chilling statistic sums up the serious injuries that these victims sustain. Perhaps even worse, vehicle operators are rarely held criminally responsible in these cases, even if they were clearly negligent and the victim died. Someone must fight for the compensation and justice that these victims and families deserve.
For almost 30 years, that “someone” has been Chicago personal injury lawyer Michael Friedman. Our legal team works diligently to gather evidence to support your legal claim for damages. Then, at both the negotiating table and in court, Michael fights aggressively to uphold your legal and financial rights. In serious injury crashes, you need an attorney like this in your corner. The insurance company has a posse of lawyers working for it, so you need an equally-experienced legal team working for you.
Establishing Liability in Chicago Motorcycle Wrecks
Driver inattention causes many motorcycle wrecks in Illinois. Most riders who have gone down probably heard the tortfeasor (negligent driver) tell the police officer something like “She came out of nowhere” or “I never saw him.” Put another way, many tortfeasors are unwilling to share the road with motorcyclists and they fail to keep a proper lookout.
Usually, the evidence in these cases supports this version of events. In Chicago motorcycle crash claims, this evidence includes items like:
- Witness Statements: Many people do not like to speak with police officers. So, an attorney’s first job sometimes involves finding additional witnesses to come forward. This task must begin almost immediately because memories fade quickly.
- EDR: Most cars have Event Data Recorders which record information like vehicle speed, engine RPM, and steering angle. Usually, numbers like this paint a clear picture of driver negligence.
- Video: Many intersections have red-light or traffic cameras, and many businesses have surveillance cameras. By piecing together this footage, an attorney can often create a visual picture for the Cook County jury.
Driver impairment also causes a number of crashes. The impairment could come from alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, lack of sleep, or distraction.
Either inattention or impairment could constitute either negligence (a lack of ordinary care) or negligence per se (violation of a safety statute). Both theories could mean that the tortfeasor, or another party, is responsible for damages.
Possible Defenses in Chicago Motorcycle Wreck Claims
Preparing a case is only part of the struggle. An aggressive attorney must also be ready to refute some insurance company defenses.
In driver inattention cases, insurance company lawyers often try the last clear chance defense. This doctrine excuses tortious conduct if the victim failed to prevent a crash. For example, if a vehicle turns left in front of a motorcycle, the insurance company could argue that the rider should have taken evasive action. This defense only applies if the victim had the last clear chance and not any possible chance.
In impairment cases, the insurance company often tries the helmet defense. If the victim was not wearing a helmet or not wearing the right kind of helmet, the insurance company tries to blame their injuries on the victims themselves. Illinois lawmakers have expressly outlawed the seatbelt defense, which is a similar doctrine. Arguably, then, the motorcycle helmet defense does not exist in Illinois.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney
Motorcycle crashes often involve complex legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Chicago, contact Michael T. Friedman & Associates, P.C. We routinely handle cases in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.