Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyers Serving Families in Schaumburg and Wheaton
Riding a motorcycle can be fun and exhilarating, but it can also be extremely dangerous. When an accident occurs, motorcycle riders are more susceptible to injuries and death than other types of motorists because their bodies are not protected by the external structure of a standard car. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, it is imperative to seek the help of a seasoned Wheaton or Schaumburg fatal motorcycle accident attorney. At Therman Law Offices, we can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and come up with a legal strategy accordingly. Our goal is to help you get the compensation that you deserve so that you can move on with your life.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim Following a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 4,976 victims passed away in motorcycle accidents across the U.S. in 2015. This number was actually an increase from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2014 findings, which revealed 4,594 fatalities. In 2014, Illinois experienced 116 deadly crashes involving motorcycles. In addition, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that from 2014 to 2015, there was a 24 percent spike in motorcycle deaths in Illinois.
Motorists in cars, vans, and trucks must be vigilant of motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and deadly accidents may result. Fatal motorcycle accidents can happen in a number of ways, such as a motorist swerving into a lane occupied by a bike, making a left-hand turn in front of a bike, rear-ending a stopped motorcycle, or following a bike too closely and being unable to stop in time.
If you have lost a loved one in a crash, a fatal motorcycle accident attorney in Schaumburg or Wheaton may be able to help you recover damages through an Illinois wrongful death claim, as permitted by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that seek monetary damages and are filed on behalf of a deceased individual. These lawsuits can be filed in almost any situation in which a loved one is killed because of someone else’s negligence. Negligence takes place when an individual fails to use reasonable care on the road. Reasonable care refers to how a prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence, the plaintiff must show that:
- The defendant owed the decedent a duty to use reasonable care;
- The defendant breached that duty; and
- The defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the motorcycle accident and the decedent’s death, as well as the damages that their loved ones incurred.
Under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, a defendant may argue that the deceased person was somewhat at fault for the events that led to their death. This is allowed because Illinois follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence does not necessarily invalidate a wrongful death claim, but it reduces the total damages award by the decedent’s share of fault. For example, if the decedent was speeding at the time of the accident, the jury may find that the decedent was 10 percent responsible for the accident and their resulting death. In such a scenario, the plaintiffs would be able to take home 90 percent of the total award (100 percent of the award minus the decedent’s share of fault).
There is a very important exception to this rule. If the decedent is found to be 50 percent or more at fault for the accident and their death, the plaintiffs are barred from recovering anything at all. In other words, the defendant will prevail.
Hire a Knowledgeable Fatal Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to speak to a dedicated motor vehicle collision lawyer. At Therman Law Offices, we can zealously advocate for your rights and the compensation that you deserve. While no amount of money can undo the pain of losing someone, the compensation may be necessary to handle the financial burdens that a sudden death can cause for most people. Our Wheaton and Schaumburg fatal motorcycle accident attorneys also represent families in cities such as Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood, Elgin, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Bensenville, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale, and Roselle. To talk to us in more detail about your case at no cost, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.