Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Allison VanDerMaelen was riding on the back of a motorcycle that was approaching an intersection. A garbage truck driven by Robert Choinski for CWPM, LLC was traveling westbound while the motorcycle was eastbound.

Choinski’s garbage truck crossed the centerline and entered the eastbound lane crashing head on into the motorcycle.

VanDerMaelen suffered serious injuries including brain hemorrhaging, chest trauma, and multiple fractures. She underwent numerous surgeries and was hospitalized for almost three months. She then underwent six months of physical therapy, rehabilitation and additional leg surgeries. VanDerMaelen continues to suffer pain and restrictions in her daily living activities and uses a wheelchair or walker to move around.

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Motorcyclists have a higher fatality rate than drivers of cars. This is due to many factors, but one is the fact that motorists frequently fail to notice motorcycles. In many accidents, the motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet. In some instances, motorcyclists are traveling at high rates of speed, and they collide with a car or truck. Such was the case in the death of D.S.

D.S. was operating a motorcycle eastbound on Aug. 31, 2008 on Higgins Road in Schaumburg when he entered the intersection at Mall Drive with a green light. He was cut off by a car operated by the defendant, T.W. She was making a U-turn from westbound Higgins to head eastbound.

D.S. was killed in the crash. He was survived by his wife and three mnior children. D.S. was a firefighter and paramedic with the Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Department. At the time of the accident, he was driving a high-performance motorcycle on his way to a charity run.

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The Illinois Appellate Court has ruled in favor of a motorcycle rider who lost a leg in an accident and sought a $1 million judgment against Allstate Insurance Co. This decision might have gone differently for Allstate, but the insurer made several very serious errors in its handling of the case.

This case was reported in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

The accident occurred on June 30, 2006, when the driver, E.H., allegedly drove a truck through a stop sign and smashed into the side of a motorcycle driven by S.K., whose leg later had to be amputated. The truck was owned by a third party, L.S.

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A Cook County jury has found in favor of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Group Inc., Illinois Harvey-Davidson Sales Inc. and Nissin Brake Ohio Inc. after the death of a husband and wife who were killed in a motorcycle accident on May 23, 2006.

The husband and wife, G.R. and S.R., were traveling northbound on Houbolt Road in Joliet, Ill., on a green light when a southbound car driven by an uninsured motorist made a left turn in front of them to access the eastbound Interstate 80 entrance ramp. A collision occurred that killed both G.R. and S.R.

The husband was operating a 2005 Harvey-Davidson 1200R Sportstar Motorcycle. He sustained multiple traumatic injuries and died a short time later in the emergency room. His wife, age 57, died at the scene of the crash. The couple had no children.

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When it comes to car accident lawsuits, a jury will very rarely reward a driver for engaging in dangerous behavior. This trend held true in the motorcycle accident case of Edward Utterback, Janette Simons v. Dawn Isenhart, 09 L 15849. The jury found in favor of the defendant after determining that the plaintiff motorcycle driver was 100 percent at fault for the accident.

The motorcycle crash occurred near the Chicago intersection of Clark Street and Granville Avenue. The defendant, Dawn Isenhart, was making a right-hand turn into the parking lot of the Raven Theater. As Isenhart turned, she collided with Edward Utterback’s motorcycle, throwing both he and his passenger from the vehicle.

Utterback sustained a rib contusion, or bruise, and suffered from neck pain following the motorcycle accident. Janette Simons, his passenger, fractured her right collar bone, sustained “road rash,” and required stitches. She also reportedly lost consciousness at the scene of the crash.

Both Utterback and Simons filed a personal injury claim against Isenhart in which they contended that Isenhart’s negligent driving caused their injuries. And while both parties initially included lost wage claims for their missed time from work, Utterback withdrew his claim prior to the Cook County trial.

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Cell phones have made it easier for people to stay connected and to access data while on the go. However, cell phones can cause car accidents, whether the driver is using them to talk or to text. And while many states, including Illinois, have passed bans on the use of cell phones while driving, doing so has not been able to halt the use of cell phones while driving.

Consequently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is looking for other strategies to halt the use of cell phones while driving. Last week it suggested that insurance companies could help limit this widespread problem if they simply refused to pay out for accident claims caused by drivers texting or talking on their cell phones.

And while the NTSB’s idea makes sense and even seems like it could work, insurance companies are not jumping on board. To explain their reluctance to adopt the NTSB’s suggestions, insurance companies explained that one of the main reasons to have insurance is that insurance companies will cover the cost of injuries even if the auto accident is caused by careless or even reckless behavior. And as an insurance specialist and spokesperson for the Consumer Federation of America said, “An accident is an accident.”

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In auto accident lawsuits, it is somewhat common for the defendant driver to admit liability, but still dispute the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. However, somewhat less typical is for the defendant driver to dispute the degree to which surviving family members suffer in the event that the plaintiff driver died in the car accident. Yet this is what happened in the McHenry County lawsuit of Estate of Patrick Harder, deceased v. Morgan Nooraee, 08 L 54.

The motorcycle accident at issue in Harder took place on Route 14 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. At the time of the accident, the 44 year-old Patrick Harder was driving his motorcycle along Route 14 when Morgan Nooraee turned his vehicle in front of Harder. The two vehicles collided and Harder was killed on impact.

A wrongful death lawsuit was then filed against Nooraee on behalf of Harder’s closest surviving kin, i.e., his eight year-old son. And while Nooraee unequivocally admitted liability for the motorcycle accident and Harder’s death, he argued over the extent which Harder’s death affected his surviving child. Harder did not live with his son, nor was Harder the primary financial caregiver for his child. Therefore, the defense argued that Harder’s son should not be allowed to benefit from his death.

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As we near road construction season in Chicago, as motorists it is important to be on the lookout for changes in road conditions near construction sites. However, the summertime is not the only time Chicago motorists need to be concerned with poor road conditions. Sometimes bad road conditions result not from regular wear and tear, but rather from low quality road repairs. The personal injury case below is an example of these types of accidents.

The Illinois motorcycle accident occurred when plaintiff was attempting to stop his motorcycle while driving along 163rd Street in Homer Glen, Illinois. However, at the time, he was driving in the same area where the City of Homer Glen had contracted a storm sewer installation in August of 2005. As part of the storm sewer installation, the subcontractor, Dalton Brothers, had cut a four foot trench near the intersection of 163rd Street and Cedar Road. Instead of repaving this trench, Dalton Brothers simply filled it up with loose gravel.

However, by the time the plaintiff was driving his motorcycle over this same area, that gravel had worn away, leaving a six to eight inch depression in the road. Because the roadwork was finished, there were no signs to signal to motorists the dangerous road conditions; the plaintiff had no obvious warning that what he was about to drive over was gravel, not pavement. Needless to say, the plaintiff’s motorcycle skidded as he attempted to stop on the loose gravel.

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In a recent Cook County, Illinois jury trial, an Illinois personal injury verdict was reached against the City of Chicago and in favor of a motorcyclist who suffered severe nerve injuries when he was thrown from his motorcycle on Lake Shore Drive in a collision with a Chicago Police car. Ross v. City of Chicago, 07 L 8907.

The verdict was returned after a 3 day retrial of the case. The jury also found that the man was 10% responsible for causing the motorcycle accident.

The motorcyclist, Brian Ross suffered nerve damage at the cervical region of his spinal cord resulting in the complete loss of motor function and sensation in his left arm and hand.

This Illinois motorcycle accident case was originally filed in 1999 and was initially dismissed by a Cook County trial judge. The dismissal was reversed by the Illinois Appellate Court in 2003 and the case was refiled and tried in May 2010. However, a mistrial was declared and the case had to be retried yet another time.

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In an Illinois motorcycle accident, a case involving a drunk driver shows how both the drunk driver and bar or liquor store are equally responsible for the ensuing actions.

After drinking at two different bars for about three and a half hours the defendant, Donald Adcock, took Jerica Klocke for a ride on his motorcycle. As they approached an intersection, Adcock lost control of his bike and crashed. He died at the scene. Klocke suffered severe injuries from which she died about 13 hours after the Illinois motorcylce crash. She survived by her parents and three brothers. She was 19 at the time of her death and was working as a medical receptionist with plans to go to college.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, “Approximately three out of ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related Illinois traffic accident in their lifetime.” While it is generally assumed it is wholly the fault of the drunk driver for an accident that may occur, this is not the case.

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