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cook county injury lawyerIllinois motorcyclists have the unfortunate distinction of sustaining much more serious injuries in vehicle accidents than the average car or truck driver. Primarily because of the unprotected nature of a motorcycle, in 2019 the Illinois Department of Transportation estimated that approximately 75 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injuries to the rider. 

Unfortunately, around 30 percent of those injured in motorcycle accidents sustain injuries serious enough to be incapacitating or lethal. Many motorcycle accidents are avoidable and are caused due to negligence on the part of the driver of another vehicle. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, is it important to understand your options for recovering damages under Illinois law. 

What are Common Incapacitating Motorcycle Injuries in Illinois? 

Because the motorcycle is so small relative to a car or truck, and because the rider’s body is exposed, the rider often bears the brunt of a crash. Sometimes riders are thrown from their motorcycle, causing additional injuries from an impact with the road and other surrounding objects. Some of the serious injuries motorcyclists commonly suffer in accidents include: 

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Glenview car crash injury attorneyDriving a vehicle, especially at high speed, takes considerable attention and focus. Drivers sharing the road with others are responsible for operating their vehicles safely. When attention is directed elsewhere, there is great potential for dangerous situations. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents across the nation, and Illinois is no exception. If you or a loved one was harmed in a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for the injuries.

Identifying Distracted Driving

Any task or maneuver that distracts a driver from paying attention to the road is considered distracted driving. There are three primary categories of distractions that drivers face. Visual distractions result in the driver taking their eyes off the road, such as checking a text message. Manual distractions involve the driver taking one or both hands off of the wheel, such as eating. Lastly, cognitive distractions cause a driver’s thoughts to focus on something other than driving safely, like arguing with a passenger.

The United States sees over 1 million distracted driving crashes every year. In 2018, Illinois police issued 15,150 distracted driving citations. One of the most common activities that lead to distracted driving is the use of a smartphone when behind the wheel. People who choose to use their smartphones when driving have a much greater chance of being involved in an accident. The majority of drivers agree that texting while driving can be very dangerous; however, a great number of people continue this behavior.

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Illinois personal injury attorneysSometimes helping others can prove dangerous. Such has been the case for emergency responders who are trying to assist Illinois drivers. Under Illinois law, drivers are required to move over to keep first responders safe from being struck while doing their job. Unfortunately, many motorists have still failed to comply, and far too many injury-causing accidents happen every year.

Scott’s Law

With a climbing number of incidents involving injuries to first responders, many states have employed laws designed for their protection. In Illinois, this statute is known as Scott’s Law. Scott’s Law was passed in 2002, and it is named for a firefighter who was killed while trying to assist someone on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Under Scott’s Law, drivers are required to move over (into another lane if possible), slow down, and cautiously approach areas where emergency vehicles are stopped with their lights flashing.

Due to a lack of compliance by motorists over the last few years, Illinois launched “Operation Lambert” in early 2020. This operation was designed to help enforce Scott’s Law. As a result of Operation Lambert, police have greatly increased their issuance of citations and arrests. Illinois has also increased its penalties for violating the law.

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