Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcyclist was riding behind a car driven by the defendant who was a car dealership employee. The defendant driver suddenly made a U-turn, causing the motorcyclist to catapult over the car’s hood.

The plaintiff motorcyclist suffered multiple fractures, including a wrist fracture that required surgery.

The medical expenses for the motorcyclist were $55,000. He was an automotive technician but is now unable to return to his job. He had been earning about $60,000 per year.

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Juan Altamirano was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle on the highway when John Harrison, who was driving a rental car in the high-occupancy vehicle lane, crossed two yellow lines to the right of the lanes and then crossed the two yellow lines dividing the lanes. Altamirano’s motorcycle struck the car’s right fender and crashed.

Altamirano, who was 50 at the time, suffered multiple injuries. His injuries included a fractured right hip, spinal fractures at L1-2 and L5 and multiple complex fractures to his left foot.

Altamirano underwent a partial hip replacement, left-leg fasciotomies to relieve pressure caused by the foot fractures, wound debridements and external fixation of the foot fractures. He was later transferred to a different hospital where he underwent skin-graft procedures on his left foot.

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On May 16, 2012, Jeremiah Guthrie was attempting to walk eastbound across Central Avenue just south of the intersection of Harrison Street in Chicago. He made it across one lane (the southbound right lane) when he was hit in the second lane (the southbound left lane) by the motorcyclist and defendant Jaroslaw Baranek, who was southbound.

Guthrie, 53, suffered fractures to his left ankle, tibia, fibula and wrist as well as a puncture wound to his left calf. His medical bills were $140,488. There was no claim for lost time from work.

The defendant stipulated to plaintiff’s injuries and medical expenses, but denied the defendant, a 32-year-old electrician, was at fault and contended that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for his own injuries because he crossed the street at mid-block.

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Daniel Orr died in a motorcycle accident in August 2012. His beneficiaries, who were his daughters, Hailey and Daniell, filed claims seeking benefits payable under a group life insurance policy governed by ERISA. The insurance policy was issued by Union Security Insurance Co. to Orr’s former employer.

The policy provided accidental death and dismemberment benefits to a participant and his or her beneficiaries, subject to certain exclusions, including exclusion on a loss resulting directly or indirectly from intoxication.

In December 2012, Union Security notified the Orr daughters that it had denied their claims on the ground that Orr’s death resulted from his intoxication. The notification explained that autopsy and toxicology reports showed that Orr’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was above the legal limit.

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Cynthia DeCornmier suffered serious injuries when she fell from her motorcycle on a motorcycle training course. Before the beginning of the training course, DeCornmier signed a release of all claims that may have resulted from or arising out of her participation in the training course. The release document stated in bold letters that it covered all claims she may have, including without limitation, all claims resulting from the negligence of those involved in the course.

In spite of the release that was signed in advance of the motorcycle training course, she filed a lawsuit against Harley-Davidson and Gateway Harvey-Davidson alleging that they were negligent and reckless by directing her to perform motorcycle maneuvers on a range that was icy and slippery. In the lawsuit, DeCornmier maintained that the liability release document that she signed in advance was unenforceable against claims of gross negligence or recklessness.

The defendants Harley Davidson and Gateway Harley-Davidson, filed motions for summary judgment, which the trial judge granted dismissing DeCornmier’s case.

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On Aug. 28, 2010, Peter Chilton was driving a 2009 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle with his girlfriend riding on the back. Chilton was stopped at the red light on Grand Avenue at the intersection with County Road in Waukegan, Ill., when the defendant, Joshua Uhlir, who was driving his vehicle westbound, hit Chilton and his girlfriend from behind causing minor damage to the motorcycle.

Chilton, 55, maintained that the force of the impact caused his motorcycle to move forward and fall to the right side. In his effort to prevent the bike from falling over he felt a pop in his right shoulder. He did not immediately go to the emergency room or see a doctor and did not receive medical attention until he went to his primary physician three days later complaining of right shoulder pain.

Chilton sustained a tear in the shoulder, but he did not need surgery. He also suffered aggravation of pre-existing degenerative changes in his cervical spine.

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Keith Kreinik was injured in a motorcycle accident.  The statute of limitations for his injuries would have run two years from the date of his accident, Sept. 2, 2007 to Sept. 2, 2009.  In the meantime, on Aug. 29, 2009, Karen Kreinik was allowed guardianship of Keith and filed a lawsuit against Ali Hosseini and Magnum Motors, the company that Keith was working for at the time of his motorcycle accident. 

It took more than 15 months for Karen to secure service on Hosseini, during which time Keith died.  Kreinik finally obtained service on Nov. 22, 2010.  Exactly a year later, the trial court granted Hosseini’s motion to quash service, stating that it was improper because the process server appointed by the court was not the one who actually served Hosseini. 

On Dec. 1, 2011, Kreinik served Hosseini.  On Jan. 3, 2012, Hosseini moved to dismiss the complaint with prejudice since Kreinik “failed to exercise reasonable diligence.”

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Jack Taylor was a motocross enthusiast from the downstate Illinois town of Lewistown. Taylor replaced a tire for his motocross bike on July 9, 2009 with a new one he purchased from a store in Peoria, Ill.  On July 11, 2009, Taylor went to the Sunset Ridge MX MotoCross Course in Walton, which is near Lewistown.

While using the course, Taylor attempted to jump. When he landed on the front tire, the one he had only recently replaced, it blew out and caused him to be injured. Taylor was taken to a nearby hospital and then transferred to another hospital in Peoria. 

On June 21, 2012, Taylor filed a lawsuit against Lemans Corp., Moose Racing, Parts Unlimited and Gibbs Motor Corp., alleging strict liability for a defective product, negligence and breach of implied warranties. The lawsuit that Taylor filed was in Cook County. The defendants moved to transfer the case to Bureau County, where the motocross course was located. The motion was brought under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

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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 minor 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.The defendant was visiting from out of state. Several witnesses testified at trial that the defendant suddenly and unexpectedly made a wide and slow U-turn without activating her turn signal, and she cut D.S. off as he entered the intersection.

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On Sept. 24, 2010, Thomas DeSonia was driving his motorcycle with his girlfriend as his passenger. DeSonia was traveling about 40 mph northbound on Route 53 in Wilmington, Ill., when the southbound car driven by defendant Bernard Wall attempted a left turn in front of DeSonia. The motorcycle and the car collided. Wall was turning into a driveway so he could turn around and head back north. Because he had forgotten to purchase something while shopping at the store, he wanted to return there and thus the reason for the left turn.

Wall reportedly apologized to DeSonia at the scene.DeSonia alleged that the impact caused him to fall onto his back and slide about 35 feet on the pavement causing road rash, a laceration to his right hand that required 4 stitches to close and chronic back pain from his sacroiliac joint and L5-S1 nerves. DeSonia was treated with 3 epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, medicine and ongoing treatment. The issue of DeSonia’s permanent medical condition was barred due to the non-disclosure of his medical bills. Only a portion of his total medical bills were admitted and considered by the jury. DeSonia lost six months of work as a truck driver.

Wall said he did not see the motorcycle until the last moment because it was following too closely behind another car. 

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