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  2. Why Motorcycle Crashes Lead to Serious Injuries, Fatalities



As a motorcycle enthusiast, you’re well-aware of the risks associated with sharing the road with larger vehicles such as cars and trucks. Despite these risks, chances are the last thing you expect is to be involved in a motorcycle accident in Chicago. But when an accident occurs, whether a rear-end crash caused by a distracted driver or somebody who claims he simply “failed to see” your vehicle at an intersection, the long-term consequences can be catastrophic.

At Deratany & Kosner, formerly The Deratany Firm, we understand that motorcycle accidents can happen in the Chicago area far too frequently. Highways such as I-90 and the Stevenson Expressway are used by motorists who commute to work or who are on a road trip. Busy streets such as South Lake Shore Drive on the city’s South End and West North Ave on the North End can create hazardous conditions for motorcyclists if drivers are inattentive or otherwise distracted.

Deratany & Kosner is familiar with how to handle complex motorcycle accident cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Our knowledgeable attorneys have the resources and experience necessary to uncover the true cause of your motorcycle accident, determine the long-term cost of your injuries and take on negligent vehicle operators and insurance companies that deny responsibility for your accident. Contact us today.


Chicago-area roads and highways are constantly busy. With so many vehicles sharing the road at once, drivers understand how important it is obey traffic laws, avoid distractions such as cell phones, and to stay alert and sober behind the wheel. This is especially true when sharing the road with motorcycles, which due to their size, may be more difficult for drivers to see than larger cars or trucks.

Motorcycle accidents in Chicago can occur for a variety of different reasons. In many instances, a driver may say she didn’t see your motorcycle when switching lanes, or crossing an intersection. A driver may be drunk at the time of a motorcycle crash. He may have been distracted by a cellphone or even speeding through an intersection moments before your accident occurred.

Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers are highly skilled at putting the pieces together in any complex case. We conduct a comprehensive investigation, consult with experts, find witnesses and gather all the evidence necessary to hold the negligent individual accountable. We provide personalized attention for our clients, with the goal of recovering maximum compensation for their losses.


Some of the most common and serious injuries sustained by motorcycle riders and passengers include the following:

Head Injuries Including Skull Fractures

Illinois law sets no requirements for motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets, but head injuries are possible in accidents even when safety helmets are worn. Even when wearing protective gear, the force of an impact between a motorcycle and a larger car or truck can lead to severe head trauma, permanent disabilities, skyrocketing medical bills and an inability to work or collect an income.

Head injuries are among the most serious types of injuries a motorcyclist can suffer in an accident. Even at low speeds – such as a rear-end crash on South Lake Shore Drive or Route 64 in Wicker Park – a motorcycle crash can result in a concussion or chronic headaches long after an accident occurs. In more severe instances, an accident victim may be left facing short- or long-term memory loss, brain damage or even a fractured skull.

Every motorcycle accident-related head injury case is unique. Every accident is confronting different circumstances. Every injury presents special challenges for accident victims. Deratany & Kosner can determine the true cause of your accident. Our experienced legal team can consult with neurologists, neurosurgeons and other medical experts to determine the long-term cost of your injuries.

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Arm Injuries Including Nerve Damage

Your arms are among the most vulnerable parts of your body when involved in a motorcycle accident. The force of impact between your motorcycle and a larger vehicle may lead to broken bones and fractures from your shoulder to your fingers. You might sustain an injury known as “bikers arm” if you fall on your arm or are thrown from your bike, potentially resulting in nerve damage to your arm lasting a lifetime. You may sustain broken bones in the hand or fingers.

Deratany & Kosner understands how difficult life can become after sustaining an arm injury in a motorcycle accident. An arm injury can have a devastating effect on your life. Most jobs and many everyday tasks such as cooking and basic hygiene require the full use of an arm. The following is a list of some of the most common arm injuries caused by motorcycle accidents in Chicago and throughout Illinois:

  • Fractured forearm, wrist or hands
  • Broken wrist or fingers
  • Elbow, shoulder or rotator cuff injuries.
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputation of an arm
  • Amputation of hand or fingers

The accident may have not been your fault, but now it’s your problem. You may be worried about paying medical bills and wondering how to cover other expenses because of lost wages after sustaining serious arm injuries in a crash. You may need to hire people to work in and around your home on activities you once took for granted. Our lawyers understand how to show the full impact of any injury and aggressively negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. We know how to obtain the medical evidence to prove the true cost of the accident and your injuries. Contact us. Let us shoulder the burden for you.

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Injuries to the Legs and Feet

Leg injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. Serious injuries to the leg include broken bones (including a broken femur or thigh bone, or the tibia and fibula of the lower leg). Some victims sustain torn ligaments or muscle damage in the legs. Many types of injuries exist in motorcycle accidents that can leave riders and passengers alike facing months or years of physical, emotional and financial difficulties.

What are common examples of leg injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents? A potential list of injuries is long and distressing, including the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Fractured femur (thigh bone)
  • Fractured tibia (shin bone)
  • Fractured fibula (the smaller bone next to the tibia in the lower leg)
  • A torn ligament
  • Knee injury
  • Foot injury
  • Road rash (when the exposed skin skids along the pavement)
  • Leg amputation

Common foot injuries in an accident include ligament tears in and around the ankle. Any of the bones in the feet may be fractures in a motorcycle crash.

Deratany & Kosner understands how complicated life can become after you or a loved one sustained a debilitating leg injury in a motorcycle accident. A serious leg injury may result in a permanent limp or it may make it difficult to move around and enjoy life. Some leg injury victims no longer enjoy things in life like sports or spending time with the family the way they did before the accident.

Even worse, after an accident, you may have to take time off from work or permanently leave your job. You may be forced to cope with expensive medical bills and long-term medical costs. Insurance companies may try to write your injuries off as “minor,” delay or even deny your claim. We can help. Our experienced legal team has a passion for advocacy and desire to obtain accident victims the compensation and closure necessary after an accident.

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Injuries to the back and neck are almost always serious. If you or a loved one sustained back and neck injuries in a Chicago motorcycle crash, irreversible damage can render that accident victim unable to move around freely. In severe accidents, a back or neck injury can lead to paralysis, paraplegia or quadriplegia. Further complications may even lead to death, which may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Paralysis represents one of the most life-changing injuries Deratany & Kosner sees in motorcycle accidents. Your ability to move around may be compromised. You may have difficulty doing the things you love with your family. You may never be able to walk or move your arms or legs ever again. When the spinal cord is injured, the damage may be irreversible and result in a lifetime of personal care and painful therapy.

In addition to paralysis, the following are types of back-and-neck-related injuries that can create significant hardship:

  • Broken backs
  • Paralysis
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Ruptured discs
  • Slipped discs
  • Spinal cord injuries

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