“Head-On Collisions” Involving Motorcycles

Motorcycle “Head-On” Collisions

As discussed throughout this site, there are many reasons for Chicago-area motorcycle accidents as well as those otherwise throughout Illinois.  Individual summaries of Illinois motorcycle accidents can be seen under the “Motorcycle Accidents” category.   Those involving fatalities can be seen under the “Motorcycle Accident Fatalities” tag.

One of the common reasons for motorcycle accidents – and one that has often deadly consequences for motorcyclists – is when bikes are involved in “head-on collisions.”  These frontal accidents have led to many fatalities.  Ways to avoid these types of accidents are limited, as they often involve another vehicle coming into the opposing lane, i.e. “crossing the center line.”  Often it hard to predict when a vehicle will drive into opposing traffic; as well, such improper lane usage typically provides (very) limited reaction time for the motorcyclist to avoid a “head-on collision.”  Even for those motorcyclists that choose to “lay down the bike” accidents usually lead to serious if not fatal injuries.

One continuing common cause of such “head-on collisions” between motorcycles and other vehicles is when a another vehicle makes a left-hand turn immediately in front of an oncoming motorcycle.  As the other vehicle comes into the path of the oncoming motorcycle, a collision occurs, and it is usually one in which the impact of the frontal collision leads to the motorcyclist being ejected from the motorcycle.  As discussed on the “Motorcycle Crashes Involving Motorcyclist Ejections” such ejections typically lead to serious accident injuries, often which lead to the death of the motorcyclist.

Another cause of why a motorcyclist may become involved in a “head-on collision” is if the motorcyclist loses control of the motorcycle while riding.  Such a loss of control can cause the motorcycle to veer into opposing lanes of traffic.  Such loss of control can be caused by many different factors, and this critical issue to motorcycle riding safety is further discussed on the “Motorcycle Loss Of Control Accidents” page.

Additionally, distracted driving has likely led to many incidents in which vehicles cross the center line and collide “head-on” with a motorcycle.  While there are many actions that led to distracted driving, “texting” and other forms of cell phone usage is often involved.  As seen in various statistics, at highway speeds even a brief moment of inattention by the driver can lead to an accident, due to the distance that the vehicle travels during the interval.

Illinois Motorcycle Accidents Involving “Head-On” Collisions

A small sample of recent accidents in which motorcyclists have been involved in such “head-on collisions” in Illinois are mentioned below:

As seen in the May 26, 2017 post (“Fatal Coles County Motorcycle Collision“) this May 26 Coles County collision led to the death of the motorcyclist.  As discussed, the driver of the car that struck the motorcycle was traveling behind a truck shortly before the accident.  As the driver attempted to pass the truck by going into the opposing lane, he did not see the oncoming motorcyclist.

As seen in the July 31, 2016 post (“Fatal Car-Motorcycle Collision In Litchfield“) a July 30 “head-on collision” occurred between a car and motorcycle in Litchfield.  This accident led to the ejection of both the motorcyclist and passenger, and both sustained fatal accident injuries.

As seen in the July 22, 2016 post (“Motorcyclist Dies Following Collision Near Westchester“) a July 19 frontal collision near Westchester involved a vehicle and a motorcycle.  The driver of the vehicle that struck the motorcycle after crossing the center line allegedly had fallen asleep at the wheel.

As seen in the July 18, 2016 post titled “Fatal Motorcycle Accident Involving Tow Truck In Montgomery County” a July 17 fatal motorcycle collision in Montgomery County involved a tow truck that crossed the center line.  The two oncoming motorcyclists both “laid down” their bikes; one motorcyclist died, and a passenger was injured and hospitalized.  The other motorcyclist was treated for accident injuries at the accident scene.  This crash was a “hit & run” accident in which the tow truck did not stop after the accident.

As seen in the July 16, 2016 post titled “Fatal Accident In Fox Lake Involving Motorcycles” a July 16 fatal collision in Fox Lake happened when a pickup truck crossed the center line and collided with three motorcycles.

As seen in the July 2, 2016 post (“Fatal SUV-Motorcycle Collision Near Patoka, Illinois“) a July 2 “head-on collision” near Patoka involving a SUV colliding with a motorcycle again allegedly involved a driver falling asleep at the wheel before crossing into the opposing lane of traffic.

As seen in the May 31, 2016 post (“Fatal Marion County Motorcycle Accident“) a May 30 Marion County motorcycle crash involved a frontal collision between a car and motorcycle after the driver of the car allegedly lost control of the vehicle.  Two motorcycles were hit; a motorcyclist on one bike was declared dead at the accident scene; the passenger on the bike died shortly thereafter.  The rider of the other bike was injured and hospitalized.

Accident Injuries Involved In Frontal Motorcycle Collisions 

Due to the dynamics and forces involved in two vehicles colliding in a “head-on” fashion, as one would expect such crashes usually involve the motorcyclist being seriously injured.  In many cases such accident injuries prove fatal.

While it is difficult to generalize – due to specific characteristics of each accident – what injuries may be involved, among common serious motorcycle accident injuries are those to the head.  Such head injuries are notable in many regards, as in nonfatal motorcycle accidents they are often complex and require significant amounts of medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Other motorcycle accident injuries can also be very serious in nature and may require significant amounts of hospitalization and other medical treatment.  The testing, medical treatment, procedures and operations that may be involved are typically very costly.  Such medical treatment and hospitalization typically leads to a temporary inability to work, and, depending upon the nature and extent of the accident injuries, a permanent impairment may result in a permanent inability of the motorcyclist to work at his or her job.

Motorcycle Accident Compensation

Given the likely significant medical expenses, as well as other factors such as lost wages mentioned above, many motorcycle riders who have been injured in accidents that are the fault of another party pursue accident compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.  [In the case of a motorcycle accident in which the rider is killed, wrongful death lawsuits are often filed by relevant parties.]

There are various types of compensation that can be pursued through the accident lawsuit.  While such compensation varies depending upon the specific characteristics of the crash as well as the resulting medical condition of the injured motorcyclist, such compensation categories can include the following:

  • Medical costs (including past, current and future expenditures)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of function
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Other economic damages

The motorcycle accident trial lawyers at the Elman Joseph Law Group can help you determine whether the filing of a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit is warranted.  As well, the lawyers can help you determine how much compensation may be available (i.e. how much your case may be worth) through such a lawsuit.

In order to get a free and confidential legal consultation from the Elman Joseph Law Group, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney, at (773) 392-8182 at any time.

Elman Joseph Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years.  During this time the firm has handled over 10,000 lawsuits.  It has earned a reputation for its trial capabilities, which often results in higher accident compensation for those injured.