Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Results in $6M Settlement

A $6 million settlement has been reached in a motorcycle accident lawsuit filed by an Illinois man and his 15 year-old daughter, in what is reportedly a record for any personal injury case in the county where the complaint was filed.

The Illinois accident lawsuit was filed by Richard Wright and his daughter, Kelly, against John Martis in Will County. Wright and his daughter were riding a motorcycle in the southwest suburbs of Joliet when Martis allegedly struck them with his Chevrolet truck while turning left at a stop sign.

As a result of the injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident, Richard Wright suffered a fractured wrist and ankle, as well as other injuries, and Kelly Wright suffered a fractured tibia and ankle, which will require surgery. According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, the parties reached a settlement where the Wrights will be awarded $6 million, which is a believed to be a record for a personal injury lawsuit in the county.

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According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accident injuries and deaths have continued to increase over the last decade. In 2006, when the Wrights were injured, the NHTSA recorded 88,000 motorcycle injuries and 4,837 motorcycle fatalities, up from 58,000 injuries and 2,897 fatalities in 2000. In 2007, there were a record 103,000 motorcycle accident injuries and 5,154 fatalities.

In October the Federal Highway Administration announced that it will conduct a new study to understand and prevent motorcycle accidents. The motorcycle crash causation study will be the first study of its kind since the 1981 “Hurt Report,” which found that alcohol was involved in more than half of all motorcycle accidents, and that most motorcycle riders involved in accidents were self-taught riders.

The new study will be conducted by the administration and Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Transportation Center. The center is one of 10 such centers across the country that coordinates with transportation department.

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