What To Do After A Chicago Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle accident lawyer in Chicago, Illinois area.Motorcycle accident lawyer in Chicago, Illinois

Illinois law has several requirements for anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident, no matter what type of vehicle it may be, including a motorcycle.

Most of these steps are common sense. A few technical requirements involve reporting to legal authorities. Chicago motorcycle accidents can change your life.

Act quickly to see how medical bills, lost wages, and major trauma from a careless driver can challenge your legal rights to a personal injury claim.

Anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident needs to be aware of these requirements. Failure to comply with Illinois accident laws can result in criminal charges and costly fines.

Read on to learn more about the Chicago motorcycle law from the experienced Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C.

Do Not Leave the Scene of the Motorcycle Accident

Even if there is only property damage, don't leave the scene. Failure to stop constitutes a “hit-and-run,” a criminal misdemeanor. However, if there is a serious injury or death, a hit-and-run” can constitute a criminal felony.

If the vehicles and their occupants can be moved safely, moving the cars out of the roadway is okay.

For example, moving to the shoulder, or onto an off-ramp or side street for the safety of everyone involved in the accident and to minimize obstructions to traffic.

Move the motorcycle near the accident scene and wait for the police to arrive. The motorcycle rider must remain at the scene if the collision involves an unoccupied vehicle.

Seek Medical Attention after a Chicago Motorcycle Accident

After stopping at the scene, the top priority is rendering immediate aid to those who are injured.  Time can be a critical factor for addressing your motorcycle accident injuries, particularly in the case of traumatic injuries.

For motorcyclists, this is especially critical. Head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle crashes.

Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to injury because they have no protective cage between their bodies and the road or other vehicles.

Furthermore, Illinois has no helmet law, which can lead to a higher likelihood of a serious head injury in accidents involving motorcycles.

Unless a motorcyclist is wearing a good helmet and full protective gear, brain injuries are likely to occur in a motorcyclist in a crash. Even with protective gear, broken bones or other serious injuries are not uncommon.

For any motorcycle crash, calling 911 right away is always warranted. This is not only to summon emergency medical aid but for law enforcement to make an accident report.

If one of the involved parties can personally render any necessary aid, they need to do so. This can mean CPR, applying first aid, covering someone with a blanket, or the like.

Exchange and Gather Information

The drivers of the vehicles involved in a motorcycle accident need to exchange information, including their names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, the name of the owner(s) of the vehicle(s) (if the owner is not the driver), insurance information, and license plate numbers. If requested, the drivers must also show their driver's license.

It is also important to obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident, including occupants of the vehicles other than the drivers.

If one of the vehicles is unoccupied, the driver must leave a note containing all the necessary information with the vehicle in a conspicuous place.

If one of the parties is incapable of providing this information due to a serious injury or other applicable circumstances, it may be acquired by other means or at a later time.

Report the Motorcycle Accident to Law Enforcement

Under Illinois law, every driver involved in a traffic accident must file a crash report to the local law enforcement authorities if an accident resulted in a fatality, any bodily injury, or more than $1,500 in property damage.

Several municipalities in Illinois require law enforcement to be on hand at the scene of any accident regardless of these limitations. Therefore, the safest route is simply to notify local law enforcement immediately after an accident.

If law enforcement does not show up, it is your still responsibility to report the accident to local law enforcement. That, whether it's local police, the local sheriff, or Illinois State Police.

To understand what type of accident you should report review some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents like:

If you are injured and need medical aid immediately, a passenger may file the report, or you must file the report within 10 days of being discharged from a medical facility. Failure to file the report could result in jail time and cost $2,500 in fines.

Consult with a Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now

If injured, contact an experienced Chicago motorcycle accident attorney.

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C., have many years of experience representing the victims of motorcycle accidents.

Sadly, motorcycle riders in collisions are often the victim of another driver's negligence. And if you have injuries due to someone else's negligence, Abels & Annes, P.C. can help.

Your physical injuries may require emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgery, extended treatment, or physical therapy. There is also the emotional cost of experiencing a traumatic event and serious injury.

Beware of Insurance Company Tactics

Unfortunately, insurance companies, which supposedly exist to provide financial assistance and reparation in the event of an accident, frequently try to deny or limit claims. This is particularly true when an accident has costly consequences.

An insurance adjuster may grossly undervalue a case or deny a claim outright. Also, a valid claim may be delayed by unnecessary inquiries or requests for paperwork.

Further, the insurance company may pressure you into signing an unfair settlement agreement. They may do this before you know the full extent of your injuries and damages.

These tactics are not uncommon. Particularly when you are vulnerable and under stress from all the changes and upheaval that follow an accident. Some insurers believe they can pressure you because you have little or no knowledge of how to pursue your claims.

When alone, it is easy to get overwhelmed with legal language, technical details, and deadlines.

The insurance company might convince you that you have no choice but to accept their offer. A settlement offer from an insurance adjuster may even seem reasonable or generous when you don't know your rights.

How Often Do Motorcyclists Get Hurt in Accidents?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, on average, the nation’s emergency rooms see over 150,000 motorcyclists annually. Of these visits:

  • 30% are for leg or foot injuries
  • 22% are for head or neck injuries
  • 20% are for injuries to the upper half of the body
  • 18% are for arm or hand injuries

Often, the injuries sustained by motorcyclists involve more than one body part. This is in addition to more superficial injuries such as scrapes, lacerations, and bruising.

If you have suffered ANY injuries after your motorcycle accident, learn what your legal options are from a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney today.

An Experienced Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

Gary Annes, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Gary Annes

A personal injury lawyer can help you avoid the problems that come from trying to deal with a claim on your own. At Abels & Annes, we take our client’s interests to heart. 

We aggressively pursue all the damages that we believe our clients are due from insurance carriers. We know the law, and we know what insurance companies can and cannot get away with.

When you work with us, we will explain your rights and advise you of your options.

You will have peace of mind knowing that you have skilled attorneys. You will not have to pay any legal fees until compensation is collected on your behalf.

When you are trying to recover from a motorcycle accident, the last thing you need is the added pressure, worry, and aggravation of trying to deal with complex and confusing paperwork.

And it's not fun dealing with insurance people whose only interest is to get you to sign on the dotted line.

The sooner you start working with the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C., the sooner you can concentrate on getting your life back in order.

If you have been injured, or someone you love has been killed in a fatal motorcycle accident, contact the knowledgeable Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Call or use the online form.