Nobody gets on a motorcycle thinking that they will get into an accident. However, according to recent government data, there are over 2,500 Illinois motorcycle accidents each year with nearly 1,000 resulting in serious injuries. In addition, approximately 150 motorcyclists are killed each year in traffic accidents. The majority of these accidents occur in urban areas, like Chicago.
Anyone fortunate enough to remain conscious after being involved in a motorcycle accident should take certain steps to protect their rights. This is important because, unfortunately, motorcyclists have a bad reputation, even though motorcyclists are not responsible for causing most accidents. After an accident, a motorcyclist should be sure to do the following:
- Check for injuries – If you’ve just been in a motorcycle accident, chances are you will have injuries. It is important you check your body for injuries because it is not uncommon for adrenaline to mask the pain typically associated with road rash or broken bones.
- Take photos – While police officers should take photographs before moving the bike from the road, you should not assume that they will. Take photos of the intersection, your motorcycle, and the other vehicle. These can be valuable evidence to help prove a case against another driver.
- Move the bike – Once you’ve taken photographs, get yourself and your motorcycle off the road to reduce the chance of another motorist crashing into you.
- Keep calm – If the accident was clearly another driver’s fault, it’s tempting to get upset. Refrain from confronting other drivers after an accident; if they are not immediately apologetic, it’s not likely anything you say will change their minds.
- Gather information – If there are any witnesses to the accident, talk with them. Ask them what they saw and be sure to get their information. Also, ask the police officer if there are cameras at a nearby intersection and how you can preserve a copy.
- Don’t admit fault – If you were just in an accident, you do not necessarily know what caused it. Even if you think there was something you could have done to avoid the accident, don’t admit fault to the other driver or police.
- Contact your insurance company – Insurance companies require that you timely them after an incident in a timely manner, otherwise, you run the risk that they will not cover the accident. Again, when talking to an insurance agent or adjuster, do not admit fault; it is up to the court system to determine legal liability. That being said, it is always better to contact an injury lawyer first and let him or her notify the insurance carrier for you. The sooner you find counsel, the sooner they can start guiding you through the process and protecting your rights.
The moments after a serious motorcycle accident are incredibly stressful, but by committing the above steps to memory, you can do what you can to preserve your rights.
Have You Been Injured in a Chicago Motorcycle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Chicago motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At the Chicago personal injury law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C., we represent clients who have been injured in all types of Illinois traffic accidents, including motorcycle accidents. Our aggressive team of Illinois injury lawyers has decades of experience helping clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. To learn more, call (312) 924-7575 to schedule a free consultation today.