Chicago Motorcycle Accident Injury Guide: What Should You Do If You Were Injured on a Motorcycle?

Check out the full Chicago Motorcycle Accident Injury Guide here.

Motorcycles are risky, and for everyone who dreams of one day taking an “Easy Rider”-inspired road trip on his or her own Harley-Davidson, there is another person who has had his or her life altered or taken away due to an accident, especially in Chicago where motorcycle fatalities happen frequently.

Motorcycle riders face a higher risk than other drivers on the roadways, according to the Illinois Division of Traffic Safety, because motorcycles are smaller and lighter than cars, trucks or SUVS, riders don’t wear seatbelts so they can be easily thrown off their bikes, and they can be difficult for drivers to see thanks to blind spots that can leave those behind the wheel of a car or truck unaware that they are sharing the road with a motorcycle of all parties aren’t careful.

Because of these factors, if a motorcycle is involved in a crash, it is 35 times more likely to result in death.

In Illinois, there were 148 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2012, up almost 20 percent from the previous year. Taking the right precautions can help ensure that you’re not one of them.

Motorcycle Drivers Must Be Safer on the Roadway

fatal motorcycle accident chicago ilBecause of the risk factors – cyclists both brake and accelerate faster than other motorized vehicles, meaning that an inattentive driver can be deadly – it falls into the hands of motorcycle drivers to keep themselves as safe as possible.

Some tips:

  • Wear a helmet. Illinois may not have a helmet law (it is one of only three states to have no laws on the books of any kind), but wearing one can protect you from potential head injuries in case of an accident.
  • Dress appropriately. Motorcycle riders don’t wear leather just for the looks. Leather – or something synthetic with just as much strength – can protect against road rash, which in the worst conditions can be debilitating. Long-sleeved jackets and pants offer a layer of protection in case you should come into contact with the road.
  • Wear shatterproof goggles. Your windshield may stop bugs from being a problem, but there are all sorts of road hazards that goggles can protect you from, including debris flying from the bed of a pickup truck.
  • Be seen. Keep your lights on and wear bright, reflective clothing or accents so you are more visible, especially in inclement weather.
  • Stay in your lane. Don’t ride in the same lane as another vehicle, even if it’s a compact car. You will be easier to see in a separate lane, and less likely to take a driver by surprise.

Still, despite any safety precautions you take, you are still at risk of an accident.

What is the Top Cause of a Motorcycle Accident Near Chicago?

Studies have shown that in the majority of cases, when accidents occur between motorcycles and other vehicles, it is the drivers of cars or trucks who are more likely to be at fault. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Chicago will help you determine the negligent parties and if you have a personal injury case. If you do have a personal injury case as a result of the motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to recovering compensation for your injuries, missed work, and medical bills.

There are certain situations where crashes are more likely, and being aware can keep motorcyclists safer.

These are the top cause(s) of a motorcycle accident death in Chicago involving another vehicle:

  • Head-on collisions. More than half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of head-on collisions.
  • Cars making left-hand turns. According to statistics, 42 percent of all accidents between motorcycles and cars occur when cars turning left hit a motorcycle going through an intersection from the other direction or hit a motorcycle that is attempting to pass it. In almost all cases, the driver making the left-hand turn is at fault.
  • Motorcycle lane splitting. When a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars (most often to avoid a traffic jam), the risk of an accident is elevated because the motorcycle has less space in which to maneuver, and drivers often don’t notice a motorcycle when they attempt to maneuver. Lane splitting is not legal in Illinois, although it is permitted in some other states.

When motorcycles are involved in a single-vehicle crash, speeding and/or alcohol use, impact with a fixed object or road hazards including potholes, roadkill, slippery road conditions are the most common factors.

Did You or a Loved One Suffer a Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Chicago, IL?

Fatalities that result from motorcycle accidents are devasting to families. If someone you know passed away in a motorcycle crash in Chicago, get in touch with our team today to see how we can help.

What Should You Do if You’re in An Accident?

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Chicago.

motorcycle accident near chicagoMore than 3,000 motorcycle accidents resulting in injury occur annually in Illinois, most of them in urban areas, especially so Chicago and the surrounding communities.

Knowing the laws associated with operating a motorcycle and following safety tips can help prevent you from becoming a statistic.

If you are in a motorcycle accident, there are some steps you should take to protect yourself, especially if someone else was at fault.

  • First, call 911. It is important for police and emergency personnel to be summoned. You will want evidence of the accident and an accident report.
  • Get important information. Take down contact and insurance information from passengers, drivers and witnesses. Don’t forget to write down the make, model and license plate information of all the vehicles involved.
  • Take photographs. Photographs are a visual diary of what occurred, and can accompany a police report. In the majority of cases, the accident was the result of negligence on the part of another driver or driver. Photographs can be the visual proof you need if you case goes to court.
  • See a doctor. It’s important to have medical evidence immediately following an accident. Waiting too long can open the door to accusations that the injuries you sustained were not the result of your accident.
  • Call an attorney. Most accidents between a motorcycle and another vehicle are the fault of the other driver. An experienced attorney – especially so one who understands the complexities of motorcycle laws and regulations – can help you navigate the legal system, ensuring that you have all the documentation you need to protect yourself and win in court.
  • Keep track of all your medical bills. If your injuries were extensive, you will likely be seeking compensation to cover your physical and mental injuries, lost earning and other expenses. Having all your bills on hand – therapy, medication and rehabilitation included – will make it easier for an attorney to calculate compensation and ensure that you get the funding you need to cover the costs of your care.

If you were in a motorcycle accident, contact a Chicago-based personal injury attorney today to ensure that you get the compensation you need to cover the cost of your medical expenses.