While the thrill of the open road is a lure for many, riding a motorcycle in Chicago can be a dangerous mode of transportation resulting serious injury or death.
According to statistics, motorcycle accidents result in 29 times more deaths than car accidents, most often when a motorcycle is struck by a car or truck (1).
Unfortunately, most motorcycle injuries in Chicago involving cars are the fault of the driver of the automobile.
Common Causes of a Motorcycle Injury in Chicago
The most frequent causes of a motorist-related injury in Chicago are:
- Motorist error. Because cars and passenger trucks are so much bigger than motorcycles and have blind spots, they often get into accidents with motorcycles because they don’t see them in time to avoid a collision. Common errors include distractions including talking or texting on a cell phone, eating or loud music, driver fatigue, which is responsible for slow response times, driver inexperience and driver impairment. Chicago is congested and busy, making matters even worse for motorcyclists.
- Violation of traffic laws. Accidents between motorcycles and passenger vehicles can also be the result of traffic violations, including failure to yield the right of way, speeding, illegal lane changes or failure to obey traffic signals including stop signs. With so much traffic in Chicago, roads can get congested and lead to accidents.
I Was Injured in A Motorcycle Accident in Chicago. What Should I Do?
The more important thing to do if you were struck by another motor vehicle while on your motorcycle in Chicago is to gather evidence.
What’s important? Consider the following:
- Your helmet. While Illinois law does not require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, it is a smart safety precaution all the same (2). If you were not wearing a helmet and you suffered head injuries, it may be difficult to place sole blame on the other driver involved in the accident.
- Police reports. A police report is your best evidence, as it will include diagrams of the accidents, contact information of any witnesses, weather information and citation information.
- Photographs. Carrying a cell phone at all times can come in handy in the case of an accident. Take photographs of the accident scene, your motorcycle as it landed after the accident, evidence of the point of impact between your motorcycle and the other vehicle, especially paint, and any other evidence including skid marks or broken glass.
- Witness statements. Accidents often lure neighborhood residents out of their homes to investigate. In some cases, those residents also witnessed the accident. Take down their name and contact information, especially if they saw anything especially important to your case, such as a vehicle pulling out in front of you, running a stop sign or failing to yield.
- Check for surveillance cameras. If your accident was in an urban environment – in front of a business, school or intersection, for example – there may be cameras at the scene. Ask for a copy of the tape, or alert your attorney, who can subpoena the business if your case goes to court.
- Take notes. If the other driver apologizes or says, “I didn’t see you,” both are important bits of information that will be invaluable as evidence should your case go to trial.
- Medical records. Keep a log of every medical expense, including prescription medications, gas to drive to and from medical appointments and other expenses. Also, make sure to have copies of any of your records, including X-rays or MRIs, in order to offer ample evidence of your injuries.
After A Motorcycle Accident Injury
Because cars and trucks weigh so much more than motorcycles, an accident can lead to catastrophic injuries, including head injuries (brain trauma, broken facial bones), burns, road rash, damage to internal organs, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and cuts and abrasions, potentially severe (3).
Because it can be difficult to navigate the legal system, if you were in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, it’s important to contact a lawyer who can help guide you through the process.
An experienced Chicago motorcycle injury attorney will know how to line up the right expert witnesses to shore up your case, and will do his or her best to ensure that you win your case.
If your injuries are minor, you may be able to handle your case without legal representation, but if you were seriously injured, having a motorcycle lawyer to represent your best interests allows you to focus on healing, while he or she focuses on getting you the settlement you deserve.
There are many professional and qualified motorcycle injury attorneys in Chicago. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help.