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Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
Riding a motorcycle can give you a sense of freedom. There’s something special about having the wind in your face. Unfortunately, experiencing the thrill of being on a motorcycle also comes with risks. Did you know that a total of 2,404 motorcyclists were injured in 2020? The injuries sustained ranged from road burns to traumatic brain injuries. Sometimes, even a helmet isn’t enough to protect you from those more serious injuries out there. So, if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, do you know what to do to ensure you receive compensation for your injuries and property damage?
Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The Illinois Department of Transportation tracks the number of motorcycle accidents occurring each year in the state. An estimated 2,000 or so accidents may not seem like a lot when you consider the number of bikes on the road. However, mild to severe injuries aren’t the only possible outcomes. Motorcycle accidents can also be fatal for the rider. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), motorcycle accidents resulted in 119 fatalities and 811 catastrophic injuries.
The majority of motorcycle accidents happen on Chicago city streets. However, this doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of being involved in an accident on state highways. Some of the common injuries you can suffer in an accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Severe lacerations or amputations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
Road rash, bruises, and scrapped skin are also common injuries. Even though these types of injuries may seem minor, especially compared to internal bleeding and organ damage, you may still be eligible to receive compensation.
What are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois
A motorcycle accident can only involve the rider or other vehicles. If you’re just starting on a motorcycle, you may want to avoid riding on busy streets and highways until you get some experience handling the bike. Even if you’re the only one involved in an accident, you can still sustain serious injuries. Concussions and scrapes are common when a rider falls off their bike. Your pride is probably also damaged but at least it’s not a serious injury.
When a motorcycle accident involves one or more vehicles, the causes can vary from distracted driving to speeding. Some other common causes are, Driving under the influence. Not only is driving while intoxicated illegal, but it’s also dangerous for motorcyclists and everyone else on the road.
- Stopping suddenly can cause a motorcyclist to hit the vehicle’s back bumper
- Failing to yield to a motorcycle can easily result in a catastrophic accident
- Turn left in front of a motorcycle
Another possible danger is inexperienced drivers. They may not realize the importance of leaving a safe distance between their vehicle and a motorcycle. Sometimes, inexperienced drivers can become nervous around motorcyclists, resulting in a crash.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Hopefully, you never need to use these steps. The reality is motorcycle accidents happen daily in Illinois and you may find yourself involved in one. If you’re in a motorcycle accident, there are some steps you should take.
Move to Safety
Unlike vehicle drivers, you’re not protected by the car’s frame. You’re completely exposed and this can be dangerous. The last thing you want is to be hit by an oncoming motorist after wrecking your bike. Move to a safe area like the side of the road or even a medium. The goal is to get off the road. Even if you can’t move your bike, at least stand off to the side at a safe distance.
Once you’re safe, start assessing your injuries. If possible, go ahead and check the other involved drivers and any passengers for injuries. Something you shouldn’t do is start taking off your protective gear. Not only is the gear still helping to keep you safe, but it may also be protecting your injuries. Wait until medical assistance arrives before shedding your helmet, gloves, and jacket.
Report the Motorcycle Accident
Some minor fender benders cause little to no damage, and injuries are non-existent. If both drivers agree to go their separate ways, the accident may never be reported. Yes, this is legal though not advisable. Sometimes, vehicle damage isn’t discovered until you take your car in for a tune-up. Now you can’t file an insurance claim since the accident was never reported.
Motorcycle accidents are different, so make sure to always file a police report. Call 911, report your location, and wait for the authorities to arrive. Don’t leave the accident scene, even if you and your bike are in perfect condition. You may find yourself dealing with a hit-and-run charge. Penalties can range from steep fines to license suspension and even jail time.
Get Medical Attention
Even if the accident only knocked you off your bike, it’s still a good idea to make an appointment with a physician. Even minor cuts and scrapes can be an indication of a more serious internal injury, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are planning on seeking compensation for your motorcycle accident, your personal injury attorney will want a copy of your medical report. This also applies to the insurance provider, so make an appointment with your physician.
Collect Evidence if Possible
If your injuries are severe, don’t worry about playing a CSI tech—the responding authorities and your personal injury attorney will handle evidence collection. If you’re able, go ahead and document the accident scene. Take pictures of the damage to your bike and of any injuries. If there is anyone who witnessed the accident, get their contact information. Your attorney and insurance adjuster will want to get their statements. Once again, if you can’t get this information, don’t panic. Your motorcycle accident report will include all incident details.
Contact an Attorney if You’re In a Motorcycle Accident
Experiencing a motorcycle accident can indeed be a harrowing and overwhelming ordeal. In such challenging times, it's reassuring to know that you don't have to navigate the complexities of the compensation process by yourself. Engaging with a personal injury attorney can be a crucial step towards recovery.
Your attorney will not only provide expert legal guidance but will also advocate tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair and comprehensive compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Their support can significantly alleviate the stress of the situation, allowing you to focus on your recovery.