Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries, and the costs of recovering from these injuries can be substantial. If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in the Chicago area, here are 25 key facts about your claim for financial compensation:
1. Motorcycle Accidents are Becoming More Common in the Chicago Area.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), motorcycle accidents are on the rise. Over the past few years, we have consistently seen more serious and fatal motorcycle accidents in and around the Chicago area.
2. Motorcycle Accidents are Far More Likely than Other Types of Accidents to Result in Severe Injury or Death.
IDOT’s data also indicate that nearly 99 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injuries or death; and, while motorcycle accidents account for just over one percent of all vehicle collisions, they account for more than 14 percent of all accident-related fatalities.
3. Practicing ATGATT Can Help Protect You, but It Will Not Prevent All Injuries.
While it is recommended that all motorcycle riders follow ATGATT (which stands for “All the Gear, All the Time”), doing so will not necessarily protect you in the event of a crash. Broken bones, road rash, loss of limbs, and other types of severe traumatic injuries can occur even if you are fully clad in high-quality motorcycle riding gear.
4. Even if You Wear a Helmet, You Could Still Suffer a Concussion or Other Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Likewise, while wearing a helmet can greatly reduce your risk of a severe or fatal head injury, riders who go down can still suffer concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). If you are experiencing symptoms of a concussion or other TBI, it is important that you seek medical attention right away.
5. Motorcycle Riders have the Same Legal Rights as Other Motor Vehicle Drivers and Passengers.
As a motorcycle rider, you have the same legal rights as everyone else on the road. Among other things, this means that you have the right to occupy your lane without interference from other vehicles, and you have the right to recover just compensation when a “cage” driver causes an accident.
6. The Process for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim is Similar to Filing a Car Accident Claim.
The process for filing a motorcycle claim is largely the same as the process for filing a car accident claim as well. You should report the accident to your insurance company promptly; and, if the driver who hit you was at fault, his or her insurance company should “subrogate” your insurance company for any amounts paid to you directly.
7. Unfortunately, Many People have a Bias Against Motorcycle Riders.
However, securing payment after a motorcycle accident is rarely this straightforward. In fact, due to the bias against motorcycle riders, securing financial compensation after a motorcycle accident can often be more difficult than securing compensation after any other type of vehicle collision.
8. After a Motorcycle Accident, it is Up to You to Protect Your Legal Rights.
As a result, as an injured motorcycle rider, it is up to you to protect your legal rights. You need to be prepared to fight for what is right, and the best way to do this is to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
9. Regardless of the Type of Accident, You May be Entitled to a Financial Recovery.
When seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, the nature of your accident is not nearly as important as the cause. High-side accidents, low-side accidents, rear-end collisions, T-bone collisions, and all other types of motorcycle accidents can support claims for financial compensation.
10. There are Some Steps You Need to Take as Soon as Possible.
In addition to speaking with an attorney as soon as possible, there are some other steps you should take after a motorcycle accident in Chicago as well. These include seeking prompt medical attention, following your doctor’s advice, and writing down as many details about the accident as you can remember.
11. There are Also Some Critical Mistakes You Need to Try to Avoid.
When taking these steps, you also need to keep in mind some critical mistakes to avoid. Mistakes like giving a recorded statement, posting about the accident on social media, and returning to work too soon can all potentially jeopardize your financial recovery.
12. Many Common Driving Mistakes Can Cause Motorcycle Accidents.
On the road, it only takes a one mistake or a split-second loss of concentration for a driver to cause a serious motorcycle accident. Distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, speeding, merging without looking, and other driving mistakes are all common factors in serious and fatal motorcycle collisions.
13. You Will Need to Hire a Law Firm to Investigate the Scene of the Accident.
In order to recover just compensation, you will need proof that the driver who hit you made a mistake. This means that you will need to hire a law firm to conduct an investigation at the scene of the accident as soon as possible.
14. Evidence of Liability May be Available from Other Sources as Well.
In addition to evidence from the scene of the accident, other forms of evidence may be available as well. From cell phone records to security camera footage, there are various other forms of evidence that your attorney may be able to collect in order to prove your claim for just compensation.
15. As a Motorcycle Rider, the Insurance Companies Will Try to Blame You for Your Own Injuries.
When you file an insurance claim after a motorcycle accident, the insurance companies will almost certainly try to claim that you are to blame for your own injuries. Having evidence to prove liability is the only way to overcome the insurance companies’ tactics, and your lawyer will need to be prepared to advocate aggressively on your behalf.
16. You Cannot Trust the Insurance Companies to Treat You Fairly.
The insurance companies care about protecting their interests, not yours. If you try to deal with the insurance companies on your own (i.e. without legal representation), they will use every trick in the book to try to deny payment of just compensation.
17. Under Illinois Law, Injured Motorcycle Riders are Entitled to Just Compensation for All of Their Accident-Related Losses.
The term “just compensation” encompasses payment for all of your accident-related losses. This includes not only financial losses such as medical bills and lost wages, but pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other types of non-financial losses as well.
18. This Includes Just Compensation for Current and Future Losses.
Critically, “just compensation” also includes payment for current and future losses. If you have been seriously injured, your future losses may far exceed the losses you incur while your claim is pending.
19. Even if You Were Partially at Fault in Your Motorcycle Accident, You May Still be Able to File a Successful Insurance Claim.
Under Illinois’s law of “modified comparative fault,” even if the evidence suggests that you were partially at fault in your motorcycle accident, you could still be entitled to partial compensation.
20. You Should Speak with an Attorney Before Accepting Any Payment from Your Insurance Company or from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurer.
Once you accept a settlement, your motorcycle accident claim is over. As a result, before you accept any payment from the insurance companies, you should discuss the consequences with your attorney.
21. Hiring an Attorney is the Best Way to Protect Your Legal Rights After a Motorcycle Accident.
Due to the need to collect evidence, accurately calculate your losses, and protect yourself against the insurance companies, after a motorcycle accident it is strongly in your best interests to hire an attorney.
22. You Should Choose an Attorney Who has Specific Experience with Motorcycle Accidents in the Chicago Area.
When choosing an attorney, you should look for someone who has specific experience handling motorcycle accident claims in the Chicago area. Hiring an attorney who has years’ worth of relevant experience will give you the best chance to recover maximum compensation.
23. Your Initial Consultation Should be Free, and You Should Not have to Pay Anything Unless You Win Just Compensation.
Hiring an attorney for your motorcycle accident claim should not cost you anything out of pocket. Your initial consultation should be free, and you should only have to pay a contingency fee if you receive a favorable settlement or verdict.
24. Most Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claims are Resolved Without Going to Trial.
If an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is willing to take your case, this means there is a strong chance that you will receive a settlement prior to trial. But, some cases do go to court; and, when choosing an attorney, it is important to make sure he or she is willing to fight for your rights in court if necessary.
25. Regardless of the Facts at Hand, You Owe it to Yourself to Speak with a Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Right Away.
No matter what happened, and no matter who you believe may be to blame, you owe it to yourself to speak with an attorney. To find out if you have a claim for just compensation, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Get Started with a Free Initial Motorcycle Accident Consultation at Malman Law
To schedule your free initial consultation with a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney at Malman Law, please call 888-625-6265 or contact us online. One of our attorneys will be happy to meet with you in person to discuss your legal rights in confidence. Remember, you pay nothing unless we win.