Motorcycle Accidents Attorney in Chicago, Illinois

Riding a motorcycle gives many people a sense of freedom and excitement that they just can’t obtain with a car. However, there are some real risks you take on as a motorcycle rider that you need to be aware of. Because motorcycles are harder to see by other motorists, it can mean that they’re more likely to be involved in an accident. Also, when these accidents do happen, they tend to result in more devastating outcomes.  

According to a report by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 2,404 motorcyclists injured in the state in 2020 alone. If this has happened to you or a loved one and you’d like to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney about pursuing a personal injury claim, call us at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C. in Chicago, Illinois. 

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Steps to Take if You Were in a Motorcycle Accident  

Although it can be overwhelming to know exactly what to do after being involved in a motorcycle accident, there are a few basic steps you should take to tend to your health and best interests: 

  1. Seek Medical Help: Regardless of who caused the accident or whose insurance will pay the costs, the most important thing you can do for yourself is seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel obviously injured or if you think that your injuries are only “minor,” you should always be checked out by a medical professional. Oftentimes after harrowing accidents like this, the adrenaline that’s running through your body can give you a false sense of well-being and you won’t be able to feel your injuries. Plus, you’ll need to present documentation of your medical expenses when filing a claim.    

  1. Document and Obtain Documents of Everything: Documentation is key to presenting a successful motorcycle accident claim and this includes getting a copy of the police report, taking photos or video of the accident scene including photos of any property damage, medical bills, doctor’s diagnosis and treatment recommendations, a personal account of the accident, and documentation of lost wages. 

  1. Contact Insurance: Since Illinois is an at-fault state for insurance claims, you’ll likely file a claim first with the other driver’s insurance provider and this should be done as soon as possible.  

  1. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney: Lastly, but not unimportantly, you should reach out to a local personal injury attorney who can help you work through the claims process and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance adjuster. Each case will be slightly different, and an experienced attorney can help evaluate your specific needs and develop a plan to pursue the compensation you deserve. 

Illinois Motorcycle Laws 

Motorcycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, both due to rider error and the negligence of cars around them. That said, it’s important to have a clear understanding of motorcycle laws in Illinois. 

  • Lane Splitting – Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of traffic. This is prohibited in Illinois.  

  • Helmet laws - There is currently no state law that riders have to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. However, there is a requirement that all riders must have some kind of face shield like goggles or a visor. 

  • Motorcycle Passenger - If you’re carrying a passenger on the back of your motorcycle, there must be a dedicated seat for them with footrests.  

  • Required motorcycle equipment - When operating a motorcycle in the state, each passenger must have a seat with footrests, and the bike must have a muffler, headlight, and at least one rearview mirror. Additionally, handlebars cannot be any higher than shoulder height when the rider is seated. 

Determining Fault in Illinois  

In any personal injury claim, you’ll be tasked with proving negligence. Illinois works on a comparative negligence model which means that fault can be shared between two parties. For example, if you’re found to be 10% responsible for causing the accident, your final settlement will be reduced by 10%. Note that if you’re found to be over 50% responsible for the accident occurring, you won’t be able to seek any damages. 

Filing a Claim for a Loved One  

Unfortunately, sometimes a motorcycle rider loses their life or is severely incapacitated after an accident. When this happens, a family member is typically able to file a motorcycle wrongful death claim on their behalf. State law stipulates that this must be done by the “personal representative” of the victim. If this role has not been assigned in a will or other estate planning document, a judge can name someone to fill it, most typically a close family member. In most cases, you have two years from the date of death to file a claim like this. 

Motorcycle Accidents Attorney in Chicago, Illinois

If you’re in the Chicago, Illinois area including Lake County, McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will, Kankakee, Kane, or Grundy, and would like to consult with an attorney about your options, contact the team at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C. for trusted legal guidance.