Motorcycles are a terrific, fun way to get around the Chicago area. Just like car accidents, however, motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate reality and when they occur, the injuries are often severe. Motorcycles do not offer the same protection as other vehicles do and crashes often result in motorcyclists being thrown from the bike, putting them at risk for suffering serious injuries. Motorcycle accidents are often the result of not being seen, but this is no excuse as drivers must exercise caution so as to not injure anybody on the roadway, including riders of motorcycles. If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident and were hit while riding, take action now to secure your legal rights.
What to do Immediately after a Motorcycle Accident
Seek Medical Attention. Do not wait to get medical treatment if you were hurt in a motorcycle accident. These types of accidents can be very serious, especially if you were hit by a vehicle or thrown from your bike. At the hospital, you may need to be checked for any internal injuries which might not be readily visible and treated some of your more obvious injuries. It is not uncommon, following a motorcycle crash, to experience:
- Orthopedic injuries involving torn ligaments or broken bones
- Head Injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Injuries to the Joints
- Injured arms and legs
- Internal injuries
- Neck and Back problems
- Death, in which case you may have a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one.
Report the Accident. The accident should be reported to the police immediately. You also need to let your own insurance company know about the accident. It is very important, though, that you do not speak with the insurance company for the driver who hit you, as they will try to get in touch with you right away in order to start building a case against you before you have a lawyer.
Preserve Evidence. When you are feeling up to it, take a picture of the damage to the motorcycle and of your body to show any injuries that might be readily visible, or have someone else take pictures. If anyone took pictures of the accident scene, do save them since they may be important later in helping to show how the accident happened.
Motorcycle Riders are Often Unfairly Victimized
Motorcycle riders tend to be treated unfairly in accident scenarios, as often times people are quick to judge and assume that motorcyclists were speeding or behaving recklessly. These assumptions have no place in our legal system and every case must be looked at individually to determine what happened. Your lawyer must be prepared to fight this bias as it occurs, both from the general public (juries) and from the insurance company.
Legal Rights after a Motorcycle Accident
As with any personal injury case, in order to succeed in a motorcycle case, you must prove that the driver who hit you acted carelessly. This is known as negligence and can be the result of any number of circumstances, including:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to follow the rules of the road
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Not paying attention to the roadway and surroundings, including a failure to see you
- Drunk Driving
- Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
You must also show that your injuries were caused by the crash, and you may be able to recover for all or some of the following
- Medical Bills including hospitals, ambulance fees, physical therapy and medication
- Lost time from work and loss of future earnings
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of a normal life
- Scarring or disfigurement
At O’Connor Cadiz Law, we would be happy to discuss the motorcycle accident with you in order to help you determine what your next steps should be, to hold the responsible person accountable for your injuries. Give us a call at 630 250-8813 or fill out our webform and we will follow up with you shortly.