Your 9-Step Guide to Handling a Motorcycle Accident in Illinois

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

No one ever wants to be involved in a motorcycle accident, but unfortunately, they happen – often with serious injuries and damages. If you do get into an accident, the steps you take immediately afterward can significantly impact your ability to get fair compensation down the line.

That’s why it’s crucial for every rider to know exactly what to do in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. This guide outlines the 9 most important actions to take care of yourself, build a strong injury claim, protect your legal rights, and maximize your financial recovery from medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.

1. Prioritize Your Health and Safety

In the moments following a motorcycle accident, your top priority should be the safety and well-being of yourself and others involved.

Begin by looking for injuries, and if you can, check on the condition of anyone else at the scene. If you or someone else requires emergency medical attention, call 911 immediately.

Even when your injuries seem minor, you should have a medical professional evaluate you as soon as possible, as some harm, like concussions, whiplash, or internal bleeding, may not show symptoms right away.

If it’s safe, move yourself and your motorcycle to a secure location away from oncoming traffic to prevent further accidents. Keep your protective gear on until emergency medical technicians arrive to avoid aggravating injuries.

2. Document the Accident Scene

Once everyone is safe, it’s time to gather evidence about the accident. Use your phone to take photos of the damage to your motorcycle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Capture images of the accident scene, including skid marks, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries you or others have sustained.

Collect contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This evidence should include their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, plate number, and insurance company details.

3. Contact the Police and File an Accident Report

Regardless of the accident’s severity, you must contact the police and have them document the scene. When the responding officer arrives, provide them with a clear, factual account of what happened leading up to the accident.

Stick to the facts and avoid admitting fault or apologizing for the accident, as these statements can be used against you when seeking a settlement or jury award.

Request a copy of the police report for your records. This document will serve as valuable evidence when filing an injury claim.

4. Seek Medical Attention

Always get a medical evaluation after leaving an accident scene. Visit your doctor or an outpatient clinic for a thorough exam, as some injuries may have delayed symptoms.

Promptly receiving a medical opinion demonstrates that you took your injuries seriously. Your medical records, including diagnoses, treatment plans, and bills, are necessary evidence when pursuing an injury claim.

5. Notify Your Insurance Company

After receiving medical attention, report the motorcycle accident to your insurance company. Disclose only the necessary facts of what occurred and provide accident documentation like the police report and damage photos.

However, be cautious when communicating with adjusters, and avoid admitting fault, downplaying your injuries, or accepting a low settlement offer without consulting a personal injury attorney first.

6. Watch What You Say and Post Online

Your personal statements and social media actions after a motorcycle accident. Refrain from telling others the accident was your fault, as insurers can use this testimony against your injury claim.

Similarly, avoid posting accident details or commenting about the accident on social media platforms. Insurance companies regularly use social media posts to downplay the severity of injuries or suggest that the injured person was partially at fault for the accident.

7. Keep Track of Accident-Related Expenses

As you begin recovery, maintain detailed records of all expenses related to the motorcycle accident.

This evidence should include:

  • Medical bills and records for injury treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and therapy sessions.
  • Lost wages from missing work due to the accident and subsequent recovery.
  • Repair estimates and receipts for your damaged motorcycle.
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as transportation and medical appointments.

You can include these documented losses in your accident claim to satisfy your economic and non-economic damages pleas.

8. Know When to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

It’s best to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer specializing in motorcycle accident cases after experiencing a severe injury.

Your legal counsel can build a decisive personal injury claim, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and make persuasive arguments that maximize settlement offers and jury awards.

During your consultation, your attorney reviews the details of your accident, assesses the strength of your claim, and advises you on the best course of action moving forward.

9. Understand Illinois’ Motorcycle Accident Laws

Illinois has specific laws that affect people pursuing motorcycle accident claims.

Shared Fault Statute

Our state follows “modified comparative negligence” rules, which means the courts may reduce your compensation by your percentage of fault in the accident.

  • FOR EXAMPLE – if an adjuster or judge finds you to be 20% at fault for the motorcycle accident, he or she will reduce your damages by 20%. However, the law bars you from recovering compensation if you’re more than 50% at fault.

Claim Filing Deadlines

Additionally, Illinois has a statute of limitations for filing a claim, which sets deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In most cases, you have two years from the accident date to bring a civil action, although some exceptions exist.

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you determine liability in your case, ensure you meet all legal deadlines, and fight for a fair payout to cover your injuries.

The Road to Recovery Starts Here.

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t try to get through this alone. At Onward Injury Law, our motorcycle accident attorneys have years of experience protecting the rights of injured riders across Illinois.

We know the devastating impacts these accidents can have – both physically and financially. That’s why our team works tirelessly to help you move onward, securing the full compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

We’re prepared to gather evidence, build a strong case on your behalf, and fight for the maximum settlement from insurance companies. Take the first step on your journey to recovery by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation today. Our compassionate legal guidance can make all the difference.

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