Everyone who gets into a vehicle is at risk of being injured in a motor vehicle accident. But for those who jump onto a motorcycle, the risk is even higher. According to national statistics, only 3 percent of all motor vehicles registered in the United States are motorcycles, yet 15 percent of all fatal accidents that happen each year involve motorcycles. And for those motorcycle accident victims who are fortunate to survive the crash, there is often serious or severe injuries which have been sustained that involve long recovery and may even leave the victim with permanent disabilities. The disproportionate risks highlight the importance of motorcycle insurance in Illinois.
Under Illinois law, it is mandatory for every vehicle owner to have insurance coverage in the event they are in an accident. The minimum insurance required under the law is:
- Injury or death of one person in an accident: $25,000;
- Injury or death of more than one person in an accident: $50,000; and
- Damage to property of another person: $20,000.
Although $25,000 may seem like a lot of money, it is important to keep in mind that most injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are typically serious ones that require expensive and long-term medical treatments. That $25,000 could be quickly maxed out, leaving a seriously injured motorcycle accident victim still facing overwhelming medical bills.
Another factor to consider is that, unfortunately, not everyone follows the law and there are far too many vehicles on Illinois roads that are not insured. Although the state may penalize that driver for not having insurance, that will not help the injured victim.
Since motorcycle riders face a higher risk of being in an accident, it only makes sense that they also run a higher risk of being in an accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver. This is why it is so important to have motorcycle accident insurance to not only cover damages if they are at fault in an accident but should also consider purchasing uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. If you are in a crash and the at-fault driver does not have coverage, then that insurance policy should cover your damages.
Dealing with underinsured or uninsured motorcycle accidents can be complex. This is why it is always in the best interest of the victim to let a skilled Chicago motorcycle accident attorney advocate for them and deal directly with the insurance companies, allowing the victim to be able to focus on their recovery.
Motorcycle accidents are one of the most dangerous types of vehicle accidents to be in and can leave motorcyclists and their passengers with serious – often severe – injuries.
The lack of any kind of protection around the bike leaves people on them totally vulnerable to any type of collision. One of the most common places motorcycle accidents occur at is intersections.
In order to help decrease the risk of an accident, we must first ask why most motorcycle accidents happen in intersections in Illinois and elsewhere.
In the majority of motorcycle accidents, the other driver is usually found to be at fault. When these accidents occur at intersections, there appear to be frequent factors which caused the crash. These factors include:
- Vehicle driver attempting to “beat a red light” keeps driving through the intersection after the light has already changed;
- Vehicle driver attempts to take a left-hand turn without yielding to traffic coming in the other direction;
- Vehicle driver fails to see the motorcycle because of blind spots or another vehicle is blocking the driver’s view;
- Vehicle driver does not realize motorcyclist is stopped at light or stop sign and hits the motorcycle from the rear;
- Vehicle driver is engaging in distracted driving behaviors; or
- The vehicle driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Although it is important for motorcycle drivers to stay alert and aware of other vehicles around them at all times, it is especially critical to their safety to be extra vigilant when approaching an intersection.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to blame the motorcyclists for intersection accidents, even when it is the other driver’s faults.
This is why anyone who has been injured in a motorcycle crash should contact a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney immediately following an accident in order to ensure that you receive the damages you may be entitled to for the injuries sustained in the crash.
One of the most exhilarating parts of riding a motorcycle throughout Chicago is the feeling of being part of the scenery instead of just viewing it through a glass window.
But that wide-open feeling also leaves both motorcycle drivers and their passengers at a high risk of serious injury in the event they are in a motorcycle accident. This is why it is so important to don certain safety gear every time you jump on that bike. The following are the must have safety gear when riding a motorcycle:
Even a minor head trauma can end up causing long-term and serious health issues. It is critical to wear a helmet, even though Illinois does not have a helmet law requiring riders to wear one. Ideally, the helmet you choose should be a full-face one. Watch out for helmets which are not approved by the Department of Transportation, as these may not provide the protection a helmet should. A certified helmet will have a DOP approved sticker.
There is a definite drop in temperature when you are on a motorcycle. A secure motorcycle jacket will not only help protect you from the cold and other elements but also protect your body from burns and rash if you do take a spill off the bike. Look for jackets which have a “CE” rating. Motorcycle jackets are specifically designed to block the cold air. They are usually vented to allow cool air when the temperatures are high. These jackets also have double-stitched seams, which help keep them from ripping open in an accident.
Just like motorcycle jackets, the pants you wear should also have a CE-rated armor, protecting the hip, knees, and shins. Jeans are not enough to protect a rider in the event of a fall. The denim will just shred, exposing the skin to burns, often right down to the bones.
When a rider is in a motorcycle accident, they are often flung off the bike with a strong force. The first reaction of a person in this situation is to hold their hands in front of them. Leather gloves are an essential piece of riding gear since they will protect your hands and fingers from burns, breaks, and even possible amputation.
Motorcycle boots protect the many small bones in your feet if you are in a motorcycle crash. The boots you wear should be at least over the ankle. Boots should have non-skid soles, and ideally, also have metal plates as an added protection.
Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and sustain injuries, contact a skilled Chicago motorcycle accident attorney for a free evaluation of your case and advice on what legal recourse you may have.
Spring weather has finally arrived and if you are a motorcycle lover, you have probably already rolled your bike out of storage and polished it up, taking it out for short spins here and there, and are anxiously awaiting those warmer days heading our way.
Illinois offers motorcyclists an abundance of beautiful roads to enjoy the exhilaration of riding that bike. Here are our some of our Chicago motorcycle lawyers’ top picks:
Elizabeth Scales Road, Elizabeth
This 12-miles of road is one of the best routes Illinois has to offer. The road is located off Highway 20 in Elizabeth. The road surface is smooth, with lots of sweeping corners. The scenery is gorgeous along this route, with farms, rolling hills, and incredible vistas.
Great River Road, Alton
This smooth road offers easy sweeping curves, but not too many twisted ones. There are many side roads off of this road for those “twisty” enthusiasts. The Mississippi River runs along one side of Great River Road, with all kinds of gorgeous scenery running along the other side, like farms, caves, bluffs, and wetlands.
Shawnee National Forest, Carbondale
The Shawnee National Forest provides a magnificent ride, offering waterfalls, bluffs, lakes, caves, and cypress swamps. The area, referred to as the Illinois Ozarks, offers riders hilly roads with lots of twist and turns.
Rock River Run, Rockford
This two-lane road runs from Rockford to Dixon and provides riders with the experience of a small Midwestern town. Riders will be traveling alongside Rock River, which offers sections of ravines and other rock formations. There is even a statue of Chief Blackhawk sitting high on a bluff, overlooking the river.
Scenic Ridge Route, Savanna
The Scenic Ridge Route offers 19 miles of smooth road surface and lots of sweeping corners. The route begins at the Mississippi Palisades State Park and ends a couple miles shy of Elizabeth. Along the way, you will enjoy the farms, rolling hills, and stunning vista views.
As a seasoned motorcycle rider, you know how important it is to drive defensively since other vehicle drivers often fail to “see” motorcycles on the road. If you are injured in an accident, our Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys are available to discuss your case and go over what legal options you may have.
If you have been involved in a car accident, any damages that will be paid will likely come from an insurance company of the driver who was responsible for the accident. It is important that you notify your insurance company immediately following the crash, even if the accident was caused by the other driver.
Your insurance company will want details about the accident in order to determine who was at fault. It is important to cooperate with your insurance company and provide them with the information they request, including signing authorizations and submitting to an interview.
The adjuster will ask to record that interview – which is considered your legal statement was given under oath – and if you refuse to allow the interview to be recorded, your insurance company could deny you coverage.
Once your insurance company deems that the other driver was responsible for the crash, you will then be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. It is also possible, if there are obvious circumstances to the accident, that the at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact you before your insurance company makes that decision.
The at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster may request you also submit to a recorded interview. Your Illinois personal injury attorney will advise you that it is critical that you do not agree to this because anything you may say in this interview could be used against you in order to deny your claim.
Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions which will solicit responses in a certain way that can later be turned against the innocent party that said them.
Many insurance adjusters also use sympathy as a common tactic to gain the trust of the injured victim. They may even act as if they are adding a little “extra” to the number of damages they tell you that you are entitled to in order to get you to sign the documents necessary to settle your case quickly.
Remember, the insurance adjuster is not looking out for your best interests, but only for the insurance company’s. He or she is looking to settle for the least amount of money possible. This is why you obtain the advice and representation of an aggressive Chicago auto accident attorney to ensure you do get the damages you deserve.