It’s important to understand the risks associated with riding a motorcycle before you get on the road. As such, our Elgin motorcycle accident lawyer is providing details from the most recent motorcycle crash data for Illinois from the Illinois Department of Transportations’ 2020 quick facts crash report.
Illinois Motorcycle Crash Statistics
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, as of October 2020, there have been 123 motorcycle fatalities in Illinois.
The most recent ‘full-year’ numbers on the IDOT website are from 2014. In that year there were 3,408 motorcycle crashes and 116 motorcycle fatalities.
According to the IDOT report “Just 3,408 (1.2%) of all 296,060 crashes that occurred in Illinois in 2014 involved motorcycles, yet these crashes accounted for 120 (13.0%) of all 924 traffic fatalities.”
Other interesting information from the report:
- 4% of the motorcyclists who died were wearing a helmet at the time of death
- Excessive speed was a factor in 451 (13.2%) of all motorcycle crashes
- 435 crashes involved a crash with a fixed object
From the statistics, it’s easy to see that your risk of dying in a motorcycle crash is much higher than dying in an automobile crash.
Now bikers always hate these numbers and we’ve received a lot of criticism from riders for harping on the negative. We’re just providing information – really in an effort to get riders to gear up properly so that should they be involved in an accident, they are somewhat protected.
If I Get in a Motorcycle Accident, Should I Call the Police?
Often times there is hesitance to call the police after a motorcycle accident. Do NOT hesitate. Call the police. There is already a bias against motorcyclists. You need to get your version of what happened in the police report. If you don’t you may have a big hurdle to overcome when you try and seek compensation from the insurance company.
Another reason why you should call the police is that stories change. So many times we’ve had clients who were hit and the defendant apologized at the scene and admitted fault, only to change his story when he spoke to this insurance company.
One last situation we’ve seen a lot is where there is a minor accident and the driver of the car says don’t call the police and that they don’t want to use their insurance. They’ll just pay for the damage themselves. Don’t buy it. So many times people say that and either provide phony information or stories change later and the rider didn’t call the police and she or he is left stuck wondering how they’re going pay for the damage to their bike.
Admission of fault after an Accident
This is an important topic as it’s something we’ve seen make or break cases in the past. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, be very careful what you say after the accident – it may be used against you later. This includes what you say to witnesses, the defendant (driver of the vehicle), and to the police.
In particular, be very careful about admitting fault of any kind and/or making any statements against your interest. How does this work? Let’s look at how it can work for you. In a case we signed up just two weeks ago, the driver of the vehicle told the police that he pulled up to a stop sign, looked to his right, but failed to look to his left before entering the intersection.
That case is over right there. We have established liability on behalf of the driver of the vehicle. The police officer put it in the police report. Now the insurance company will see that and accept fault for the accident. The only question then becomes “how much?”
However, this can work against you too. If you’re driving up Randall Road and you’re going 65 in a 45 miles per hour zone and you get in an accident, and you state to the other driver how fast you were going, that may be used to deny or diminish your claim. And when I say diminish, the other driver may still be liable for the accident, its just that liability may be split between the two of you. Illinois is a comparative negligence state which means that you can recover even if you’re partially at fault for an accident.
Document What the Defendant Says After the Accident
As stated above, an admission may be made to a police officer but what if the driver of the car tells you ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.’ If that happens, document it immediately. Write down the time it occurred and the situation. That too is an admission and if you document it immediately you may be able to use that as evidence.
Elgin, Illinois is in Both Cook and Kane Counties
Where you file a lawsuit if your motorcycle accident occurs in Elgin may depend on where in Elgin the accident happened. Elgin lies part in Cook County and part in Kane County. Does this make a difference? It definitely could. Cook County juries are likely to be much more liberal and generous than a Kane County jury may be. Not always just generally speaking.
However, if you file in Cook County expect to wait a long time for a trial date while things will move much quicker in Kane County. The courthouse in Elgin is in the Robert Gilliam Municipal Complex at 150 Dexter Ct. If you need to file in Kane County, you’ll be going to the Judicial Center in St. Charles.
To speak with an Elgin motorcycle accident lawyer today for free, call 1-847-305-4105.