If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in DuPage County, you need to call a Wheaton motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. Not because we’re trying to sell you on the importance of contacting a lawyer (though you will find you can recover more when represented by an attorney than when you’re not), but more because the first days after an accident happens can often make or break your case.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident
We have received calls from many victims of vehicle accidents who failed to take simple steps after an accident that could have benefited their case. We are referring to people who were ‘capable’ to take these steps after the accident – many motorcycle accident victims are not able to act because they’ve been injured.
If you can, make sure you do the following after an accident:
- Call the police immediately and report the accident
- Inspect the scene of the accident – there may be skid marks or other evidence to be collected
- Obtain the contact and insurance information for all parties involved in the accident
- Take pictures of your injuries, especially road rash and other lacerations and abrasions
- Take pictures of the damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles involved in the accident
- Take statements from witnesses while the accident is fresh in their memory
- File a claim with the appropriate insurance companies
- Contact a Wheaton motorcycle accident lawyer to learn about your rights
We are available to meet with you in person immediately after your accident if you live in or around any of the following:
- Downers Grove
- Carol Stream
- West Chicago
Who Should a Motorcycle Passenger Sue After an Accident?
The heading to this paragraph is a little misleading in that before you “sue” anyone, you’re going to file a claim with the “at-fault” party’s insurance company. Who is at fault for a motorcycle accident will be an important question to the passenger.
Why? The passenger may file a claim (or file suit) against the driver of the vehicle that hit the bike but what if the driver of the motorcycle is at fault? Then the passenger will have to file a claim/lawsuit against the driver of the motorcycle.
This gets tricky if the driver of the motorcycle is the spouse, significant other or friend of the passenger. There was a claim a while back where a passenger was on the back of a bike that hit gravel and went down. The passenger filed suit against the driver of the bike – a friend of the passenger. The driver was not happy especially when the driver learned how much the passenger was claiming in damages.
The same issue comes up in auto accident cases. Passengers might file a claim against a third party that hit the car they were riding in but also might file a claim for ‘negligence’ against the driver of the vehicle they were riding in.
In addition, and as an aside, it’s very important that you always file a claim with your own insurance company as well. The reason is that you may have coverage for your damages. You might have medpay coverage that will cover co-pays or other medical bills. You may have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage that might kick in if the defendant turns out to be uninsured or has a small insurance policy.
Motorcycle Passenger Safety Precautions
Riding a motorcycle is risky business. Riding a motorcycle with a passenger on the back is inherently risky. This is especially true if the passenger has never ridden on the back of a bike. Depending on the preparation you take before the ride, it may be the most rewarding or most terrifying ride of your life. Regardless of your solo riding skill level, riding with a passenger will give you a whole new perspective on riding.
Don’t assume your new passenger knows anything about motorcycles. Explain everything from how they will get on and off the bike to where they should put their hands and feet. Explain that they shouldn’t lean the opposite way on a curve and that they can’t grab your arms while you are driving. Come up with a hand signal or tap on the leg if they need to stop. Communication is important.
Your motorcycle will handle differently with a passenger on the back. The more the passenger weighs the more impact they will have on how your bike handles. A passenger will affect:
- Turns – Your motorcycle will take more effort to turn
- Stops – It will take a longer distance to stop
- Acceleration – It will take more time and distance to get up to speed
Never accept a passenger who isn’t wearing proper gear. A tank-top and flip-flops do not qualify as proper riding gear. It’s important that your passenger is protected in the event of an accident. This means: a helmet, a leather jacket, boots and gloves at the very minimum. You are responsible for the passenger, if they aren’t dressed properly do not give them a ride.
Agreeing to give a ride to a drunk passenger is also not a good idea. They can easily throw you off balance and you also risk them falling asleep and falling off the bike. It’s understandable that you want to get them home safely so call them a cab or find them a ride in a car.
Wheaton, the County Seat of DuPage County
Wheaton is important to our office because it is the county seat of DuPage County but also because we’ve spent so much time there. We’ve been in the Wheaton Courthouse countless times and to the Verdict over on County Farm Road so many times we could recite the menu.
Over 52,000 people live in Wheaton and it draws in people from the many cities around it like Warrenville and Carol Stream.
If you would like to speak with a Wheaton motorcycle accident lawyer, call 1-847-305-4105.