Bicycling is more popular than ever, thanks to our desire to pursue fitness-related activities and municipalities’ expansion of bike trails and bike lanes on city streets in Chicago. As the popularity of the sport continues to grow, bike riders need to remember that their safety is not guaranteed as long as they share streets and street crossings with cars and trucks. Even though more laws and consideration is given to protecting bicyclists on the road, they are still extremely susceptible to injury compared to the drivers of other vehicles on the road.
The first automobile accident ever recorded in the U.S. was in 1896 in New York City, when a motor vehicle collided with a bicyclist. Since then, thousands of cyclists have died and many more have been injured, as motor vehicles become the preferred mode of transportation. Fatalities of bicyclists in motor vehicle accidents began being recorded in 1932 and over 53,000 cyclists have lost their lives since then.
Negligent drivers causing collisions with bicyclists
Many bicyclists are severely injured due to the negligence of other drivers on the road who fail to pay attention or drive recklessly. Although there is very little reliable data on the exact percentages of who is more often at fault, most data points to that motor vehicles are at fault at least 50% of the time. In some cases, there may be more than one person contributing to the accident, making determining who is financially responsible even more blurred. Obviously, when cars or other types of vehicles hit bicyclists, there is little room for forgiveness and most bicyclists hit by motor vehicles sustain serious or even fatal injuries.
From the time we are retained by an injured bicyclist, our bike accident attorneys begin an investigation into the circumstances that may have caused or contributed to the accident. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has a team of investigators, some of whom are retired police officers, who are skilled in retrieving evidence from the scene and securing witness statements to help secure the most favorable outcome for our clients.
Learn more about the incidence of drivers failing to yield to cyclists on our page here.
Serious bike accident injuries
Bicycle-motor vehicle accidents can be especially dangerous for the cyclist due to the obvious difference in size and protection. There are many serious injuries that can occur such as bone fractures, contusions and even death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 600 cyclists die each year and over 52,000 are injured in bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. Most alarming is the significant percentage of children involved in bicycle accidents, many of whom will require ongoing medical care.
Although there are many injuries that can be sustained in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash, the most serious is a head injury. Head injuries are the number one cause of death in bicycle accidents and can leave survivors with life-long disabilities. It is due to the seriousness and longevity of these types of injuries that it is vital that cyclists have legal representation to help them recover financial damages in a bicycle accident case.
When bicyclists sustain a traumatic brain injury, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers may retain an expert in the field of neurophysiology to help explain the significance of the injury to a jury. Not all impacts of a brain injury are necessarily immediately apparent and an expert can help a jury determine the personal and financial consequences of such a serious injury.
The popularity in using bicycles to commute to and get around in congested business areas has lead to an increase in the number of “dooring injuries.” As the name suggests, a dooring injury occurs when the occupant of a car fails to look before opening the door to make sure there are no bicyclists in the vicinity.
Not only is it common sense to look before opening car doors after stopping a vehicle, some municipalities, such as the City of Chicago, have made such door opening precautions the law, by adopting them within the Chicago Municipal Code with the intent of allocating fault on dooring accidents. See our bike dooring page here.
Chicago, Illinois Bike Accident Attorneys
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your bicycle injury, we invite you to speak with our experienced Chicago bicycle accident lawyers today. There is never a charge to speak to our lawyers for an initial consultation and it is completely confidential. . Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has a team of investigators, some of whom are retired police officers, who are skilled in retrieving evidence from the scene and securing witness statements to help secure the most favorable outcome for our clients. Before you talk with the insurance company, talk to Chicago’s premier bike injury law firm today.
There can help for those who are victim to a hit-and-run accident or for those hit by someone without insurance. Even though bicyclists may have sustained injures when they were not in a car, they may be entitled to pursue an under- or un-insured motorist claim against their automobile insurance company. Our Illinois accident lawyers can help decide the best solution and course of action to take in your case.
Lastly, if you or or child was injured cycling accident in Illinois, we invite you to review the materials on Chicago Bike Injury Lawyers (www.chicagobikeinjurylawyers.com) for a concise discussion of bicycle laws applicable to riders in Chicago and throughout Illinois as well as a discussion of common bike injuries.
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