Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Our team is committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for injuries caused to cyclists.
In addition to traditional bicycles, we also represent people injured in collisions involving electric bicycles, three-wheelers and scooters.
We've witnessed the growth of cycling in the Chicagoland area as more people look to cycling for exercise and commuting.
Unfortunately, as the popularity of bicycling has grown, so has the number of cases involving serious injuries due to the negligence of drivers.
When a driver's negligence results in a accident with injuries, you can pursue a claim to recover compensation for your harm.
Talk to an Experienced Bicycle Accident AttorneyRegardless of where your bike accident occurred, the Chicago bicycle accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to holding the negligent parties fully accountable to provide full compensation for your injuries.
If you lost a loved one in an Illinois bicycle accident, we will pursue a wrongful death claim to the fullest extent of Illinois law.
Even if you share fault, you still may be able to recover damages.
Chicago Area Cycling StatisticsAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 600 people die on average each year, and more than 52,000 are hurt in bicycle v. motor vehicle crashes.
In the City of Chicago, 1,095 cyclists were hurt in crashes with other vehicles in 2018.
Expansion of Chicago's Bike Lane Program
Under the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, Chicago has plans to build 645 miles of bikeways to connect neighborhoods to downtown. The plan uses a variety of barricades and buffers to protect cyclists in bike lanes.
It is illegal for drivers to enter these marked bike lanes except for making turns.
Unfortunately, despite the cities intent to protect bicyclists, these areas remain a consistent area in the city where bicycle accidents occur.
Injuries Associated With Bicycle AccidentsA bicycle offers little protection to a bicyclist hit by a vehicle. Even relatively minor impacts can cause severe injuries.
Each bicycle accident lawyer in our law firm is committed to maximizing the recovery for a cyclist's accidents in Chicago.
We have experience representing many cyclists with severe injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Scrapes, cuts & lacerations
- Injuries to joints
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Wrongful death accidents
Top Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Helping You Recover Compensation for Your Bicycle AccidentRosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has years of experience resolving personal injury claims for bicycle riders in the Chicago area and throughout the state.
Damages a Bicyclist May Recover Under Illinois LawIllinois law allows an injured bicyclist to recover financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages including:
- Medical Expenses: Past and future medical bills related to the emergency room, ambulance, hospitalization, surgery, medical treatment, physical therapy, medication, and care at a long-term facility.
- Pain and Suffering: From the incident until past the time the injury is resolved.
- Lost Wages: The time when a person cannot return to their pre-injury profession.
- Property Damage: Compensation for damage to a bike and gear.
- Wrongful Death: If you lost your loved one in a bicycle accident, you can pursue compensation under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act for loss of financial and emotional support.
How Our Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyers Prove a Case Against a Negligent DriverTo recover financial compensation in a bicycling injury or fatality case, you must establish that the driver's negligent conduct caused the crash.
While investigating bike injury cases, our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys regularly take the following steps to build a strong case for our clients.
- Take recorded statements from witnesses
- Order a police report from the City of Chicago or other municipalities
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and damage to vehicles
- Order driving records from parties involved from the Illinois Department of Transportation
- Consult with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction and engineering
- Review medical records and bills for past medical expenses as well as future medical costs
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents Our Personal Injury Law Firm HandlesDrivers often cite errant or reckless bikers as the cause of collisions or accidents.
However, the driver's lack of attention or not providing the right of way are the most significant contributing factors.
Other causes of bicycle crashes include speeding, weather, and failure to follow traffic control devices.
Understanding different types of bike injury cases can help drivers and cyclists be prepared and act defensively to reduce catastrophic injuries to bicyclists.
Our bicycle accident lawyers know these scenarios well and can assist you with your case as well as anticipate defenses.
- Collision at intersections with traffic signals and stop signs— When riding a bike, you must treat every traffic control device like you were driving a car. Staying safe requires stopping at stop signs and allowing cars to pass if they have the right of way.
- Collisions at uncontrolled intersections — When two vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, and there are no signs or lights present, the vehicle that reaches the intersection first is afforded the right of way.
- The left cross — The left cross accident occurs when a left-turning vehicle crosses the path of a rider who is crossing the road. Since left turners must yield the right of way, it is almost always the driver's fault when this type of accident occurs.
- The right hook — This type of accident occurs when the bicyclist is positioned on the right side of the road and a vehicle making a right turn turns into the cyclists. It is almost always due to the failure of the driver to notice the bicyclist and an example of why you should move farther left when you are riding.
- Dooring accidents— These accidents usually occur when a driver exits their vehicle without ensuring the area to the side of their car is free of traffic. The bicyclist has very little time to react.
- Drunk driving accidents — Drunk drivers are responsible for about one-third of traffic-related fatalities. They are more likely to be speeding and not notice bicyclists, which may result in more serious injuries to the person or a higher chance of serious injury or death.
- Distracted driving accidents — Smartphone devices can be a distraction for drivers. The decision to pay attention to a phone call, text message, or a smartphone app rather than the road can prove fatal for both the driver and whoever is involved in the accident.
- Read end collisions and sideswipes— Drivers often misjudge the space between their vehicles and bicycles they attempt to pass. In this case, they may strike the biker from behind when passing or not stopping quickly enough at an intersection.
Our Bicycle Accident SettlementsBelow are some sample accident cases that our lawyers have worked on.
Chicago Bicycle Accident Law FAQs
What Laws Does Chicago Have to Protect Cyclists?
In Chicago and Illinois, these cycling laws are in place to prevent traffic accidents and to protect riders from injury. Often when these rules are ignored, accidents occur, causing serious injuries.
If an accident does occur and a driver was violating an ordinance, it may help determine fault or liability for injured bicyclists.
The Chicago Municipal Code (Section 9-52) requires cyclists to follow the rules of the road or be subject to a penalty. However, specific other laws target the prevention of accidents on the road in Chicago.
Chicago bicyclists are also protected under the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5). Illinois statute also requires motorists to:
- Yield to bicyclists approaching an intersection
- Use caution when opening a car door or loading passengers
- Use 'due care' when driving around bicyclists
How Much is an Illinois Bicycle Accident Case Worth?
The The Illinois average for bike accident recoveries is approximately $300,000. State median recoveries for bike accidents range between $25,000 and $40,000. 75% of cases recovered under $100,000 and 10% of cases recovered more than $1,000,000 according to the Jury Verdict Reporter.
Factors, which may contribute to the value of a bicycle injury case, include economic and non-economic damages including:
- The severity of injuries sustained by the bicyclist
- Medical bills for past and future care
- Wages lost because of the incident
- Amount of insurance coverage
- The automobile insurance company for the responsible driver or party
- Opinions as to permanency of the injuries offered by a treating physician including future medical attention
- How an incident occurred and the severity of the impact
- The jurisdiction where the crash occurred
The law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented many injured cyclists in Illinois.
How Long do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Injuries Sustained in a Bike Crash?
The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims involving bicycle crashes in Illinois is two years from the date of the accident. See 735 ILCS 5/13- 202 & 205.
This law limits the time you must file a lawsuit (take legal action) against the negligent party or accept a final settlement within two years, or you may lose your right to recover.
While this is the general rule, there are exceptions to this. Consequently, you should consult with a Chicago bike accident lawyer to determine how the law applies to your situation.
What can I do if My Child was Injured While Riding His Bike?
You can bring a lawsuit for yourself and on your child's behalf for the injuries, expenses, and physical and mental suffering caused by the accident. If your minor child was injured in an Illinois accident, you might be able to recover damages on their behalf.
You can bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party for negligence as your child's parent and "next friend." As the plaintiff, you need to prove that:
- The defendant had a duty not to injure your child;
- He or she breached that duty; and (3) your child was injured and suffered damages as a consequence of the defendant's breach.
If your child dies from injuries sustained in a bike accident, you would have to sue the responsible party for wrongful death.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that your child was fatally injured because of the defendant's misconduct, intentional or otherwise, and you suffered damages because of the death.
Typically, if a child acted negligently in an accident that injured him, the legal doctrine of comparative negligence will reduce the amount he can recover from another party or even bar his recovery completely.
In Illinois, if a minor child between the ages of seven and fourteen is involved in an accident, there is a rebuttable presumption that the child is not capable of contributory negligence. This law presumes that the child cannot be responsible for the accident, but the opposing party can overcome that presumption by showing sufficient evidence.
The jury must consider the child's age, capacity, intelligence, and experience in determining his or her fault (Savage v. Martin, 256 Ill. App. 3d 272 (Ill. App. Ct. 1993)).
Who is Responsible if the Driver who Hit Me on my Bike was Working at the Time?
Depending on the circumstances, the driver and the driver's employer might both be responsible for your personal injuries and damages under the theory of respondeat superior.
In most Cook County bicycle accidents involving an on-the-job driver, the employee that the driver was working for at the time will be vicariously liable for any damages arising from the accident.
This legal theory is based on respondeat superior, which is a common-law legal doctrine that holds that employers are responsible for their employees' actions when made within the scope of their employment. See Bagent v. Blessing Care Corp, 224 Ill.2d 154 (Ill. 2007), quoting Restatement (Second) of Agency)
You can pursue damages in a personal injury case against the employer of the driver responsible for your injuries.
The benefit of getting an employer or company involved in a bicycle accident case is that they likely have substantial assets and coverage to satisfy a settlement or judgment against them.
These are some common examples of employee conduct sufficient to trigger vicarious liability:
- A driver was traveling from one job site to another
- A driver was making a delivery to a client on behalf of an employer
- A driver was going to pick up supplies for an employer
These are examples of conduct not considered within the scope of employment:
- A driver was commuting to his job but had not started working yet
- A driver was running a personal errand
- The employer's car was being driven by someone who stole it
Can More Than one Driver be Held Liable for my Injuries in an Illinois Injury Claim?
Yes. Illinois law allows multiple parties to be held responsible for bicycle accidents in certain situations.
Many Illinois bike collisions involve contact with more than one vehicle. In many cases, a bicyclist will be struck by a vehicle as he or she is attempting to avoid a collision with a different vehicle.
First,you need to sue everyone who may have caused the accident that injured you. Then you need to show in court that their actions contributed to causing your injuries.
After that, you can seek damages from each defendant. Illinois lets you do this because it follows the theory of joint and several liability.
This theory claims that any member of a defendant class can be held responsible for the plaintiff's entire damages even if its role in the accident was minor. This theory gives an inherent advantage to claimants because it allows them to recover from defendants with the most significant ability to pay.
For instance, a trucking company or other commercial defendant could be held accountable regardless of the defendant's percentage of fault for the accident.
If a defendant believes that it paid more than its fair share to the plaintiff, then it can seek reimbursement from the other defendant(s), but only after fulfilling its obligation to the plaintiff.
Should I Discuss My Bicycle Accident With an Auto Insurance Adjuster?
No. Following an accident in which you were injured, you are not legally obligated to give an insurance company representative, or any other person, any statement about the incident, except for law enforcement.
By law, you are not required to give insurance carriers any verbal or written information or documents they might request of you before you have legal representation.
Before discussing any details of your bicycle accident with the at-fault driver's auto insurance carrier, you should speak with an experienced injury attorney.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, insurance companies for the responsible party often try to obtain as much information as possible from the injured person to negotiate a low claim settlement.
They are not looking out for your best interests, and often later use what you tell them against you.
Can I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim for a Hit & Run Bicycle Accident?
Yes, a hit and run bicycle accident would be covered under the cyclists own car insurance policy.
In Chicago, 25% of bike accidents involve a driver who flees the scene. Our personal injury law firm can provide legal help for victims of hit-and-run accidents or for those hit by a driver without insurance or minimal coverage.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Represent Me After a Chicago Bicycle Accident?
Yes, an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Chicago, IL, can assist you with all issues involved with your case. However, the decision to hire an attorney to represent you in a bicycle accident case is a personal decision.
A qualified personal injury firm will be able to offer substantial resources, experience, skill, and care to your bicycle accident case.
Attorneys obtain police reports and help you through the insurance claim process and give you a good idea as to the value of your case. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers negotiate with insurance companies to provide the best outcome for you. .
Chicago Bike Accident Lawyers Here For YouNothing can prepare you for an accident. Insurance companies work quickly to offer injured parties a settlement that may be inadequate and insufficient with the hope that you will accept their offer.
Before you consider resolving a bike injury case, talk to a law firm that has successfully resolved hundreds of claims and lawsuits for injured cyclists.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provides free case evaluations for all Chicago bicycle injuries and related accidents.
Call us now at 888-424-5757 or complete our online contact form for assistance and let us help you with your financial recovery.
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