Each Chicago bicycle accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers knows the dangers bicyclists face while riding on city streets and bike paths. Our bike crash lawyers are committed to holding negligent drivers fully accountable for the injuries they cause to cyclists.
Choose the Top Bicycle Injury Lawyers in Illinois
Illinois law allows an injured bicyclist to recover compensation for medical expenses, time lost from work, pain, and disability. In a recent Chicago bicycle accident lawsuit, in which a turning car struck our client, a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer was able to convince the driver’s auto insurance carrier that our client’s damages were significant enough for them to pay the limits of the policy, $1,250,000, within 60 days of filing suit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident in Chicago or another part of Illinois, contact a Chicago bike accident lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation. We never charge a fee unless we are able to resolve your bicycle accident case for you.
How a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer Establishes Driver Negligence
~ Eric O.
Each bike accident attorney from our firm is familiar with the underlying causes behind many bike crashes, including:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Alcohol or intoxicating drugs
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Improper turn
- Failure to keep a proper lookout
These acts of driver negligence may result in crashes including:
In order to recover compensation in a bike accident injury or fatality case, you must first establish that the driver’s negligent conduct resulted in the crash.
In some cases, more than one person may have contributed to the accident, making determining who is financially responsible tricky. 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.
Bicycle accident cases can be complicated by the fact that when the police are called to the scene of a crash, they may be unable to speak with a cyclist who was injured. Consequently, our Chicago accident attorneys work hard to aggressively investigate each case and secure evidence that may be helpful to your case.
While investigating bike accident injury cases, our lawyers regularly:
- Take recorded statements from witnesses
- Order police reports
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and damage to vehicles
- Order driving records from parties involved
- Consult with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction and engineering
- Review medical records and bills
Injuries Encountered by Chicago Cyclists
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 600 cyclists die each year and more than 52,000 are injured in bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. In 2014, 3,020 cyclists were injured and 27 were killed while riding in Illinois, according to IDOT data. A significant number (more than 1,500) of these crashes occurred in the congestion of Chicago due to a failure of Chicago bicycle laws.
In an effort to make Chicago more bike-friendly, the city has installed 111 miles of marked lanes on city streets. Unfortunately, many of these designated areas were added to the existing city infrastructure and have been poorly designed or implemented. Consequently, we have represented plenty of clients injured while using bike lanes.
Bicycle-motor vehicle accidents can be especially dangerous for the cyclist due to the obvious difference in size and protection. Many serious injuries can occur, such as bone fractures, lacerations, back and neck trauma, joint injuries, concussions, and even death. While the majority of these incidents involve adults, children still account for 11% of injuries related to bike crashes.
The most serious type of injury cyclists face is a head injury. Brain injuries are the number one cause of death in bicycle accidents and can leave survivors with lifelong disabilities. Due to the significance of these injuries and the fact that many of these people sustain these injuries at a young age, it is vital that cyclists have legal representation to secure compensation for their future medical needs. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience representing people who have sustained brain injuries in personal injury accidents and knows how to secure the full compensation that the law allows. In cases where it may be difficult to quantify the extent of an injury, a Chicago bike accident lawyer may retain an expert in the field of neurophysiology to help explain the significance of the injury to a jury. It is important to remember that not all injuries to the brain are immediately apparent. Therefore, it is crucial for any cyclist with head trauma to consult with a team of medical specialists.
Bicycle Door Accident Injuries on the Rise
The popularity of using bicycles to commute to and get around in congested business areas has led 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 their door to make sure that no bicyclists are in the vicinity. Not only is it common sense to look before opening car doors after stopping a vehicle, but some municipalities, such as the city of Chicago, have made such door-opening precautions the law. The Chicago Municipal Code includes provisions with the intent of allocating fault for dooring accidents.
According to the Chicago 2012 Bicycle Crash Analysis, 61% of cyclists involved in a dooring accident sustained an injury, and 8% of those sustained an injury categorized as incapacitating.
Illinois Laws Applicable to all Bicyclists
As cycling continues to grow in popularity, the Illinois legislature has enacted laws to both protect bicyclists from collisions with vehicles and ensure that roads are safe for all users. If there is one portion of the Illinois Vehicle Code that cyclists should be mindful of all the time, it’s Section 11-1502, which states, “Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” While bicycling in Chicago, cyclists also need to be mindful of Chicago bicycle laws in the city’s Municipal Code that apply to them, both for their own safety as well as because the failure to comply with these regulations can be asserted as a defense by a driver in a bicycle accident injury case.
Hire a Skilled Chicago Bike Accident Lawyer to Help You get Compensation
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully resolved hundreds of bicycle accident cases for cyclists injured in and around the Chicagoland area and throughout Illinois. Illinois law allows an injured bicyclist to recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical Expenses: This may include past and future care and bills related to ambulance, emergency room, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and medication costs and even care at a long-term care facility if you require it.
- Pain and Suffering: This can include compensation that covers the time of the incident through the time the injury is resolved.
- Lost Wages: When a cyclist cannot work due to their injuries, they may recover lost wages. This extends to situations where a bicyclist cannot return to their pre-injury profession.
- Property Damages: A cyclist may recover compensation for damage to their bicycle and gear damaged in an incident caused by a negligent driver.
- Wrongful Death: The family of a bicyclist killed in an accident can pursue compensation for their losses under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. This includes loss of financial and emotional support the decedent provided.
According to Chicago’s bicycle crash analysis, 25% of fatal and non-fatal bike accidents in the city involve a driver who flees the scene. Our law firm can provide legal help for those who are victims of a hit-and-run bicycle accident or for those hit by a driver without insurance. Even though bicyclists may have sustained injuries when they were not in a car, they may be entitled to pursue an under- or uninsured motorist claim with their automobile insurance company. Our Illinois accident lawyers can help decide the best course of action to take in your case.
While no one can anticipate being injured in a bicycle crash, the steps you take following an incident can have a direct effect on your ability to recover damages from the party responsible for your accident. As a law firm committed to protecting the legal rights of cyclists injured in Chicago, our focus is to get you the maximum compensation for your case. Complete our case intake form now to arrange for a free consultation.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is committed to educating injured bicyclists regarding their legal rights under Illinois law. Please review the resources we’ve assembled below for further information: