Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Each Chicago personal injury at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC knows the dangers cyclists face while riding on city streets and bike paths.
In addition to traditional bicycles, we 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.
Talk To an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
Regardless of where your bike accident occurred, the personal injury 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 would pursue a wrongful death claim to the fullest extent of the law. Even if you share fault, you still may be able to recover damages.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) and get a free consultation with a top-rated lawyer regarding your legal rights and options for a settlement.
Unfortunately, as the popularity of cycling has grown, so has the number of cases involving serious injuries due to the negligence of motor vehicle drivers and their disregard for bicycle safety. Our team is committed to holding negligent drivers of motor vehicles accountable for injuries caused to cyclists.
When a driver's negligence results in an accident with injuries, you can pursue a claim through an accident attorney to recover compensation for your harm.
Chicago Area Cycling Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 600 people die yearly, and more than 52,000 are hurt in bicycle accidents versus car accidents. In the City of Chicago, 1,095 cyclists were injured in crashes with other vehicles in 2018.
Approximately 10% (137) received severe injuries categorized as 'type A' where a person's injuries require extensive medical care and permanently change their life, such as a brain injury. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, six cyclists were killed in these collisions.
Expansion Of Chicago's Bike Lane Program
Under the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, Chicago has plans to build 645 miles of bikeways or bike lanes to connect neighborhoods to downtown. The plan uses a variety of barricades and buffers to protect Chicago cyclists using a bike lane.
It is illegal for drivers to enter these marked bike lanes except for making turns. Unfortunately, despite the city's intent to protect cyclists, these areas remain a consistent place in the city where more bike accidents occur.
Injuries Associated with Bicycle Accidents
Bicycles offer little protection to bike riders 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 cyclist accidents in Chicago. Call us today for a free consultation.
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
- Wrongful death accidents
Damages A Bicyclist May Recover Under Illinois Law
Illinois law allows an injured bicycle rider 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:
If you suffered injuries, from the time of the accident until your injuries are 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 crash, you could pursue compensation under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act for financial and emotional support loss
How Our Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyers Prove a Case Against A Negligent Driver
To 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 and ensure they are noted in the police report
- 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
Our job is to get you the best possible compensation from the at-fault driver. In most biking injury cases, our trial lawyers successfully get a settlement from the driver's insurance company without needing to file a lawsuit.
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 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 driver's employer will be vicariously liable for any damages arising from the accident.
This legal theory is based on respondeat superior, 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 driver's employer 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 I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim For A Hit & Run Bicycle Accident?
The cyclist's car insurance policy would cover a hit-and-run bicycle accident.
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 those hit by a driver without insurance or minimal coverage.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents Our Personal Injury Law Firm Handles
Drivers often cite errant or reckless bikers as the cause of collisions or bicycle 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 bike injury cases can help drivers and cyclists be prepared and act defensively to reduce catastrophic injuries to cyclists.
Our bicycle accident lawyers know these scenarios well and can assist you with your case and 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. Bicycle safety requires stopping at stop signs and allowing cars to pass if they have the right of way.
- Collisions at uncontrolled intersections —
When two motor vehicles approach an intersection simultaneously, with 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 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 cyclist. It is almost always due to the failure of the driver to notice the cyclist 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 cyclist 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 with distracted driving, resulting in cyclists not being noticed, which may result in more severe 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 drivers and all others involved in bicycle accidents.
Drivers often misjudge the space between their vehicles and bicycles as they attempt to pass. In this case, they may strike the bicycle rider from behind when passing or not stopping quickly enough at an intersection.
Our Bicycle Accident Settlements Below are some sample bicycle accident cases of our lawyers:
Chicago Bike Accident Law FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands in many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with insurance companies after a bicycle accident. A lawyer from our law offices has answered some of those questions below.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for additional information.
What Laws Does Chicago Have To Protect Cyclists?
Cyclists in Chicago are subject to many of the same traffic laws and regulations as motor vehicles. Also, motorists must obey laws regarding driving on the road with bicycles.
In Chicago and Illinois, these cycling laws are in place to prevent accidents involving cyclists and to protect riders from injury. Often when these rules are ignored, accidents occur, causing serious injuries.
Bicycle accidents occur when a driver violates an ordinance, it may help determine fault or liability for injured bicyclists. The Chicago Municipal Code (Section 9-52) requires bicycle riders to follow the traffic laws or be subject to a penalty. However, specific other laws target the prevention of accidents on the road in Chicago.
Chicago cyclists 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 cyclists
How Much Is an Illinois Bicycle Accident Case Worth?
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 cyclist as noted in the medical records
Medical costs 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
Our bicycle accident attorneys have represented many injured cyclists in Illinois with personal injury claims.
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 istwo 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. Contact us for legal counsel regarding personal injury cases in your free consultation.
What Can I Do If My Child Was Injured While Riding His Bike?
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
They breached that duty
Your child was injured and suffered damages due to 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 ofcomparative 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 incapable 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 their fault (Savage v. Martin, 256 Ill. App. 3d 272 (Ill. App. Ct. 1993)).
Can More Than One Driver Be Held Liable for My Injuries In An Illinois Injury Claim?
Yes. Illinois bicycle laws allow 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 they attempt to avoid a collision with a different car.
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 “joint and several” liability theory in its bicycle laws.
The 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. It also 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 it paid more than its fair share to the plaintiff, 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?
Should I Hire a Lawyer To Represent Me After A Chicago Bicycle Accident?
, an experienced bicycle crash attorney in Chicago, IL, can assist you with all issues involved with your case. However, hiring 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. We have the resources to explore all available insurance coverage for total compensation.
Attorneys obtain the police report, help you through the insurance claim process, and give you a good idea of the value of your case. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers negotiate with insurance companies to provide the best outcome for you. Contact a bicycle accident attorney for a free consultation regarding your bicycle accident lawsuit.
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 bicycle accident attorney at our law firm that has successfully resolved hundreds of claims and lawsuits for injured cyclists.
Our law firm provides free case evaluations for all Chicago and Cook county bicycle injuries and related accidents. Call us now at 888-424-5757 for a free consultation or complete our online contact form for assistance and let us help you with your financial recovery.
- Bicycle Accident FAQs
- Causes of Bicycle Accidents
- Illinois Cycling Laws
- Chicago Bicycle Dooring Lawyer
- Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
- Bicycle Accident Settlement
- Right-Turn Bicycle Accidents
- Chicago Failure to Yield Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Bicycle Accident Statistics