Chicago Bike Lane Accident Lawyer
Lawyers For Walkers, Joggers & Cyclists Injured In Chicago Bicycle Path Accidents
The use of bicycles has increased significantly in recent years, as more people than ever before become healthier and environmentally conscience.
To increase safety measures, many cities, including Chicago, have installed miles of bike lanes, those located off the roads, as well as more bicycle lanes on the roadways.
Although these paths and lanes are meant to increase safety, there is also a danger of accidents when using these lanes. Tight pathways and bike lanes in the city of Chicago put both bicyclists and pedestrians at risk of collisions with each other and vehicles.
The Chicago bicycle accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to your success. Complete our online intake form for a free review of your bike path accident. Your case will be reviewed by a bicycle accident lawyer who has experience representing bicyclists and pedestrians who have been hit by other cyclists or motorists.
Our law offices can provide immediate legal help, build a strong case, and will charge a legal fee only when we recover compensation for you. Our law firm seeks economic losses (medical bills, lost wages, medical treatment) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering) to ensure you are adequately compensated for loss and injury.
Types of Bicycle Path Accidents
Bicycle paths are generally located near roadways, rivers, lakes, or parks. They are used both for recreational use and for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Although they reduce the risk of being involved in a vehicle crash and bicyclist fatalities, they pose their own risks.
These cyclist paths are not necessarily well designed, maintained, or supervised, giving way to the possibility of serious accidents.
- Bicycle/Pedestrian Accidents. Bicycle paths are not exclusively for bikes. Pedestrians also use many of these paths, with no designation for bicycles versus pedestrians. When a bicyclist hits a pedestrian, the impact can cause serious injuries and death. In New York City alone, eleven pedestrians were killed by bicyclists over a decade.
- Bicycle/Bicycle Accidents. Another danger for bicyclists on bike paths is sharing the path with another bicyclist. Many bike paths do not have directional lanes, or even if they do, cyclists do not adhere to the rules. The impact of two bicycles colliding can be extremely damaging, throwing one or both riders from their bikes. One study estimates that 17% of all bicycle accidents involve two or more bicycles.
- Bike Path Defects. Poorly maintained pathways are another cause of bike accidents. Once they are created, many local municipalities do not adequately maintain their surface. Degrading road surfaces can lead to significant defects that can cause a bicyclist to crash or swerve to avoid a pothole and collide with another biker or pedestrian.
Often, the police report verified that the injured party involved in a bike accident gad the right of way that was ignored by the driver of a vehicle.
Motorists Causing Injuries to Cyclists on Bike Lanes
Although bicycle lanes are a better alternative than cyclists sharing lanes with cars on the roads, they still have inherent risks. Since the bicycle lanes are usually adjacent to roads, yet not separated, there are still high risks for accidents involving motor vehicles.
Some argue that motorists may even be less aware of bicyclists when they are traveling in a bicycle lane versus sharing a lane on the road. The restricted area can be hazardous in intersections and when vehicles are turning. Some common types of bicycle lane accidents include:
- Vehicle turns. A driver of a vehicle will not always check the bicycle lane before turning. Turning right at a stop sign or in the path of a bicyclist is a common cause of injury. Left-hand turns by negligent drivers are also dangerous as motorists may turn without noticing that a bicyclist is traveling toward them in the far left bike lane. A failure to maintain the right of way of bicycle traffic could cause serious problems in traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, or bicyclist fatalities.
- Dooring accidents. One of the biggest concerns in bicycle lanes is dooring accidents. Often cars are parked alongside the designated lanes, and drivers open their doors into the direct path of bicyclists. Not paying attention can result in the bicycle hitting the door, or swerving into traffic to avoid the door.
- Intersections. Vehicular traffic remains the most significant risk for bicyclists involved in accidents at intersections. Vehicles are more likely to be turning and not watching for bicycles in bike lanes. 55% of bicycle crashes in Chicago are reported to happen at intersections.
Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that over 850 bicyclists died in 2017, which was nearly identical to the number the year before. Overall, bicycle fatalities account for over 2% of all deaths related to motor vehicles.
That year, twenty individuals lost their lives in Illinois, and six of those decedents were in the city of Chicago. Some other victims were from Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, and other major cities in the Chicago area.
The Need to Take Legal Action After an Accident Involving a Collision on a Chicago Bicycle Lanes
Bicycle path accidents can cause as severe an injury as when riding anywhere else. Whether you are injured riding the bicycle or are hit by a bicyclist, the result can be devastating. Head injuries, fractures, and soft tissue injuries are common that need medical attention and, in severe cases, may cause life-long disabilities.
Victims of these types of accidents deserve to be compensated for their injuries to cover medical expenses, loss of income, and loss of quality of life. Chicago bicycle accident lawyers can hold those responsible for the collision to ensure the injured party has the compensation they need to get the medical care they deserve.
Hiring a Chicago Bike Accident Lawyer
Were you injured while walking or riding in a bicycle path or hit while riding in a bike lane? If so, you have a right to file a bicycle accident lawsuit for your injuries against the person responsible for the accident.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we have represented many bicyclists and pedestrians that have been injured and have secured financial awards for them and their families. We invite you to talk with us about your accident at a free consultation. Our services are always charged on a contingency basis, so unless we obtain financial compensation for your injury, you will not be charged a dime.
Resources for bicycle path and bike lane safety: