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Chicago Bike Lane Accident Lawyer

bicycle-lane-accident-lawsuit-chicago-illinois We all know that Chicago is a great city for cycling, but it's still not easy to get around. Chicago's bike lanes are a mess even though the city has been working on this for years, and the results have been disorganized and inconsistent. It's time to get it right.

Were you involved in a bicycle accident while riding in one of Chicago's bike lanes? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates to victims harmed through another's negligence.

Contact a Chicago, IL bicycle accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

The Chicago Bike Lane Network

The use of bicycles has increased significantly in recent years, as more people have become healthier and environmentally conscious than ever before. Many cities, including Chicago, have installed miles of bike lanes, those located off the roads, and more bicycle lanes on the roadways to increase safety measures.

Although these paths and lanes increase safety, there is also a danger of accidents when using these lanes. For example, Chicago's tight pathways and bike lanes put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk of collision with 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 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.

Do Google Maps Show Protected Bike Lanes?

The City of Chicago has been working hard on improving the infrastructure to make things better for cyclists. Recently they installed 100 miles of protected bike lanes in only four years! However, there are still many challenges ahead.

For example, drivers often park or stop in bike lanes creating dangerous situations for cyclists and pedestrians.

To help solve this problem, TYLI created an interactive map showing which streets have bicycle lanes so people can avoid them when necessary. Which helps keep everyone safe while ensuring you can get where you need to go easily and quickly!

Bikers can turn to Google Maps to see the best routes with or without bike lanes in Chicago. It can be very helpful in deciding on a route when biking through busy areas.

Two of the newest additions are protected and buffered bike lanes intended to give bikers more space on the road by placing them between vehicle traffic and parked cars.

Map of Chicago Bicycle Lanes

The recent additions and updates to Chicago's biking infrastructure will not be seen on Google Maps, as the map only offers information for cyclists looking to travel by car.

However, the city added two new features – protected and buffered bike lanes – vastly improving bikers' safety. The addition of these protected lanes places a physical barrier between bikers and traffic, making the commute safer for everyone.

Buffered and Non-Buffered Bike Lanes

Chicago's bicycle lane system includes buffered bike lanes on many major streets and non-buffered bike lanes on smaller roads. On the buffered bike lane side of things, Chicago has been trying to install more of these since they were announced in 2011.

In total, there are 40 miles of buffered lanes and 36 miles of protected lanes throughout the city.

Buffered lanes are helpful for cyclists because they provide a physical barrier between bikers and traffic, no matter how dense. In addition, it makes riding much less stressful than non-buffered lanes, which places bikers closer to cars than many feel comfortable.

Bike Lane Striping

Chicago's Department of Transportation (CDOT) maintains the city's bike lane striping that marks bicyclists can ride in protected lanes away from moving traffic and parked cars.

In addition, the Metropolitan Planning Council recently created a new map on its website to help people find their way through the 36 miles of protected bike lanes.

There are currently 40 miles of buffered bike lanes and 36 miles of protected bike lanes spread throughout Chicago, where cyclists can feel safer riding. Unfortunately, some driver's education courses don't teach students that parking in a bike lane is illegal, yet police officers do not always ticket drivers who park in them.

Bikeways With Bollards

The city of Chicago's bikeways with bollards have added a high level of biker protection. The bollards are approximately 3.5 feet tall, placed at the ends of each buffer zone between parked cars and traffic lanes. With the painted spaces between the bollards, drivers can better understand where to park and ensure bikers have space to ride.

Most of the bikeways without bollards are found in less dense areas of the city. However, even cyclists riding on these roads are encouraged to use the same sidewalk rules that bikers have to follow in non-bike lanes.

In addition, bikers are expected to give pedestrians the right of way when on sidewalks, just as they would when riding near pedestrians on other streets.

Some of the city's best-protected bikes lanes are on:

  • Milwaukee Avenue
  • Neighborhood Greenway
  • Lakefront Trail
  • Taylor Street
  • Clark Street
  • Lincoln Avenue between Leland and Lawrence

Many people ride along shared lanes on the city of Chicago's busiest roads and streets, and most of the time, it is safe. However, accidents can happen when motorists and bikers face off on dangerous roads and intersections.

An injury involving a car or truck and a bicycle may require significant property damage (such as when vehicles collide), injuries (such as head, neck, or back pain), and even wrongful death.

Many drivers are unaware that it is illegal to park in the bike lanes, yet police officers do not always ticket drivers who park in them. When motorists hit cyclists, they are often unaware that there is even an accident.

Bikers need to be aware of their surroundings and avoid going down on busy streets. In addition, if a motorist has hit a cyclist, they should investigate their rights and options for filing a lawsuit.

Types of Bicycle Accidents on Chicago Bike Lanes

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 vehicle crashes and bicyclist fatalities, they pose their risks.

According to the Active Transportation Alliance, the number of crashes involving cyclists in Chicago has increased by 35% over the past five years. Worse still, this increase has come with a 50% decrease in federal government spending for street improvements.

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 bicyclists 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 the driver of a vehicle ignored.

Chicago Department of Transportation to Install Raised Bike Lanes to Better Protect Bicyclists

Data shows the raised bike lanes are highly effective at protecting bikers from moving vehicles. For example, the number of bicycle crashes on streets with raised bike lanes was reduced by 80%.

To give bicyclists the respect, they are legally entitled to have on roads. The city is repaving streets at their own expense, which will allow for raised bike lanes.

Risks for Cyclists Using Chicago Bike Lanes

Although bicycle lanes are meant to increase safety by reducing the number of accidents involving bicyclists, they can pose additional risks that riders should be aware of.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

While on the street, cyclists share lanes with vehicles, and the risk of the accident remains. In addition, vehicles make turns and pull out of parking spots, putting cyclists at risk of not seeing the possible collision until it is too late.

Cyclists are often at fault when a motorist strikes them simply because the accident couldn't have happened if the cyclist had ridden further to the right.

Risks for Pedestrians

Bikes are not the only vehicles at risk of colliding with pedestrians on paths used by both. For pedestrians, biking lanes pose the risk of bicyclists using their smartphones or listening to music while they bike.

This distraction makes it easier for the cyclist to miss seeing a pedestrian trying to cross or not hear another bicyclist approaching on their left.

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 involving motor vehicles.

Some argue that motorists may even be less aware of bicyclists when 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. As a result,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 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. As a result, 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, nearly identical to the number 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

Protected bike lane 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 when bicycling are common occurrences needing medical attention and, in severe cases, might cause life-long disabilities.

Victims of these types of accidents on Chicago bike routes deserve compensation for their injuries to cover medical expenses, income loss, and 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 you will not be charged a dime unless we obtain financial compensation for your injury.

Chicago Bike Lanes Resources:

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Client Reviews
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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa