You can seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, damage to your bike, pain and suffering, and possibly punitive damages following a bicycle accident caused by another’s negligence.
Much depends on the particular facts of your case, but you may be entitled to compensation for more than just your medical bills. There are several types of damages, or costs, that you might be able to recover following a bicycle accident in Illinois. Compensatory damages might be paid to compensate you for your actual economic damages (also referred to as pecuniary damages). These include the cost to treat your physical injuries, your bicycle damage, and lost wages if your injuries prevented you from working. If your bike or other property was damaged in the accident, make sure you keep repair receipts.
Can I Seek Recovery for Intangible Losses in an Illinois Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
If you are involved in a cycling accident, you can seek recovery for the intangible losses—or noneconomic damages— that you sustain. People injured in serious bicycle accidents often have a long road to recovery, and these types of damages are the law’s way of trying to compensate a person for their reduced quality of life. These damages include pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, emotional distress, loss of normal life, and loss of consortium on the part of your spouse.
If your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will likely allocate a dollar value to each type of loss. However, if your case is settled before trial, a global settlement agreement is usually reached in which all types of damages are covered in the settlement amount without allocating a specific amount for each particular element.
You might also be able to recover punitive damages if the acts of the wrongdoer were intentional or particularly egregious. Examples of qualifying behavior include reckless driving and driving while intoxicated (DUI). Punitive damages are designed to penalize the defendant for conduct that goes beyond mere negligence and deter similar conduct in the future. These types of damages are generally disfavored by courts and reserved for especially extreme situations. Under Illinois law, to recover punitive damages you must first seek and obtain compensatory damages. In other words, you must be able to show that you have actual damages.
Can I Seek Damages if I Lost an Immediate Family Member in a Bicycle Accident?
Yes. In wrongful death bicycle accident lawsuits, damages for surviving spouses and children may include pecuniary damages such as loss of economic support, grief and sorrow, loss of services, and loss of society (740 ILC5 180/1). If your case proceeds to trial, the jury or trier-of-fact determines the amount of damages you will receive (Schaffner v. Chicago & North Western Transp. Co., 161 Ill. App. 3d 742 (Ill. App. Ct. 1987)).
Call Us Today to Learn What Your Bike Accident Claim is Worth
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can explain what compensation you might be able to recover in an Illinois bicycle accident lawsuit. If you’ve suffered injuries because of someone else’s misconduct while riding your bike, you deserve compensation for your financial costs, pain and suffering, and other losses. Our legal services are free until we recover compensation on your behalf. Call us today.