Yes, Illinois law holds multiple people responsible for bicycle accidents in certain situations.
How Does Illinois Decide If I Can Recover In Bike Accident Cases?
Under the comparative negligence doctrine, more than one person can be at fault. 735 ILCS 5/2-1116. In Illinois, defendants that are found liable for the plaintiff’s injuries are jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff. 735 ILCS5/2-1117. The trier-of-fact determines the percentage of fault of each party, and your damages are reduced by your own percentage of fault. 735 ILCS 5/2-1117.
What Happens If I Hit Multiple Cars In A Bike Accident?
In many cases a bicyclist will end up being struck by one vehicle as they try to avoid another motorist’s actions. This is common in “dooring” accidents , when a driver opens their door into a bike lane, which is against the law in Chicago, causing the bicyclist to swerve and be hit be another driver. Under 625 ILCS 5/11-1407, it is unlawful to open the door of a vehicle on the side of moving traffic, unless it is safe to do so. In this type of case, it is possible that both motorists would be at fault and liable for injuries to the bicyclist.
How Do I Pursue Recovery In A Bicycle Accident Case?
Illinois’ laws for how you actually pursue recovery in bike accident lawsuits can be kind of confusing. First of all, what you need to do is sue everyone that you think may have had a part in the incident and your injuries. Then, you need to show in court, discovery, motions, and other devices that they collectively injured you. Then, if you are successful in that task, you can seek all of your damages from either defendant. Illinois lets you do this because it follows the theory of joint and several liability. This means that any member of a defendant class is entirely responsible for the plaintiff’s damages even if they only contributed a small fraction to the accident. Illinois has this rule to make it easier for the plaintiffs to find recovery. If the defendant feels that they paid more than their fair share to the plaintiff, then they can seek contribution from other defendants but only after first fulfilling their total obligation to the plaintiff. This has an implicit advantage for claimants because it allows them to go after recovery from deep-pocketed defendants that had little to do with the incident.
Wondering Who's Responsible For Your Illinois Bicycle Accident?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has helped many victims of Illinois bicycle accidents get recovery in court against all different kinds of defendants: truckers, trucking companies, and others. We can help you quickly identify who's responsible for your injuries and who best to bring a claim against. Then, we can make sure that your claim is successful on contingency so that you won't pay for a dollar of fees if it's not. However, time is not on your side because of Illinois' statutes of limitations so call our offices to open your case today. Your recovery is waiting for you!
If you would like to know more about bicycle accidents in Illinois, please read the following pages:
- If I Am Injured In A Chicago Bicycle Accident Due To The Fault Of A Motorist, Are They Responsible For Paying My Medical Expenses?
- Do I Need To Discuss The Bicycle Accident Details With The Insurance Company If They Contact Me?
- What Should I Do If I Was Injured In An Illinois Bike Accident And The Insurance Company Wants Me To Sign A Medical Authorization Form?