Champaign Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you were injured, or if someone close to you was killed in a bike accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away for help.
While this may seem like an obvious step, many people wait too long before seeking legal advice from a lawyer specializing in bicycle accidents. You don't want to let this happen with your case!
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury lawyers are legal advocates for injured victims and their families. We know how devastating a serious cycling crash can be, physically and emotionally – which is why we fight hard every day for our clients who have been hurt or lost loved ones because of another person's negligence.
Contact our Champaign personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Bicycling in Champaign, Illinois
The City of Champaign is a busy college town home to a large population of students and young adults who have chosen to save money on transportation by traveling by bicycle.
Unfortunately, whenever bike riders are required to share the road with motorists, there is a risk of injury when careless or distracted drivers do not notice them or respect their rights.
The Champaign bicycle accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC routinely assist those injured by negligent motorists and are happy to answer your questions and evaluate your case if you have been injured.
Complete our case intake form for a free review of your Champaign-Urbana bike accident case. Then, you can speak to a lawyer without any cost or obligation about your circumstance. A legal fee will only be charged if you have a financial recovery.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
According to a study conducted by the World Health Institute, health is one of the leading issues related to death within African countries.
However, the most common cause of bike accidents among local populations involves motor vehicle drivers. According to official data, over one million incidents involving bicycles worldwide, about 40% of which end up with severe or fatal injuries.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, India has one of the greatest percentages concerning deaths caused by traffic accidents, about 30%.
In addition, statistics show the leading contributing factors to a bicycle accident with motor vehicles involves:
- Distracted driving: Most bike accidents result from a distracted driver. In the U.S, a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association claims cell phone use while driving is now responsible for one in five crash deaths per year.
- A lack of enforcement: Countries differ in enforcing cycling laws and protecting cyclists. Some countries have strict traffic rules that allow sidewalk cycling, whereas others only allow it in areas not intended for vehicles.
- Overpopulation: The number of vehicles on the road is greater than the number of available drivers, leading to more congested roads and many near misses between bicycle riders and other vehicles.
- A failure to wear protective gear: Most common injuries from bike riders in car accidents are economic damages due to a lack of protective gear while bicycling.
Further, the speed of vehicles and cyclists also plays a role in determining the damage caused during an accident.
According to records, it is safe to say that crashes at speeds greater than 10 miles per hour are more likely to kill or seriously injure cyclists compared to those at lower speeds (less than nine mph). In addition, an analysis of urban and rural bicycle crashes in New Mexico found that rural cyclists were more likely to suffer serious injury or death than their urban counterparts.
A study conducted by the University of South Florida Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, titled "Comparative Risk of Different Cycling Roadway Designs," concluded that cycle paths lead to fewer accidents than roads with no bicycle facilities.
While roads without bicycle facilities are twice as likely to collide with the cyclist at fault, roads with cycle lanes were found to reduce this factor by half.
Risks of Bicycle Accidents for Children
With milder weather conditions and longer days, many parents opt for biking during weekends rather than other forms of physical activity like sports.
However, young bicycle riders in central Illinois are at great risk of being involved in an accident because they have yet to develop the necessary skills and reflexes for safe cycling.
In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over four out of five children who suffered or died from bicycle accidents were boys between 16 and 20 years old. In addition, young adults aged 16-20 are more likely to ride without safety equipment like helmets and reflective vests compared to the rest of the population.
- Children suffer over five times as many injuries as adults, leading to serious conditions including sprains, fractures, traumatic brain injury, and death.
- Approximately 50% of cyclists younger than 15 years old involved in bicycle accidents suffer injuries requiring hospitalization.
The most dangerous types of bicycle accidents for children include:
- Head-on collisions: Head-on crashes usually occur when a child rides out in front of or alongside an adult cyclist and collides with oncoming traffic. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that children under 14 years old were twice as likely to sustain a serious head injury than adult cyclists.
- Hitting a fixed object: Children tend to ride out into the road without noticing vehicles, leading them to crash into fixed objects such as telephone poles or trees. In some personal injury cases, this can lead to death if they are struck by a vehicle while lying on the ground.
- Collisions with moving vehicles: Collisions with cars are the leading cause of death in child cyclists. The most common types of these accidents include getting run over by a car being hit from behind.
- Roadway defects: Failing to maintain roads can lead to hazardous conditions for all road users. If not repaired, these defects can cause bicycle accidents, resulting in injuries to the cyclist.
Studies show that almost half of all child biking fatalities and hospitalizations were due to children's neglect to provide a safe environment.
Addressing Bicycle Safety: The Proper Way
There are many ways we can improve the safety of cycling on roads. For one, educating children on the traffic rules can go a long way in reducing accidents.
While state laws vary, all require cyclists to use hand signals when making turns or to stop. It serves as a warning to vehicles nearby that they will be overtaken or stopped by a cyclist. However, many children refrain from using these signals, causing them to be unaware of a cyclist's action.
Children must also be reminded to always ride with traffic instead of against it. Riding with traffic means following the same rules as cars, such as stopping at red lights and signalized intersections, only crossing the road when safe, and avoiding riding on sidewalks.
Parents can help by ensuring their children wear the right safety equipment, like helmets and reflective vests.
Teaching children about safe cycling can save their life one day, which is more than enough of a reason to get them out on bicycles. In addition, their health will benefit greatly from regular exercise outdoors, not to mention that they could explore the world around them.
Prevention of Bicycle Accidents
It is important for motorists and bicyclists alike to know and abide by the Illinois Rules of the Road. These laws are instrumental in preventing accidents and the serious injuries that result.
As a bicyclist, you have the responsibility to obey traffic laws and act safely to prevent an accident, and failure to follow the rules can harm your case if you are injured.
The following safety rules come from Chapter 11, Article 15 of the Illinois Vehicle Code:
- As a bicyclist, you are granted the same rights that vehicle drivers receive, but you are also subject to the same laws as those sharing the road with you.
- Where vehicles would normally signal before making a turn, you must provide hand signals so that others are aware of your intent to turn.
- Always stay to the right side of the road unless you approach an intersection where you plan to make a left turn. Then, before moving to the left, provide a signal to drivers and make sure that it is safe to move into the turn lane.
- You must yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic. Whenever you are entering the street from a bike lane, driveway, alley, or building, you need to stop and let any pedestrians and vehicles pass before you proceed.
- Headlamps and reflective gear are required when you ride at night to be visible to traffic.
- Ride at a safe speed and never above local speed limits
Are you a parent? If so, you may be held responsible for any actions taken by your child that violate traffic laws if it is determined that you knowingly allowed your child to break the law or did not properly educate them about the rules of the road.
What To Do If You Are Injured In A Bicycle Accident In Champaign?
The line can be blurry when assessing which party is at fault in an accident. So, regardless of whether you feel that you have a case, you should always seek the counsel of an experienced bicycle accident attorney after the collision.
Thebike accident lawyers of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are well studied in local and state ordinances, which can be used to establish your case or prove that the other party contributed to your accident.
Medical treatment for bicyclists involved in accidents can become expensive due to the tendency of bicycle accidents to result in more serious injuries.
Such injuries include the following:
- Internal bleeding or injuries to internal organs
- Deep cuts, abrasions, and puncture wounds
- Broken or shattered bones
- Damage to the neck, spine, or back
- Traumatic brain injuries and neurological disorders
- Emotional distress
To best protect your interests as a bicyclist and those of your family, you should fully document the accident and injuries suffered. Take pictures of all damage, record information from witnesses and be sure to have a doctor or medical professional provide an injury report.
What to Do After a Central Illinois Bicycle Accident?
Riding a bicycle has many health and environmental benefits, but it also comes with risks. According to the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 58,000 bicyclists are injured in accidents each year.
Were you involved in an accident on your bicycle? If so, here is what to do immediately after the accident:
- If you are able, document the accident scene with photos from your cell phone or camera. Make sure to document all damage, road conditions, and weather.
- Seek medical assistance immediately if any injuries were incurred by yourself or others involved in the accident. Take photographs of any injuries as well. If you have been injured, other than taking photographs or documenting the scene, do everything you can to avoid moving around. If you must move, seek assistance from someone not involved in the accident.
- Contact law enforcement if there were any injuries and file a police report with them immediately. The police will require all involved parties to give written statements about what happened. Be sure to include the information you documented in step #1.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you are able. If necessary, they will assign an adjuster to investigate the accident scene. You should continue with point #2 and document any injuries or changes to your health immediately until you and your insurance company receive all medical tests results. A good tip to remember is that the more information you can gather on how you were injured, affected, or changed by the collision, the easier it will be to claim payment for any medical expenses incurred.
- If there was property damage (such as cars, bicycles, signs, etc.) involved in the accident, you would want to ask for assistance from your insurance company immediately. If another party involved in the accident does not have insurance, be sure to contact your local law enforcement agency with their information in case they need to locate them later.
- As far as filing the claim goes (whether another party's negligence caused it or not), you will need a lawyer experienced with bicycle accident claims.
In most states, bicycle accidents are handled differently from automobile accidents. If your insurance company tries to treat it as such, you could be denied payment for medical expenses incurred from the accident.
Champaign Bicycle Accident Injury FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions concerning filing a bike accident compensation claim or speaking with an insurance company over damages. However, a local attorney in a Champaign Urbana area has answered some of those questions below.
Call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 for additional information or schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Can you sue someone for hitting you on a bike?
According to Illinois law, you can sue someone who hits you while riding a bike. However, we do not recommend that you take such action personally. A Champaign bicycle accident lawyer will handle your case more professionally and effectively than you ever could on your own.
Who is liable for injured bicycle riders hurt in car accidents?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to understand who can be held liable for your injuries. The following are the parties potentially responsible for paying compensation for your damages:
- The driver or owner of the vehicle which struck you: If this party was found negligent (was at fault), they will be responsible for paying damages to you.
- The municipality (city, county, or other local authority) for any faulty road conditions: If a dangerous road condition caused the accident, the responsible government agency could be held liable.
- Your actions during the accident (negligence): Even if you were careful during your ride, your negligence might contribute to the accident.
How long do I have to file a bike accident lawsuit?
You must file your personal injury claim within two years of the date of your accident. The Champaign County Court may suspend the claim amount after this period but not less than one year from the date of your initial claim.
How do I avoid bike accidents in Champaign?
The best way to avoid a bicycle accident is to ride cautiously and defensively. However, if an accident does occur, be sure that you have the right insurance coverage for your situation by investigating your insurance policy. For example, do I need "special" bike insurance?
In Champaign, you do not necessarily need special bike insurance, but ensure that you have enough insurance to cover your injuries. It means having uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy or adding it as a rider to your existing auto insurance.
How much will my bike accident claim be?
Every central Illinois bicycle injury case is unique, and the damages vary greatly depending on who was at fault for causing the accident and how badly you were hurt. Therefore, it is best to contact a qualified Champaign personal injury lawyer to consider all of these factors when evaluating your claim providing funds through liability insurance.
Why do I need a bicycle accident lawyer?
Just like in any other personal injury case, you having legal representation during the settlement process is crucial. The insurance company will try to get you to accept a low payout for your claim; they will use intimidating tactics and deny liability. A Champaign bicycle lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the full compensation amount for your damages.
How long will the settlement process take?
It is impossible to predict how long it will take to settle your claim. The amount of damage you suffered, who was at fault for the accident, and other factors affect this estimate.
However, most bicycle injury claims are settled within six months. Typically, insurance adjusters representing the at-fault driver resolving a bicycle/car accident will provide substantial compensation for the victim's medical bills, lost wages, and future medical costs.
Hire an Experienced Champaign Personal Injury Lawyer to Resolve Your Bicycle Accident Claim
Should you prove that your injuries resulted from negligence, you will be entitled to damages that might be used to provide you with the best treatment and rehabilitative care available. That way, you can focus on your physical recovery without added financial stress.
Our Champaign bicycle accident attorneys can establish and build your case with the help of a team of specialists in accident reconstruction, medicine, and other relevant fields. As a result, we have successfully secured the maximum compensation the law allows for hundreds of bike accident victims.
Contact a central Illinois injury lawyer specializing in Champaign bicycle accidents at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
Our bicycle accident lawyers accept all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are paid until the case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.