The number of bicycle-motor vehicle accidents has been on the rise in Chicago. Many of these bicycle accidents are caused by drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way to cyclists as they should.
- National in Chicago Bicycle Accident Statistics
- Illinois Department of Transportation
- How a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
- Illinois Rules of the Road for Cars and Bicycles on the Road
- When Cyclists Must Yield to Motorists
- Holding the Driver Accountable for Distracted Driving and Failure to Yield to Bicyclists
- Bicyclist Injury Accidents
- Fatal Failure to Yield Bicycle Accidents
- Surviving Family Members Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- Is There Legal Protection for Bicyclists Who Motorists Injure?
- Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys Representing Injured Bicyclists in Chicago
- Chicago Failure to Yield Accident Lawyer Resources:
Were you injured in a bike accident because a motorist failed to yield your legal right of way? Are you looking for financial compensation for your losses? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured bicyclists harmed by another’s negligence.
Contact our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for 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.
National in Chicago Bicycle Accident Statistics
Bicycling, as a mode of transportation, is becoming more popular for adults. For some cyclists, using a bike saves money on gas, provides more exercise, and leads to a greener lifestyle.
More than fifty-seven million Americans over fifteen years of age said they rode bikes in a government survey. Half of those riders used the roadways. As a result, motorist awareness is more critical than ever as the roads become crowded to ensure cyclists get where they are going safely.
However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, bicycle crashes involving severe injuries and wrongful death are rising. Data shows that in 2015, 926 cyclists were killed and 45,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 88 percent of bicycle injuries and deaths occur on urban roads, and less than one-third of them happen at intersections. Although most accidents occur in or around the home, bicyclists can also be hit in parking lots, on paths, and recreational areas.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that injury causes more than one-third of bicycling fatalities.
As such, the leading factors in cycling accidents include:
- Failure to obey traffic laws (driver and cyclist)
- Right turn collision when a cyclist is passing on the right
- Not using bike lanes or sidewalks
- Not wearing helmets
- Failure to yield or stop at intersections and crosswalks
- Coming from behind and hitting a cyclist riding in the same direction
Age is another important factor in bike accidents, particularly for children. According to the CDC, males are more likely hurt in bike-related crashes than females at every age.
Teens ages fifteen to nineteen have the highest rate of injuries involving bicycles. In addition, younger cyclists (five to fourteen years old) are more likely to suffer head injuries. Teens (ten to nineteen years old) have a higher risk of injuries involving motor vehicles.
More than half the deaths in bike crashes involve riders older than twenty-four. Among older cyclists, men suffer fatal or incapacitating injuries more than women by about two to one.
Illinois Department of Transportation
According to the Illinois DOT, Chicago remains a safe bicycling community due to the city’s designated bike lanes. Even so, data shows that the number of Chicago bicycle accidents caused by a failure to yield is on the rise, especially in cases involving Divvy ridesharing bicycles.
Many Chicago bicyclists have been hurt in collisions with Divvy riders as the number of bicyclists using Chicago streets has increased.
To protect these bicycling commuters, Mayor Lightfoot proposed a city ordinance requiring drivers to give bicyclists three feet of clearance when passing them on the road or face fines and penalties. However, many other Chicagoans think that this is not enough and that more needs to be done to protect bicyclists.
How a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
A Chicago bicycle accident attorney can help you investigate your crash to determine who was at fault. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC helps Chicago bicyclists compensate for their injuries caused in collisions when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way in a crosswalk, bike lane, or other areas.
Our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers have represented hundreds of cyclists across Illinois to recover compensation from negligent drivers that break traffic laws. First, complete our case intake form. Then, let us review your case in a free consultation.
Our law firm protects the rights of bicyclists by taking immediate legal action. We seek compensation for economic damages (medical care, lost wages) and non-economic damages (pain-and-suffering) through an accident case in attorney-client relationships.
Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys will file a personal injury claim on behalf of the plaintiff before the state statute of limitations expires.
Illinois Rules of the Road for Cars and Bicycles on the Road
Although bike laws are different throughout the country, specific rules regulate how and when vehicles must yield to bicycles on the road. Illinois is a progressive state that protects bike riders.
The city of Chicago requires that bicyclists use the roadways, not the sidewalks. The strict ordinances protect bicyclists from severe accidents and injuries.
To avoid a car accident with serious injuries, motorists must follow the rules, including:
- Three-Foot Rule: Illinois is one of over 20 states requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet or more space when passing.
- Dooring law: Chicago municipal law requires that persons enter or exit a vehicle yield to passing bicycles before opening a door into their path.
- Turning right: Chicago law states that when motorists make a right turn, they must not turn right directly in front of a bicycle traveling in the same direction.
- Turning left: Motorists in Chicago must yield to bicycles approaching from the opposite direction when making a left-hand turn, but drivers often hit bicyclists while executing a left turn, especially while going through a red light.
- Right of way: Motor vehicle drivers must give the yield the right of way to a bike rider or pedestrians at a stop sign, traffic light, or intersection by following the rules of the road.
In general, Chicago requires that motorists give bicycles the same consideration as any other vehicle on the road. In turn, bicyclists are expected to follow the same rules as well.
When Cyclists Must Yield to Motorists
It is not uncommon for a Chicago bicycling accident to result from the bike rider’s negligence due to their failure to yield to a motorist who has the right of way. Usually, a bicyclist who fails to follow the road rules will be held liable for an injury accident.
However, fatalities and serious injuries can result from a crash between a bike and vehicle when bikers fail to yield right-of-way at intersections or driveways. In most cases, courts hold drivers responsible for these crashes due to the bicyclist’s failure to yield the right-of-way.
Chicago police will often write up a report in a bike accident case but not arrest drivers involved in the crash. Instead, they draw on the Illinois Vehicle Code, which requires all drivers to protect bikers and pedestrians even if they fail to follow the road rules.
Illinois law gives cyclists the same rights as motorists on the road because they must follow traffic rules and regulations.
The law requires bicyclists to:
- Remain alert and aware of their surroundings to avoid colliding with motors or causing an accident.
- Control their bike reasonably and prudently.
- Use lights at night. At the time, bikes did not have to use headlights, but bike riders must now activate them in low visibility conditions or when riding slower than 30 miles per hour.
- Ride with traffic on the right side of the road or lane within a single line of cars.
- Keep at least one hand on their handlebars.
- Stop at all stop signs and obey traffic signals. Although, they are not required to stop at railroad crossings except if a police officer or flagman controls the crossing.
- Be visible with reflective gear.
If you have been injured while bicycling, contact a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 to learn about your legal rights and options.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys don’t get paid until you get paid. So, call us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation and case review. Our law firm serves clients in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Holding the Driver Accountable for Distracted Driving and Failure to Yield to Bicyclists
Distracted driving is a serious problem when sharing the road with cyclists—driving while distracted can lead to accidents involving critical injuries, broken bones, and wrongful death. In addition, the driver’s failure to see the cyclists along their path or in a blind spot can be catastrophic.
Law enforcement often cites the at-fault driver involved in a failure to yield accident, especially if the police can prove the motorist was sending/reading a text message or talking on a cell phone when the accident occurred.
Bicyclist Injury Accidents
There are no national numbers on how many accidents are due to motorists not yielding to bicycles or are at fault. However, there have been several state surveys that suggest motorists are to blame over half the time.
One five-year study in Hawaii showed the negligence of motorists who were at fault in over 80% of the accidents involving bicycles.
When motorists fail to yield to bicyclists, the results can be devastating for the bicyclists. In 2018, there were over 50,000 bicyclists injured and another 857 killed in traffic accidents.
Some common injuries to a bicyclist that occur when a bicycle and vehicle collide are:
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Lacerations and bruises
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Total or partial paralysis including paraplegia, quadriplegia, tetraplegia
- Internal bleeding
- Amputations (dismemberment)
- Wrongful death
Many catastrophic injuries result from drivers’ failure to yield the right-of-way at traffic signals and stop signs.
The extent of injuries can be severe with no protection except for a bicyclist’s gear. In addition, it can take weeks, months, and years to recover from these accidents, leaving the bicyclist with mounting medical bills, lost time from work, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Fatal Failure to Yield Bicycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal failure to yield accidents involving bicyclists has risen significantly over the last few decades. Statistics show that the number of bicyclists killed in these accidents has more than doubled since 2005.
Although fatalities involving bicyclists are rare compared to other motor vehicle accidents, fatal bicycle crashes account for 2% of all traffic fatalities each year across the nation.
Many factors contribute to the rising number of fatalities, including:
- A larger number of commuters choose biking to work
- Drivers not heeding traffic signals when turning left or right in front of bicyclists
- Bicyclist inexperience, especially bike riders using ridesharing bikes for quick transport in heavily congested environments and dense urban areas
- Distracted driving occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road to focus on other tasks, such as texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, or changing radio stations
There is no “texting” while riding a bike, and bicyclists can’t outmaneuver an automobile. For this reason, there is no safe zone while biking on the road with motorists unless cyclists ride in designated lanes or on trails that are separated from car traffic.
When a driver fails to yield or breaks distracted driving laws when they strike a cyclist, the results can be tragic. The bicyclist drives the impact of the collision only to fall prey to the next hazard in their path—the ground, an electrified rail at a trolley crossing, or trees and other obstacles on either side of the roadway.
Surviving Family Members Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Qualifying surviving family members who lost a loved one in a bicycle accident have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, seeking compensation from negligent drivers and others responsible for the death. Typically, these family members include spouses, children, parents, and grandparents.
The law provides legal remedies to the decedent’s family members to ensure that they are adequately compensated for their losses and damages that might include:
- Hospitalization costs and medical expenses
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Loss of familial support
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Pain and devastating suffering experienced by the decedent before donning
- Pain, suffering, and grief experienced by the family over their loved one’s death
- Funeral & burial costs
While many family members have the right to seek financial compensation, the law does restrict the amount of time to file a lawsuit. In Illinois, the statute of limitations restricts that time to one year.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members must prove that the defendant’s actions or failure to act on behalf were a direct and proximate cause for the victim’s injury or death.
This legal burden of proof is “one-hundred percent,” which requires complete evidence demonstrating how an action led to a particular result that caused the fatality.
Typically, these lawsuits seek monetary damages through a jury trial or settlement negotiations to compensate family members for their losses. A lawyer can help surviving family members throughout this legal process, explaining their rights and what to expect each step of the way during this difficult time.
Is There Legal Protection for Bicyclists Who Motorists Injure?
Chicago bike accident cases are generally treated like any other car accident case. That means bicyclists can file a lawsuit to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment (scarring), permanent disfigurement (disfigurement), permanent disability (paralysis), wrongful death, if applicable.
Bicyclists may also file a claim in municipal court under the city’s bicycle ordinances, in addition to filing in civil court, to recover damages for injuries with potential criminal charges against the motorist.
Nearly every Chicago bicycling accident with catastrophic injuries is resolved through negotiated settlements out of court.
Typically, the insurance company will offer good faith with the victim’s Chicago bicycle accident lawyer to ensure that the injured party receives adequate compensation to cover all damages.
A competent bicycle accident attorney will build a strong case and prepare for trial if the lawyers and claims adjuster working for the insurance company offers insufficient funds to make the plaintiff “whole” again.
The bicycle accident case will often go to trial to be heard in front of a judge and jury. The plaintiff’s attorneys will show how the defendant failed to yield to bicyclists, which led to a traffic accident involving injuries, death, property damage, or pain and suffering.
Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys Representing Injured Bicyclists in Chicago
Were you harmed when bicycling where a car or vehicle failed to yield? If so, you need a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer on your side to fight your case. Proving the motorist or truck driver was at fault is only part of the fight.
Legal assistance can ensure that the insurance company or person at fault gives you fair monetary compensation for your injuries.
The property damage attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are experienced in handling Chicago bicycle crash lawsuits.
Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the best financial compensation through a contingency fee agreement.
Our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers provide the injured party with a free case evaluation. There is no charge for our legal representation unless we obtain a financial resolution on your behalf. Get an Illinois bike accident law firm working for you. Call (888) 424-5757 today.
Our bicycle accident lawyers represent clients throughout Illinois and serve the following localities: Cook County, including Arlington Heights and Sangamon County, DuPage County, Kane County, Macon County, Peoria County, Will County, Winnebago County, and Lake County, including Waukegan, Loves Park, and Machesney Park.