It is unfortunate that such a healthy and enjoyable activity such as bicycle riding can end in a needless fatality due to the negligence of other motorists. Every year hundreds of bicyclists are killed, many of them children and teenagers. In 2011, 675 bicyclists were fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes, up 10% from the previous year. When these heartbreaking losses happen when drivers’ are reckless, there is no excuse for their actions.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is committed to holding drivers and other responsible parties fully accountable when their negligence results in the death of a Chicago bicyclist. We invite you to contact our office for a free review of your case with an attorney who is familiar with pursuing Illinois wrongful death lawsuits involving bicyclists.
Negligent Drivers Causing Bicyclist Fatalities
Urban areas like Chicago have the highest risk for bicycle accidents, with more bicyclists and motorists sharing the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 69% of fatalities for bicyclists happened in urban areas in 2011. However, regardless of where a bicycle accident happens, it is often the result of poor judgment, recklessness or negligence on the part of a motorist. In most cases, bicycles are given the same right away and yield rights as other vehicles on the road, yet motorists either do not yield or claim to not see the bicyclist. Some common scenarios that lead to severe and even fatal bicycle accidents are:
- Motorists turning right. With most bike lanes on the far right, motorists must be sure to check for bicyclists, including their blind spots before turning right. Many accidents occur when a vehicle turns right, either hitting the bicyclist or turning into their path.
- Motorists turning left. At intersections and other turn areas where a vehicle is turning left across traffic, many drivers fail to look for bicyclists. This can result in a direct hit on the bicyclist or blocking their path.
- Dooring accidents. In urban areas like Chicago, it is all too common for bike dooring accidents to occur where a person in a parked vehicle opens a door into the attached bike lane. This can cause the bicyclist to hit the door or, even worse, swerve into traffic and be hit by another vehicle.
- Clipping accidents. Another scenario is a motorist overtaking a bicyclist on a road and “clipping” the bicyclist by driving too close, causing the cyclist to crash.
Legal Responsibility When A Motorist Causes A Bicyclist’s Death Due To A Direct Collision Or Injury Complications
Since the majority of laws protect bicyclist’s right to ride on the road like any other vehicle, when a motorist is found to caused an fatal bike accident, they may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. While not all fatal accidents are considered wrongful deaths, those that are caused by negligence may be determined as such. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the family, usually the parents, spouse or children of the victim, though each state has different laws on who can file.
In a wrongful death case, the victim’s family will need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney that is familiar in both motor vehicle/bicycle law and wrongful death cases. The amount of compensation that a family may receive for their loss of a loved one will depend on several factors including the circumstances of the accident, the age of the victim and the financial outcome of the loss. In many cases, their may be compensation for pain and suffering or loss of companionship as well.
Chicago Bicycle Fatality Accident Lawyers
Losing a loved one to a reckless act by driver on the road is always traumatic, made even worse when it is someone so vulnerable as a bicyclist. Many fatalities happen to children and young adults with their whole lives ahead of them. Our team is respectful of your family’s loss and want only to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve for the wrongful death, even though it will not come close to compensating for their loss in your life.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are some of the leading bicycle accident attorneys in Chicago and can assist you and your family in your time of need. We offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your bicycle accident wrongful death case and give you options on how to proceed.
For further information about bicycle accident fatalities in Chicago: