Competitive Cyclist Injury Lawyer
If you are a competitive cyclist, it is important to understand that your personal injury claim could be denied if you get injured in a bike accident and don't take the time to heal properly.
Many injured cyclists will push through the pain because they want to keep training for their next big race.
It's not uncommon for them to ignore signs of pain or other warning signs that something might be wrong with their bodies.
Were you injured in a competitive cycle event, and are you seeking financial compensation for your damages caused by another's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured bicyclists harmed by another's negligence.
Contact a Chicago bicycle accident attorney 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 your bicycle lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Competitive Cyclists and Cycling Accidents
Athletes often do whatever it takes to compete, even if it means enduring pain and working through an injury. Competitive bicyclists have the same desire to win as any other athlete.
Suppose you have been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or other bike crash while training for an upcoming competition or during the competition process. In that case, it is easy for an opposing attorney to use your competitive nature against you.
It would be best if you had advice from experienced attorneys who know how these claims work and can help you protect yourself against insurance companies trying to deny your claim on technical grounds.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have decades of experience helping people just like you win fair compensation after suffering injuries while riding bikes as part of recreational activities or as professional athletes.
We'll fight hard for your rights so that we can help cover the costs associated with treating and rehabilitating any cycling-related injuries sustained during competition or recreation.
Don't let an unwarranted denial stand in the way of getting coverage for your claim; call (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
We regularly represent competitive bicyclists and triathletes in Chicago bike accident cases. The attorneys at our law firm appreciate how a personal injury or other serious injuries sustained in a bicycle crash to an injured bicyclist has a greater impact on your life than on a sedentary person.
If you are an injured cyclist harmed while biking or competing in Chicago with a motor vehicle or other biker, contact our office for a free case review of relevant bicycle law with one of our experienced bicycle accident lawyers.
The members of our law firm have many years of experience working with personal injury cases, especially bicycle accident cases across the United States and Chicago, Illinois. Our bicycle accident attorney can put our experience to work for you! Call for a free consultation.
Injuries Sustained by Competitive Cyclists
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, competitive cyclists sustained serious injuries when competing and practicing in their support. Data shows that between 2003 and 2009, more than 1,800 bicyclists died in collisions with motorized vehicles.
Common injuries sustained by competitive bicyclists involved in an accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Fractures and broken bones
- Total or partial paralysis including paraplegia, quadriplegia, tetraplegia,
- Cuts and lacerations
- Amputations of body parts such as arms, legs, and hands
- Permanent scarring
- Wrongful death
Severe injuries involving competitive cyclists have a long-lasting impact on the victim and their families because they result in loss of income or wage-earning potential. In addition, this physical impairment leaves a person unable to work again.
How Personal Injury Victims Are Harmed
The data also shows that most bicycle accident victims were not wearing helmets at the collision. In addition to fatalities, an estimated 515,000 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes during the same period.
Many of these bicycle accidents are caused by the carelessness of motorists. For example, drivers are sometimes careless because they are distracted while texting or talking on their cellphones while driving. These drivers fail to see bicyclists until it is too late to avoid a collision.
Some other common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Texting while driving
- Failure to yield right of way
- Failure to obey traffic signs, signals, or device
- Reckless driving
When a competitive bicyclist is injured in an accident with a negligent or reckless driver, they may be entitled to recover for their damages.
These damages may include the following:
- Medical Expenses
- Treatment for injuries
- Losing wages/lost earning potential
- Cost of future medical care/treatment
- Cost of replacement services
When you are injured in a bike accident caused by another person's negligence or recklessness, you may be able to recover damages. However, you need the help of an experienced bicycle accident attorney like those at our law firm to help you obtain the compensation you are owed.
Consider Your Legal Options After a Chicago Bicycle Accident Injury Case
Our law firm represents individuals injured in all types of bicycle accidents, including those involving other bicyclists, pedestrians, rollerblades, electric scooters/wheelchairs, children's bicycles or tricycles, and even dogs in bicycle accidents.
Since there are different categories of negligence that may be relevant to a particular accident, our law firm suggests you contact our law firm for a free case review to discuss your legal options.
Our bicycle accident attorneys know that fellow riders and motor vehicle operator negligence are the leading causes of many injured cyclists.
Operators of motor vehicles can be negligent in a variety of ways that may result in the injury or death of bicycling pedestrians and cyclists, including:
- Failure to observe speed limits
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to stop at intersections before turning
- Following too closely behind another vehicle
- Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Texting or using a cellphone while driving
- Unsafe passing
- Operating on the wrong side of the road
- Undue speed for weather conditions, visibility, and traffic
- Riding with an obstructed view (e.g., riding into sudden darkness)
- Driving at excessive speeds/too fast for conditions or intersection design
- Failure to maintain control of vehicle or path of travel
- Failure to maintain control or operation of a bicycle
- Operating on impassable roads/paths
- Bicycling under the influence (of alcohol, drugs, etc.)
Insurance Coverage for Bicycle Accidents
Different types of insurance coverage may be liable to pay for your bicycle accident damages.
The following insurance policies could be involved in the personal injury case of a competitive bicyclist injured during the competition:
- Health insurance Liability insurance
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage
Competitive Bicyclists and Liability Insurance
When you are injured in a bicycle accident that is another person's fault, the at-fault driver may have liability insurance to compensate you for your losses.
Under Illinois law, the at-fault driver's liability coverage must provide a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for the injuries of each injured person.
It means that in most bicycle accident cases, liability insurance will be sufficient to pay for the medical expenses and other economic losses you are entitled to recover.
If you are forced to miss work due to your injuries, the at-fault driver's liability insurance should also be sufficient to compensate you for your lost earnings.
However, there may be additional types of insurance coverage that could potentially pay for your bicycle accident expenses under certain circumstances.
Uninsured / Under-insured Motorist Coverage
Your own uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage may pay for your injuries if you are involved in a bicycle accident with an at-fault driver who does not have liability insurance or whose liability policy is insufficient to cover your expenses.
Did you require medical treatment? If so, your uninsured/under-insured coverage is also important because it will pay the difference between the amount your health insurance policy pays and what you are entitled to recover.
Health Insurance Coverage for Competitive Bicyclists
If you have personal health insurance, this type of insurance is another potential payment source for medical expenses or other economic losses related to your bicycle accident.
Your health insurance policy may also provide limited coverage for your injuries if you are bicycling as part of a race or other organized event. It is known as "med pay" coverage; it will only kick in when you participate in the event and under certain circumstances.
Med Pay Coverage for Personal Injury Protection
If you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as part of your car insurance policy, it may also be possible to have this coverage applied to your bicycle accident injuries.
PIP covers medical expenses and other economic losses resulting from a motor vehicle accident, including those that passengers or bicyclists suffer.
But since PIP insurance is only available to you when you are injured as a passenger in a car or as the driver of a car, this coverage is not generally applicable if you are injured while riding your bicycle.
Suppose you or your family member has been involved in an accident and suffered injuries and property damage. In that case, you must visit a doctor and visit a chiropractor, especially if you were hit by a car while riding your bike.
Crowd Control and Unsafe Barriers
Bike riding is a hazardous activity, and accidents causing serious injury are typically the result of large groups. However, when an unnecessary risk is added to an event, it becomes a danger with negative outcomes and no benefits.
Negative consequences are harder to spot but might be just as real. For example, if you ride your bike over a jump and it crashes, you experience the negative side of crashing. But, on the other hand, if you successfully land the jump, it's fantastic, and you feel ebullient and want to repeat it.
The disadvantage of having an incorrect barrier is that it only saves time and money in the setup process. The three most common problems with unsafe barriers:
The base of crowd control barriers, specifically the metal ones, are generally flat bottoms with a center post for the barrier to set in or an upside-down Y-shaped stand with the feet protruding to either side.
The flat bottom barriers are best suited for cycling events, such as the Tour de France. When placed right up to where a cyclist can ride, the Y stand type's projecting base may catch their wheels and cause them to crash unexpectedly.
Sharp Edges and Unsecured Gaps
Not only do metal barriers pose dangers with sharp edges at corners where cars come together after collisions. Gaps exist everywhere – especially around vulnerable body parts such as arms that might accidentally wander into these spaces.
Installed banners should be durable and secured with zip ties. Doing this will prevent body parts from entering between the bars, making it less likely for riders to get hurt when they are on roller coasters.
Improper Banner Placement
The first step to preventing curbside bike crashes is ensuring that barriers are placed gradually. Riders can run into them if they're not set up properly, and there's no give-and-take with their speed when approaching an edge or turn, so make sure it feels safe before you proceed!
Another common mistake by cyclists occurs when bikes have a high center of gravity. The high weight makes the front end more susceptible to tilting upon inclination during turns while turning quickly.
Additionally, the high center of gravity increases the risk behinds being thrown off balance, resulting in falls due to bicycle-related accidents caused because riders have less control over direction changes at higher speeds than lower ones.
Bicycle Accident Victims Should Expect Pushback Over Their Status as a Competitor
It does not matter if you were injured while sharing the road with a motorist or if another competitor collided with you during your last competition.
The moment you compete, you compromise your personal injury claim. Therefore, it would be best if you weighed the benefits of competition against the disadvantages you will face in court following a bicycle collision.
Refraining from the competition is the easiest way to combat the defense that your injuries should prevent you from competing but if you are dead set on enrolling in the next race, consider additional measures to protect and build your case:
- Take as many photographs as you can, even if you don't believe they are relevant. Photographic evidence is undisputed, so obtain pictures of the accident scene, the vehicle or other bicycle, your bike and equipment immediately following the incident, and the wounds you endured. It is difficult to claim that you were not injured when you can provide photographic evidence of the wound and the methods taken to treat it, such as taping, bandaging, bracing, or placement in a cast.
- Keep accurate records of all medical care and follow the advice of your doctor. Your doctor may clear you to race only under special circumstances, and your adherence to their advice will show that you are taking the injury seriously. In addition, having a record of your medical treatment will establish that you did suffer an injury that required treatment.
- Prepare to use performance data to make your case. If you have been injured, it may ultimately diminish your ability to perform. All athletes who decide to play through an injury are aware that they are at a competitive disadvantage. Showing that your injuries impacted your speed and stamina will serve to build your case even though you chose to compete.
- Highlight the laws that are in your favor throughout your case. For example, if you were injured by a motorist who turned in the middle of an intersection, establish which law(s) the motorist violated in the process of causing the accident. Your status as a competitive cyclist has no relevance when showing that the defendant violated the law before causing you harm.
- Expect the decision to compete to damage your case in some way. It can be difficult to convince a jury that your injury should be taken seriously during a competitive bicycle accident lawsuit. Therefore, you should seriously consider whether it is in your best interest to refrain from the competition if it becomes apparent that you may not be able to overcome the negative impact on your case of competing.
How a Competitive Cyclist Injury Lawyer Can Help
It really can be difficult to understand an athlete's mind and what drives them to continue to punish the body despite working through an injury.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has worked with competitive cyclists on similar bicycle accident cases and understands that even though you may be tempted to push through your injuries, they are still not to be lightly taken when presented in court.
Competitive cyclists and triathletes have proven to do amazing things even when competing with sprains, torn muscles, and broken bones.
The fact that you compete in races does not negate any damage caused because a motorist failed to grant you the right of way or an at-fault cyclist collided with you during your training.
Therefore, you are still entitled to compensation to cover the cost of your medical treatment and to replace any equipment damaged during your competitive bicycling accident.
Select an Understanding Competitive Bicycle Accident Lawyer Who Resolves Personal Injury Cases
Contact our personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation so that our law firm can show you how Chicago bike laws protect you and review your legal options before taking any form of legal action.
Should our bicycle accident attorneys not secure compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.
Our personal injury attorneys serve clients through legal representation throughout Illinois and the following localities: Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, Peoria County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, and others.