Evanston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
When you're injured in a bike accident, the last thing you want to do is spend hours on the phone with insurance companies and medical providers. So instead, you need an experienced attorney who can help you get your life back on track quickly.
If someone else's careless or reckless behavior caused your bicycle accident, they should be held responsible for their actions.
However, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help make sure that doesn't happen to you by taking over all of the legwork involved in investigating how the crash occurred.
Contact our Evanston personal injury attorneys 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 Evanston, Illinois
Evanston is a bicycle-friendly community for families and many avid bicyclists living within the city who use their bicycles as their primary method of transportation to avoid the high cost of gasoline.
Access to the North Shore Channel and Green Bay Trail makes it easy to plan a bike hike with your family, and Evanston has made recent efforts to make biking with your family more enjoyable and safer.
Unfortunately, Evanston and Chicago bicycling may result in accidents, especially when motorists are not respectful of bicyclists' rights on the road and the Evanston bicycle accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are dedicated to helping those who have been harmed in these incidents.
The Evanston Pilot Program
Evanston has recently recognized the need to encourage safer bicycling habits to prevent bicycle accidents. This program is also intended to reduce the tension between cyclists and pedestrians by making bicyclists aware of the local ordinances to minimize pedestrian interference and promote safe riding practices.
Motorists can also benefit from the pilot program as it details their responsibilities and how they may contribute to making Evanston a safer city for bicyclists.
The laws and ordinances that riders must follow are like those by motorists but include additional rules created specifically for bicyclists.
These rules include walking bicycles on public sidewalks to avoid collisions with pedestrians, the prohibition of bicycle stunts that can cause injury to the cyclist or bystanders, and restrictions on the use of headphones, earbuds, or other devices that can impair a bicyclist's ability to hear.
In addition to abiding by local laws and ordinances, the City of Evanston recommends that all bicyclists wear helmets, wear clothing that makes them visible at night, and check their equipment regularly.
Poorly inflated tires and worn brakes are common causes of bicycle accidents, so take a moment to ensure that your tires are inflated to the recommended PSI and that your brakes still work.
National Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, 48 percent of bicycle accidents occurred in urban areas, and 52 percent occurred in non-urban areas. In addition, the data reveals that younger adults had more accidents than older cyclists.
In 2010, 822 bicyclists were killed, and 497,000 were injured in the United States.
The summer months from Memorial Day through Labor Day are the most dangerous times to ride a bike on the road. From 1990 to 2005, bicycle fatalities increased 5 percent from 1,508 to 1,558.
During the same time, from 1999 to 2005, bicycle fatalities were highest in June and July as a percentage of all traffic fatalities. In those five years, the number of cycling deaths increased by 10 percent.
The majority (91 percent) of fatal accidents occurred on urban roads between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, while the highest number of nonfatal bicycle accidents occurred at 2 p.m. Many of these accidents happen in bicycle lanes.
The most common injuries suffered by bicycle accident victims included fractures to the upper and lower extremities or road rash to the body, with 1 in 5 cyclists experiencing a head injury every year.
Illinois Bicycle Statistics
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, bicycle accidents increased by 5 percent from 2008-2011.
- On average, 812 cyclists are injured each year in Illinois, with the majority (82 percent) occurring between May and September.
- Male riders who suffered injuries experienced accidents more often than female riders, with 64 percent of injuries occurring to males. Conversely, only 36 percent of injuries were recorded to female riders.
- Of the 3,000 injured in 2011, only 23 percent wore helmets in reflective clothing when their accident occurred. However, of those who did wear helmets, 43 percent said it decreased the severity of their injuries.
- Unlike the nationwide statistics where only one person died per year on average between 2008 and 2010, Illinois experienced nine bicycle fatalities during that same period.
Biker safety is a concern, so knowing your rights after an accident is vital. Contact an Evanston bicycle accident lawyer today for more information on Illinois bicycle laws, or schedule a free case review with an attorney!
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), common nonfatal bicycle injuries include abrasions, lacerations, and fractures involving a relatively short healing process.
Statistics reveal that head injuries are the most common fatal cycling accidents, ranging from mild concussions to serious brain damage or death.
Statistically, the most common injuries in catastrophic bicycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation (dismemberment)
- Total or partial paralysis including paraplegic, quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and double paraplegia
- Severe contusions and lacerations
- Broken bones, especially ribs, arms, and legs
- Fractured pelvises
Fatal Bicycle Accidents
Most cyclists killed in bicycle/car accidents suffered a brain injury due to the collision. Statistically, fatal accidents occur mostly during the summer months, especially for male riders between 15 and 24 years old.
Most bicycle accidents occur when drivers fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes or merging onto another road. Statistics reveal that 80 percent of cyclists involved in an accident with a motor vehicle were traveling in the same direction as traffic, rather than against it.
Contributing Factors Resulting in Bicycle Accidents
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the main contributing factors resulting in bike accidents include:
- Distracted driving: Motor vehicle drivers, truckers, and motorcyclists often drive distracted, creating hazards for everyone sharing the road. Distracted driving could include texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, watching navigational equipment, using a GPS, or performing other tasks that take the driver's eyes off the road.
- Over-corrections: Drivers often overcorrect by swerving into another lane or hitting an object after they've lost control of their vehicle.
- Drunk drivers/DUI: Statistics reveal that 54 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents had some alcohol level in their system. Drunk driving plays a significant role in Chicago bicycle accidents as well.
- Parked vehicles: This is often the result of driver carelessness, such as driving distracted or drunk driving, and can occur if a streetlight is obscured by another vehicle or other obstructions.
- Weather: Dangerous weather conditions like fog and heavy rain increase your risk of Chicago bicycle accidents.
- Construction zones: Construction zones require greater diligence to ensure the safety of all drivers because they can pose a significant risk for bicyclists.
- Lane position: Drivers often fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes or merging onto another road. Failing to look around creates hazardous conditions for everyone sharing the roadway, particularly cyclists.
- Drivers are not obeying the traffic rules: Drivers may fail to yield, stop or obey a traffic signal.
As a result of these statistics, it's important to know your rights after an accident. Contact an Evanston bicycle accident lawyer today for more information on Illinois bicycle laws, or schedule a free case consultation with an attorney!
Inattentive Motorist vs. Intoxicated Driver
Although Lake County and Cook County, bicycles are considered vehicles, they do not protect from other moving objects sharing the roadway. In fact, according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), bike accidents are the most common type of fatality involving two vehicles.
Were you involved in a bicycle accident caused by another's negligence? If so, your best recourse is to contact an Evanston bicycle accident lawyer who will review the facts of the incident and determine whether you're entitled to compensation.
The Difference Between Bicycle Accidents Caused by Inattentive Pedestrians and Intoxicated Drivers
Even though both types of incidents are considered accidents, the difference between a bicycle accident caused by an inattentive pedestrian and one caused by an intoxicated driver is the level of intent.
In the personal injury case of a bicyclist colliding with a motor vehicle or other moving object, there is no doubt that the driver is intentionally operating a motor vehicle and, as such, must be held accountable for an accident caused by their negligence.
In contrast, when drivers are involved in accidents with bicycles due to being distracted or intoxicated, there could be some debate about whether or not the driver was exercising reasonable care before the incident occurred.
If you've been injured in a bicycle accident, it's important to understand your rights and options.
Contact an Evanston bicycle accident lawyer today for more information on Illinois bicycle laws to receive financial compensation or schedule a free legal consultation with an attorney!
What To Do After an Accident
Although you may feel bad for causing the accident, do not admit guilt unless you are the at-fault party causing the accident. Staying silent will help to ensure that your insurance company was not overcharged after an accident, which could result in you paying higher premiums in the future.
You should not move your vehicle unless it is necessary. That said, take pictures of all vehicles' positions before and after should they be moved. Photos will help to ensure that all parties are being treated fairly after a bicycle/car accident.
Injured Illinois bicyclists should never admit guilt for anything, even if they believe they are at fault, except when talking to the insurance company or the police.
If the other party is present at the accident scene, avoid discussing anything about the accident with anyone except the police and your insurance company.
Typically, when someone else's negligence causes accidents involving serious injuries and wrongful death, the negligent driver and their insurance company will pay the injured bicyclist's current medical bills, lost wages, bicycle repairs, and future medical expenses.
When an Accident Is Your Fault: Be Responsible!
It is important to remember that you must be responsible for reporting any accident in a collision.
In addition, as a bicycle rider, you are responsible for reporting all accidents involving personal injury or property damage.
If you fail to report the accident, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or subject to significant fines even if it was not your fault.
Contact a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer today for more information on Illinois bicycle laws, or schedule a free consultation with an attorney!
Why Do Drivers Hit Cyclists?
A common question for Chicago bicycle accident lawyers is why do drivers hit cyclists when there are so many laws in place to protect them?
One reason could be that the driver was distracted by other things, such as talking to passengers or searching through items in their vehicle. Another common reason is that the driver wasn't paying attention at all.
The best way to protect yourself from distracted drivers is to obey all traffic rules and bicycle laws and be visible when you're riding your bicycle.
It would be safer if you also rode with the traffic and in the same direction as other vehicles on the road to be seen more easily by other drivers.
If you've been in an accident with a driver that was distracted or driving inattentively, contact a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer today for more information on Illinois cycling laws!
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
If you have been involved in any bicycle accident, it is important to know what steps you should take after the incident. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know what to do after the incident since you may be experiencing a lot of pain, shock, or any number of other emotions.
A couple of necessary first steps include remaining calm and contacting emergency personnel involved in bike accidents. An experienced Evanston bicycle accident attorney can help determine your next steps after an accident happens.
If it is clear that the other party was at fault and you were not injured in any way, it may be best to take their information and contact a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer. Remember, if you cause the accident, even if it isn't your fault, you still have a responsibility to report any accidents involving personal injury or property damage.
Were you injured in a bicycle accident and need legal assistance? If so, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer today for more information on Illinois cycling laws or to schedule a free consultation!
What Are the Laws for Bikes in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, bicycles are not allowed on expressways under almost any circumstances. However, bikes are welcome on all roads open to regular traffic, including roads divided into multiple lanes.
Bicyclists in Illinois are also subject to obeying all of the same traffic laws as motorists while they are on public roadways. It includes stopping at stop signs and red lights and signaling before turning or changing lanes.
Bike Accident Statistics and Facts & Chicago Bike Laws and Insurance Companies
Bicycle accidents are unfortunately quite common in Illinois, specifically in Chicago. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 52,000 bike accidents in the United States involved motor vehicles and cyclists between 2004 and 2013.
A Chicago area cyclist is more likely than a motorist to be injured or killed by a vehicle because of the bicyclists' smaller size and vulnerability to serious injury.
Local data reveals that head injuries caused 60% of bicycle accident fatalities in the Chicagoland area, and:
- 15% were due to chest injuries,
- 20% resulted from an injury to another part of the body and
- 5% involved fatal injuries to multiple parts of the body
Of these injuries, roughly half resulted in fatalities.
What Illinois Law Says About Bikes
Bicycles are defined as vehicles under Illinois law, so bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as drivers of other types of motor vehicles. Like motorists, cyclists must stop at red lights, obey all traffic laws, and yield to pedestrians.
When cycling on roads with multiple lanes, riders must ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway. However, they may move further out into the lane when:
- Preparing for a left turn and no traffic is approaching from behind
- A broken lane line exists
- Any special hazards exist (such as a rough lane surface, debris, potholes, or parked cars)
- The lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to share the lane safely
- Riding in the middle of the right-hand lane would not be reasonable due to other traffic conditions
Bicyclists are also allowed full use of a paved shoulder of the road, although it is up to state law enforcement officers to decide whether or not the bike was being operated in an unsafe manner.
Bike Lane Laws in Illinois
Illinois cyclists are required by law to use bike lanes when they exist. If the lane has hazards or you would be forced into moving traffic on your right, you are not required to use the lane.
However, every cyclist must avoid parking or standing in bike lanes at all times to avoid a deadly bike accident.
Bike Registration Laws in Illinois
Illinois does not require you to register your bicycle with the state before riding it on public roadways. However, if you are involved in a bicycle/car accident and plan to claim damages from a negligent or reckless driver, you should have proof that the bicycle is, in fact, yours.
Claiming damages might require taking pictures of your bike from various angles and getting at least two witnesses to sign written statements that they saw the bike accident take place.
Hiring a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Resolve Claims for Fair Compensation
Are you an accident victim, or did you lose a loved one through another's negligence? The Chicago bicycle accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can provide immediate legal advice on how to hold those at fault for your injuries financially accountable.
Your Chicago bicycle accident lawyer will coordinate with medical experts, economists, and accident reconstruction experts to establish fault in your personal injury case and accurately assess the cost of your treatment and out-of-pocket expenses.
Our bicycle accident lawyers helped hundreds of bicyclists recover the compensation they have been entitled to under the law and will fight to do the same on your behalf.
Contact a bicycle accident attorney today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to discuss your legal opportunities during a free case evaluation.
Every experienced bicycle accident attorney in our law offices accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing into your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Our law firm has years of experience representing injured bicyclists in Illinois, including in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Kane County, McHenry County, Chicago, Oak Park, Arlington Heights, Orland Park, and Tinley Park.