How Long Do I Have to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
Were you injured in a bicycle accident? If so, do you know how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
Most people don't realize that they only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit after being injured in an accident before losing the right. However, this time window can be shorter than you think, so it's essential to act fast.
The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, will help you understand your rights and the deadlines that apply to your case. Contact our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers today for a free initial consultation.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you won't have to pay us unless we win your case.
Basic Rules For Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits for a Bike Accident Under the Statute of Limitations
The civil court has limited time to accept and hear bicycle accident cases based on the Statute of Limitations. Since this is a personal injury case, the first step will be to file the complaint within two years of your accident.
Illinois has one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the country. Therefore, it is important to note that you must file a personal injury lawsuit before the two-year deadline expires, or your case will be dismissed.
Filing the lawsuit is only the initial step when dealing with a personal injury case in Illinois. What you do after you file will determine whether you win. Call us to discuss what happened in a free consultation.
Evidence and Witnesses
Be sure to speak with a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash if this is an option for you. Your experienced attorney will assemble the necessary evidence and witnesses and design a course of action that will help to establish liability on behalf of the negligent party.
Keep all records and receipts related to your bike collision safely, as this will help establish a timeline of events and the extent of your injury. In addition, if you receive medical treatment, make sure to copy and save any relevant records.
The statute of limitations prevents a plaintiff from filing a lawsuit after a certain period has passed. This time limit is meant to keep potential plaintiffs from waiting too long before taking legal action, making it difficult for the defendant to prepare a defense.
A bicycle crash involves a bicycle colliding with another vehicle or object in as many as ~900,000 cases where people are treated for cycling injuries in the United States each year.
Injuries often result from a collision with a motor vehicle, but a bicyclist may also collapse due to health problems or suffer a mechanical breakdown.
Injuries from a bicycle accident may result in death or damage to any of the major body systems depending on the nature of the accident. Injury severity can also depend on the type of bicycle, whether the rider was wearing a helmet, and how far over the legal blood alcohol limit the rider was.
As a bicyclist, there are some actions you can take to stay safe and minimize your risk of being involved in a bicycle crash.
If the driver fails to follow the basic rules of the road, such as running a stop sign, you might be entitled to compensation for your injury.
Illinois Vehicle Code
The law enforcement for a bicycle accident is complicated, and it is crucial to understand the time limits for filing a lawsuit. The bicycle laws in Illinois are outlined in the Illinois Vehicle Code.
If a bike accident happens to you in Illinois, you must understand your legal rights. Laws are applying to cyclists that are not the same as vehicle drivers. Contact our bike crash attorneys for a free consultation.
The Police Report in a Bike Accident
After a bike accident, you should always get a police report. File a report whether you are crossing the street or riding along in your lane. Police reports are crucial in determining who is at fault for an accident, whether you are filing a claim with the other driver's insurance company.
It also shows the ability to prove who was at fault in the event of a lengthy bike collision court case. If you are in an accident with an automobile, it is vital to get the license plate number of the car involved.
What Goes in a Police Report?
There are usually two types of damage reports. First, you can get the short, abbreviated version within a few days after an accident simply by calling your local police precinct.
These reports do not include any estimates of damage amounts, which means that they are mainly used to determine who was at fault in the accident.
The real police report, in which a detective will go to the accident scene and conclude a much more thorough investigation, is usually unavailable for over a week.
However, if you live in a city with cameras at many intersections, video footage of your accident may be available the next day. You should call and ask whether this is an option for you to consider. If so, your case will be handled by the detective squad that will determine if the driver failed to maintain safety.
Proof of insurance is also essential to mention in the police report and explain what happened at the time.
The police reports will include statements from the parties involved and other witnesses to the accident. All this information is taken into account when determining fault or liability. You can access the police reports from the police department where the accident occurred.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our law firm goes an extra mile over other law firms to recover compensation for our clients.
Holding the At-Fault Party in a Bike Accident Responsible
In Illinois, personal injury actions for ordinary negligence are bifurcated into two separate trials. In a typical personal injury case, the first trial determines whether the defendant is liable, and the second trial determines the number of damages.
Bicycle accident victims are not always at fault. However, motor vehicle drivers are usually at fault in collisions with bicyclists because of the driver's size and strength.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Bicycle accidents are among the most common types of personal injury accidents in the United States. Bicycle crash fatalities account for 2 percent of all fatalities in the US every year.
There are an estimated 55 million bicycle riders on America's roads, and within that number, an estimated 726,000 riders are injured each year. The data results show an annual fatality rate of about one every half hour and an injury rate of about one every six minutes nationwide.
The most common injuries resulting from bicycle accidents are head and brain trauma, fractures, road rash, and sprains.
- Head and brain trauma account for about 50% of fatalities resulting from bicycle accidents.
- About 90% of head and brain trauma fatalities result from motor vehicles accidents.
- Head injuries account for about 70% of fatalities resulting from bicycle accidents.
- About 70% of head injuries result from accidents involving motor vehicles.
In a bicycle crash, many legal issues can arise. These legal issues can include:
- Potential liability
- Insurance coverage
- Types of damages that you may be able to recover
The ideal time to gather contact information in a bicycle crash scene is when the vehicle operator is still present. However, this does not always happen, especially if the driver is intoxicated.
A free case evaluation with our bicycle accident attorney will allow us to help you. To learn how to maximize your financial recovery through a bike collision lawsuit, please contact our bicycle accident lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 for legal advice.
Driver Losing Concentration on the Road
Distracted driving is a severe problem in the United States. In 2009, there were nearly 5,500 fatalities and over 500,000 injuries due to crashes involving distracted drivers.
A motorist driving while inattentive has become a common cause of harm to pedestrians and other drivers.
Inattentive drivers are more likely to crash into other cars, run stoplights, miss stop signs, and even drive into bodies of water. In addition, a new study has found that driving while inattentive is also a factor in accidents involving cyclists.
Recovering Following a Bike Accident
The recovery period for personal injuries following a bike collision can be long, even if the injuries are not severe. Therefore, it is important to take care of the immediate medical treatment needs and take the time to heal.
The injured cyclists should act quickly to ensure their suit is filed within the statute of limitations. Additionally, the injured cyclists should schedule a free consultation with a lawyer immediately, so the personal injury attorney can begin building a bicycle accident case from day one.
The injured bicyclists can also recover damages for the pain and suffering caused by another person's negligence. Illinois law permits bicyclists to recover for both economic and non-economic damages. The latter recoverable damages include compensation for pain and suffering.
How To Prevent a Bike Accident
Obeying The Red Light Rule
The red light rule in Illinois is one of the few things that all bicycle accident attorneys will agree on to stay safe. Simply put, if you are riding your bike and you have a red traffic light, you must stop at the intersection before proceeding forward.
Using a Bike Designated Lane
A bike lane is an area of the road designated for bicyclists. A bike lane is much like a shoulder or bicycle path, but a strip of paint and signage designates the area. However, like sidewalks and shoulders, bike lanes are not always an adequate defense against negligent drivers in Illinois bike accidents.
Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is a legal case filed by a person or company against another person or entity to recover money for damages suffered from the injuries.
In a personal injury claim, the damages for which the person or company filing suit (tort case) is seeking compensation result from physical and mental injuries caused by the negligence of another party.
The person filing a suit must prove that another person or company acted negligently, carelessly, or recklessly. Most personal injury claims are often filed by the victims of car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, or other accidents caused by another party's negligence.
To be successful in a personal injury claim:
- You must prove that the person or company you are filing suit against owed you a duty of care.
- You should also demonstrate that the other party breached that duty of care, causing injury.
- You must show that the other person's negligence caused your serious injuries, not another cause.
Our law firm will help you on the financial recovery path you have been on with our legal services. You can get back to that life that you've worked so hard to accomplish.
Personal Injury Claims
You might be entitled to compensation if you or your child sustained an injury while riding a bicycle. Additionally, if another person's negligence caused the injury, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim against that individual.
Injuries from bicycle accidents can be severe. Additionally, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 719 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012. Another 48,000 were injured.
When you are involved in a bike collision, the first step in the legal process is determining who was at fault.
The courts might blame both parties for the crash in some bicycle accident cases. It may be difficult to pursue a personal injury claim in these instances.
When Is a Driver Responsible for an Accident Involving a Cyclist?
When the driver fails to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road, according to Illinois state law, "Upon approaching a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, the driver of a motor vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and safely pass such bicycle before driving past."
Failure to abide by this law may leave a driver responsible for damages, including injuries and pain and suffering. However, the bicyclist must also take precautions.
Recovering Compensation After a Bike Crash
The lost wages you suffer from your bicycle crash should be covered by general damages, which entitles you to additional compensation for these losses.
Property Damage in a Bike Crash
In a bike collision, property damage and personal injury go hand in hand. Adjusters typically resolve property damage claims in a bike accident case relatively quickly since, typically, neither party must go through the legal process.
Insurance Companies Handling Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
It's essential to note down the at-fault driver contact information, including their name, address, phone number, and the insurance company. Do not leave this for later.
Insurance Claim Duo Aspect
As with other injuries, the insurance claim in a bicycle crash is twofold. First, you must deal with your own insurance company to receive benefits for your injuries related to the accident.
Second, you must file an Illinois bicycle accident lawsuit against the person who caused your accident to be fully compensated for all your damages.
Also, an insurance company claim is only the first part of the lawsuit. The outcome of your insurance claim may affect future options regarding your Illinois bicycle accident lawsuit, but it is not the final word.
You may not even need to file an insurance claim. If the at-fault party has sufficient insurance, you can be fully compensated without filing an insurance claim.
The insurance claims process is different for every state. However, the basic timeline for filing an insurance claim is largely similar throughout the country.
Car Driver Liability Coverage in Bike Collision
A car driver liability policy has two types of coverages that are usually relevant in a hit-and-run case involving a bicycle -- uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured Motor Vehicle Coverage
Uninsured motor vehicle coverage is the first type of protection offered by a car driver liability policy.
It covers losses sustained when an "uninsured" driver is determined how the accident happened and who is at fault for the crash. This coverage can apply even if the identity of the uninsured driver is not known.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage, also called UM or UIM coverage, is similar to uninsured motorist coverage in that it covers losses resulting from an accident where the responsible driver was underinsured. Underinsured motorist coverage is available in some states but not in others.
This type of protection can also apply when the responsible driver has no insurance or if the driver's insurance is insufficient to cover all damages. For example, in a bike crash, the defendant's insurance policy is usually the defendant's liability coverage.
Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Advise on the Timeframe for Filing a Bicycle Accident in Illinois
Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer to help with your bike accident?
Our law firm has extensive experience representing cyclists in Illinois. We can help you understand your rights and the time frame for filing a bicycle accident claim.
We want to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our personal injury attorney will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome. Contact our law office today toll-free at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation!
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship. Our super lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, so you don't have to pay us unless we win your bicycle accident lawsuit.
Our law firm represents clients in all Illinois counties, including Machesney Park, Arlington Heights, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, Kane County, Cook County, Peoria County, Macon County, Lake County, and DuPage County.