If I am Found at Fault in my Bicycle Accident, can I Still Recover Compensation for my Injuries?
Usually. Under Illinois law, you are allowed to recover at least partial compensation for injuries you sustained in a bicycle accident as long as you are not found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
In Illinois, traffic laws apply to both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists (625 ILCS 5/11-1502). This means that cyclists have the same duty to follow the rules of the road as drivers. You can be found at fault for your bike accident if your own negligence caused or contributed to the accident. Nevertheless, you might still be able to recover compensation for your injuries from one or more parties that share responsibility for the crash.
How do You Figure out if an Injured Bicyclist can Recover in Court?
Illinois follows the doctrine of modified comparative fault, which bars recovery when an injured plaintiff (in this case the bicyclist) is more than 50 percent at fault for an accident (735 ILCS 5/ 2-1116). In Illinois, bicyclists who are injured in an accident and carry less than half of the blame for the event have the right to recover damages. However, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. This means that if you are found to be 30 percent at fault for the accident, you can recover only 70 percent of your total economic and noneconomic damages. The extent of negligence and percentage of fault are determined by a jury or other trier-of-fact, not a police report or insurance company.
As long as you were less than half responsible for the accident that injured you, you are allowed to recover a portion of all the same damages you would be entitled to if you bore no fault at all: (1) economic damages, including medical bills and lost wages; (2) noneconomic damages, including pain and suffering and loss of normal life; and (3) if appropriate even punitive damages. Wrongful death damages are also available for surviving family members in the case of a fatal bike accident.
Wondering if You can Bring a Successful Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents bicycle accident victims regardless of their fault. Illinois allows you to recover as long as you were not primarily to blame for your accident. In addition, our bicycle injury law firm will help you with your case on contingency, so you won’t pay us for our services unless we obtain compensation for you. Call us now to get your bike accident case started.