Left-Turn Bicycle Crash Attorney: Chicago, Illinois
Many bicyclists suffer serious injuries or lose their lives each year while bicycling when a driver makes a left turn while distracted. The laws of the United States and the State of Illinois clearly define when motorists must yield to oncoming cyclists when making a left-hand turn.
However, despite the bike law, bicycle traffic accidents involving a turning vehicle happens frequently. Whether motorists are unaware of the cyclist, distracted or indifferent, or fail to see oncoming traffic, bike lanes, stop sign, or traffic signal, it can leave an unsuspecting cyclist with a serious injury or death.
If you were injured in a Chicago bike collision involving a vehicle making a left-hand turn, there is a strong possibility that the other party is at fault. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experience representing people injured while bicycling in accidents involving vehicles making left-turns just like your case.
Complete our online contact form for a free consultation with a Chicago bike accident lawyer to begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our team handles bicycle accident cases in the following localities: Elgin, Naperville, Cook County, Will County, and across the rest of Illinois.
Left Turn Accidents Involving Chicago Cyclists Too Common
According to statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 850 bicyclists in the United States lost their lives in 2018.
All these accidents could have been prevented had either the motorists or bicyclists follow the rules of the road. Many drivers are unaware that bicycles have the same rights as motorized vehicles when sharing the roadway.
Left-turn collisions involving motorists and bicycles, pedestrians, and motorcyclists are one of the most common and deadly accidents there are. The frustrating factor is that in most of these instances, the two-wheeled vehicle or pedestrian clearly has the right-of-way, yet drivers still fail to yield.
In a 10-year study done in Long Beach, California, on bicycle traffic accidents, 63% of driver-caused accidents were either failing to yield, turning into oncoming traffic, or both.
For a driver of a vehicle, the solution is simple: look carefully before making a left-hand turn. While bicycles may be smaller, they are not invisible. Drivers need to look at the lanes of traffic heading toward them. Check the shoulder or bike lane for oncoming bicyclists that are approaching the intersection.
Taking the time to double-check for bicycles can prevent the driver from turning in front of a bike rider crossing the intersection, or worse, hitting the bicyclist straight on when making the turn.
What Cyclists can Do to Prevent Left Turn Accidents in Chicago
Although most left-turn crashes are not the fault of the bicyclist, no one wants to be injured in a severe car crash.
A cyclist can do their part to prevent these horrific bicycle accidents by the following steps:
- Wear bright clothing or gear. Cyclists should always be wearing bright clothing when riding on the roads and reflective clothing at night. This action can increase their visibility to drivers, helping prevent right turn and left-turn accidents and other traffic accidents.
- Slow down at intersections. When approaching an intersection, reducing speed gives cyclists a better chance of being able to stop if needed.
- Check for turning vehicles. At intersections, cyclists should check the closest oncoming lane for turning motor vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Move into the closest traffic lane, if possible. This action can improve your visibility to the turning driver to avoid severe injury.
- Be proactive in maintaining your safety. While you may have the right-of-way when traveling on the street or in the bike lane, give way to motorists and motorcyclists who may not see you. Also, stay off your cell phone. You'll be more aware of your surroundings.
Without designated bike lanes, the road can be a dangerous place. Passenger cars, commercial trucks, and motorcycles are involved in the most common types of bicycle accidents. In the last few decades, the City of Chicago has installed miles of bike lanes on major thoroughfares to make cycling safer.
Controlling traffic by separating bicyclists from cars and motorcycles has decreased car accident incidents in the community. These efforts in recent years have minimized cases involving serious injuries, property damage, and wrongful death.
Unfortunately, there is no way for a cyclist to prevent all left-turn accidents, even when they are proactively looking out for their safety. The nature of bike accidents typically results in serious injuries that require immediate medical treatment.
Having an experienced Chicago bicycle injury attorney on their side can make a significant difference when obtaining fair compensation for these injuries. Having someone that can negotiate with the at-fault driver's insurance company or even bring the case to trial, if necessary, can garner a more substantial monetary award for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses caused by the bicycle accident.
Hiring an Illinois Left Turn Bicycle Accident Attorney
Are you the victim of a bicycle or motorcycle accident? Did you require medical attention due to your injuries? If so, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help.
Our attorneys will investigate the case and review your medical records to build a strong case on your behalf. Jonathan Rosenfeld at (888) 424-5757 protects the legal rights of injured bicyclists harmed in bicycle crashes in Lake County, Cook County, and throughout the Chicago area.
The law firm holds negligent drivers accountable that are responsible for all types of accidents, including passenger car crashes. For more information on filing a personal injury lawsuit, recouping medical expenses through financial compensation, and reviewing our bicycle accident lawyer profiles, look here.
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