Bicycling is a great way to stay fit but it is also one of the most dangerous forms of transportation on the road today. Although bicycle accidents make up less than 1% of all traffic crashes, they account for nearly 14% percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle collisions.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have been helping victims of bicycle accidents recover compensation for years and know best to represent your case in Illinois.
Let our experienced team of Naperville bicycle accident lawyers guide you through the legal process, allowing you to focus on getting better physically and mentally from your injuries.
Contact a Naperville personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our bike accident lawyer, in Naperville, IL, remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Many cyclists involved in bike accidents suffer severe injuries that can leave them unable to work or enjoy their life as they once did before the crash.
These injuries can be debilitating and costly to treat if you do not have insurance coverage through your employer or another source such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Were you injured because someone else’s negligence caused your bike accident?
If so, it may be possible for you to seek compensation from those at fault for causing your injury so that you can recover some financial relief while moving forward with treatment options needed after suffering a severe bike accident injury.
Riding a bicycle is a wonderful way to enjoy a warm afternoon or the perfect means of traveling to and from work when trying to maintain an active lifestyle.
Naperville is a thriving and busy home to the third-largest population in Illinois, and its thousands of bicycle enthusiasts must share the roads with hundreds of thousands of motorists. Unfortunately, this increases the likelihood that you may be involved in a bicycle accident.
Laws to Abide by When Bicycling Through Naperville
Naperville is home to a bumbling and affluent population, and its streets are often occupied by numerous pedestrians traveling from shop to shop— especially in Naperville’s downtown area.
Due to so many people on city sidewalks, bicyclists are prohibited from using public sidewalks and must share the roads with motorists. As a result, many of the rules bicyclists must follow are similar to the road rules that every driver must obey.
If you are biking through Naperville, it is crucial to stay as far to the right side of the street as is safe and treat all traffic control devices as you would if traveling via automobile.
In addition, whenever you plan to make a turn, you must signal to motorists to be aware of your intentions and act accordingly.
It is also important not to carry others on the back of your bicycle, as this can place the passengers at risk and make it more difficult for you to operate the bike or maintain control safely.
When riding after dusk, your bicycle must be visible to traffic. You can remain in view using a bike light on the front and red reflectors on the back. Other ways to increase your visibility include wearing bright or reflective clothing or installing devices that emit light on the wheels or back of the bike.
Finally, while riding without a helmet is not against the law, using helmets is linked to a more favorable prognosis following bicycle accident injuries.
How Dangerous Is Cycling?
Data reveals that cycling is among the safest modes of transportation. For example, between 2000 and 2011, 27,000 bicyclists were injured in crashes with motor vehicles nationwide.
In addition, the data shows that just over one out of every 1 million trips taken by bicycle resulted in crashes.
What About Helmets?
Riding a bike without a helmet can increase your chances of severe injuries in an accident. Unfortunately, 75% of bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles were not wearing helmets at the time.
While the number of people riding bikes has increased during this period, fatalities have decreased due to more stringent safety regulations and better road conditions.
Finally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that only 3% of bicycle fatalities happen to individuals over 15. Most (60%) of these fatalities occur among children between 5 and 14 years of age.
With the rates of injuries and fatalities on the decline, it is vital to practice safe bicycling habits to protect yourself against unnecessary accidents that can be prevented with just a bit of common sense.
Drivers Have Responsibilities to Bicyclists
It is just as crucial for motorists to respect the rights of bicyclists with whom they must share the roads, and many bicycle accidents result from driver recklessness or negligence.
Failure to yield the right of way while turning, not looking for bicyclists when entering a thoroughfare, or driving too close to bicyclists when passing are common causes of accidents.
Dooring accidents, which happen when a motor vehicle driver opens their door to an oncoming bicyclist, are also common. These accidents often result in severe injuries as the bicyclist is thrown into the path of oncoming traffic.
If you are a driver, it is essential to always check for bicyclists before opening your door and giving them plenty of room when passing. Also, always be cautious when turning, as bicyclists can be challenging to see.
What to Do if You are Involved in a Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, the first thing to do is seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. Then, if you can, try and capture as much information as possible about the accident.
Take pictures of the accident scene and surrounding area, including the closest sidewalk or bike lane. Get the contact information of any witnesses and record the names of law enforcement or emergency responders who were called to the scene.
Obtain a copy of the police accident report providing detailed information on how law enforcement determines who is at fault and any additional insurance information provided in the document.
If you are unsure how to file and handle your personal injury case, contact our law offices at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), many bicyclists are injured when colliding with motor vehicles in commercial trucks when sharing the road.
Data reveals that nearly 2,000 cyclists die in motor vehicle crashes yearly, and an additional 49,000 are treated in Emergency Rooms for injuries.
The most common types of injuries bicyclists suffer in accidents include:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Road rash
- Fractures and broken bones
- Facial cuts and injuries
- Amputation (dismemberment)
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries, which may remain asymptomatic for weeks following the injury
- Wound infection due to the introduction of debris and contaminations to open wounds
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Will County or DuPage County, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine. Some injuries can take time to manifest, and it is crucial to detect conditions such as traumatic brain injuries early before they become more severe.
Your First Step After the Accident
After a bicycle accident, your first step could save your life or make healing easier.
According to the Mayo Clinic, handling an injured person properly at the accident scene is crucial to their survival if the potential of further injury is minimized when transporting the victim to the emergency room.
When the Emergency Medical Technicians arrive at the scene, they will determine if the victim needs immediate medical attention. They will then determine the best way to transport the victim, by ambulance, helicopter, or simply in a police car with a siren.
The most important thing for bicycle accident victims to remember is to stay calm and wait for these professionals to arrive. Staying calm can be difficult for many, but panicking will only complicate the situation.
Remember to be patient because any injury is stressful, and pain can cloud your judgment. Often, doing nothing will result in a better outcome than trying to do too much.
Bicycle Accident Claim Value
Every bicycle accident is unique, as are the evidence and facts of the case. As a result, determining the case’s value can be difficult.
Reputable Naperville bicycle accident lawyers use various resources, tools, and methods to determine the case’s worth. Some of these methods include:
- Comparative Fault: This considers the percentage of fault assigned to each party in an accident. For example, if a bicyclist is determined to be 30% at fault for an accident, the case’s value would be reduced by 30%.
- Economic Damages include both present and future losses attributed to an accident. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Non-Economic Damages: This includes losses that are difficult to quantify, such as emotional distress or loss of consortium.
- Punitive damages: This award is granted in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or destructive. It is meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.
Factors that can affect a bicycle accident’s value include:
- The severity of injuries in any permanent damage suffered by the plaintiff
- The extent of property damage caused by the accident
- The credibility of witnesses
- The jurisdiction in which the case is tried
How Naperville Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need the skills of experienced Naperville bicycle accident attorneys. A competent personal injury law office will review the facts of your case, investigate potential claims, identify liable parties, and build a strong case on your behalf.
Parties Involved in a Bicycle Accident Case
Quite often, multiple parties involved in a bicycle accident case are all totally or partially responsible for causing the collision. Therefore, additional defendants could significantly increase the victim’s financial compensation based on the defendant’s responsibility.
Potential defendants over and above the motor vehicle driver that collided with the bicyclist could include:
- A car manufacturer sold a vehicle with defective brakes
- Tire manufacturers selling faulty tires
- Road maintenance crews that created a hazardous condition
- Government municipalities that failed to clear a sidewalk or install barriers in hazardous areas
- Bicycle manufacturer for defective equipment or lack of safety features
When bicyclists are injured, they should not hesitate to contact an experienced Naperville bicycle accident lawyer. The sooner you have legal representation, the better you can obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Naperville Lawyers & Bicycle Accident Contingency Fees
Some bicycle accident lawyers in the area charge a percentage of the case’s final settlement amount. Other personal injury law offices will use a flat fee to cover all legal work performed on your behalf by their firm throughout the case.
Both methods are valid, but you should know which will be used before signing a contract with bicycle accident lawyers.
Making a Personal Injury Claim After a Bicycle Accident
The best way to recover damages after injuries in a bicycle accident is to file a personal injury claim. However, you must act within the time limits mandated by Illinois law if you wish to pursue this option.
Illinois Law requires any bicyclist injured in an accident caused by another party to file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim within 90 days of the accident. If you do not act within this time limit, you forfeit your right to recover damages for your injuries, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury in an automobile-bicycle collision, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Naperville bicycle accident lawyer.
They will review the facts of your case, investigate potential claims, identify liable parties, and build a solid personal injury case on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Bicycle Accident Cases and the Statute of Limitations
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to understand the deadlines for filing your claim. Do not let the statute of limitations expire; doing so could cost you thousands of dollars.
The Illinois Torts Act is the state law that governs cases involving injuries caused by another party’s negligent actions. The law sets a general statute of limitations for personal injury cases at two years from the date of the injury, meaning you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages.
However, there are exceptions to the two-year time limit. Were you injured due to a product defect? If so, you have up to five years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
If you are injured due to a government entity’s negligence, you have up to three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Are you unsure whether you have missed the deadline for filing your claim? If so, speak with experienced bicycle accident lawyers in Naperville, IL, immediately during a free consultation.
Your lawyer will advise you of your legal rights and help you file a personal injury case against the defendant and their insurance company before it is too late.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Wrongful Death Claim
Surviving family members have the legal right to file a civil lawsuit seeking financial recovery if someone else’s negligence led to their loved one’s death.
Much like a personal injury claims process, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within the state statute of limitations to avoid losing the legal right to submit a claim or suit.
Generally, qualifying family members include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and others.
In Cook County and throughout the Chicagoland area, there are various situations in which a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed.
In the spring of 2010, a 20-year-old college student riding his bicycle at 40 mph on a city street struck and killed an 8-year-old girl playing outside during her summer break from school. The young man later died from his injuries.
The young girl’s family filed a personal injury lawsuit citing a preventable death against the bicyclist’s estate. While it is unclear whether the family will ultimately prevail in their case, it is a tragic reminder that anyone on a bicycle, even when obeying all traffic laws, can be involved in a fatal accident.
What Surviving Family Members Can Receive
Data shows that approximately 95% of all personal injury cases and preventable death lawsuits are resolved through negotiated settlements out of court. The remaining 5% or less have the evidence presented before a judge and jury trial.
Typically, settling your personal injury case works better on behalf of the injured party to ensure they receive the maximum compensation based on the defendant’s insurance policy limits.
Generally, the surviving family members can expect to receive financial recovery to pay for:
- Hospitalization costs and medical bills
- Funeral & burial costs
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Loss of familial support
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- The decedent’s pain and suffering before dying
- The family’s pain, suffering, grieving, mental anxiety, and emotional distress over losing a loved one needlessly
In most cases, different family members will receive varying amounts of compensation. Sometimes, the judge will limit the amount awarded to each family member based on legal guidelines.
For example, suppose three children were financially dependent on their deceased parents. In that case, the judge may limit the award to $25,000 for each child based on state statute or prior cases of similar circumstances.
Naperville Bicycle Accident Lawyers Helping You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries
Are you seriously injured in a bicycle accident, or did you lose a loved one through someone else’s negligence?
Experienced Naperville bicycle accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can review your case’s merits through a free case evaluation.
Our Cook County law firm has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and worked closely with medical experts to ensure that those at fault for causing the accident are held accountable.
In addition, our Naperville bicycle accident attorneys accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This agreement states that you will not be charged for attorneys’ fees until your case is resolved successfully.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our personal injury law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our Chicago law offices represent numerous clients throughout northern Illinois, including Oak Park, Arlington Heights, Orland Park, Joliet, and the Chicagoland area.