Rear-End Bicycle Collision Attorney
Rear-End Crash Bicycle Accident Lawyer: Chicago, Illinois
Bicyclist fatalities are on the rise. The most common accident type is a rear-end collision, accounting for roughly 40% of bicyclist fatalities resulting from motor vehicles.
Were you rear-ended in a bicycle accident that led to your serious injuries or the death of a loved one? Are you looking for financial compensation for your losses? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured bicyclists harmed by another's negligence.
Contact a Chicago bicycle accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for 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.
Even if you're an experienced cyclist, some things can't be avoided regarding road safety. For example, rear-end collisions account for nearly half of all deaths involving bicyclists and motor vehicles.
The best way to protect yourself against a collision with a motor vehicle in a bike accident is by practicing safe cycling habits at all times. However, even the most seasoned cyclists can face negligence or recklessness on drivers who don't see them coming.
When this happens, you need legal help from an experienced attorney who understands bicycling laws and has experience handling these types of cases successfully in court.
Bike Accidents Are on the Rise
Rear-end bicycle accidents happen more often than you would think, especially with more and more people riding their bikes as transportation in big cities.
These accidents can cause serious damage and serious injuries, either impacting them directly or throwing them forward over their handlebars in the next car or pavement.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC appreciates how startling it can be when a vehicle hits a bicyclist from behind. Our law office has a history representing injured Chicago bicyclists who have been injured in rear-end collisions while bicycling.
Our office will do what it takes to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Talk to a bicycle crash lawyer today about your rear-end crash (or that of a loved one) by completing our intake contact form here, and we will review your case for free. In the free consultation, a member of our law firm can review your personal injuries from the bike crash and discuss the possibility of bringing accident cases as well as another possible injury claim.
Anatomy of Rear-End Bicycle Accidents in Chicago
There are bound to be collisions in heavy traffic cities like here in Chicago, where many bicycles share the roads with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, bike riders are at a physical disadvantage when hit by a car, van, or truck, with little or no protection.
Although there are bike lanes in many cities and over 200 miles of them here in Chicago, they often still must enter traffic to get where a rider needs to go.
There are a few situations that generally lead to rear-end bicycle crashes, including:
- Left-hand turns: Left-hand turns are one of the most common precursors to a rear-end bicycle accident. When cyclists need to move over into traffic to get in the left lane and turn, they are susceptible to a rear-end bicycle accident.
- No bike lanes: Many streets still do not have bike lanes, so cyclists share the road with traffic and can easily be rear-ended.
- Distracted drivers: Even when riding in a bike lane or on the shoulder of a road, motorists can drift over when distracted and rear-end a cyclist. In November 2012, just outside Auburn, IL, a 71-year old avid cyclist was rear-ended and killed by a young driver who drifted into the shoulder.
- Lack of defensive driving: Cyclist training teaches riders to be aware of other vehicles on the road, especially when they are in front of them. However, side streets and alleys can provide no warning that a motor vehicle will hit them from behind.
In many cases, the motor vehicle driver fails to see the cyclist, which is why it's important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
What Auto Insurance Coverage Can Help Injured Cyclists?
Our bicycle accident lawyers deal directly with insurance companies to ensure that any injured family member harmed in a bicycle accident is compensated for their damages.
Unfortunately, without legal representation, many injured victims harmed in a bike crash receive far less compensation than the actual value of their case. Claims adjusters often want to divert responsibility onto the bike accident victim, claiming that the accident happened differently than the truth.
Our legal team will represent the bike rider to show that an inattentive driver traveling in the opposite or same direction caused the bike crash.
Through legal advice and representation, our personal injury law firm can ensure that the compensation for the plaintiff's injuries will include:
- Hospitalization costs and medical expenses
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Compensation for temporary or permanent disabilities
- Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
- Ongoing medical bills
- Non-economic damages including pain, suffering, mental anxiety, and emotional distress
- Funeral & burial expenses and wrongful death cases
Our law firm understands that insurance companies are experts at minimizing the extent of the plaintiff's injuries to only provide minimal compensation. However, we use comprehensive civil tort law and have a proven successful track record that maximizes compensation for our clients.
Most importantly, our personal injury law firm will show how the other driver failed to follow the rules and did not attempt to spare our client's damages. So contact us today for immediate legal advice to discuss how your bike accident happened and your legal rights to seek compensation for your losses.
Rear-End Bicycle Accident Statistics
While your chances of being injured in an accident with an automobile increase as the population of people riding their bicycles do, more and more cyclists are hitting the road to take advantage of the health benefits. Unfortunately, many lack adequate training or fail to follow traffic laws.
According to a report by Northwestern University titled "Bicyclist Safety in Numbers," there were 1,330 fatalities from bicyclists and 726,000 injuries reported in 2003 alone. Even more startling is that fatalities and injuries were significantly reduced as the number of bicyclists increased from 2001 to 2009.
In 2004, all car-bicycle nationwide crashes involved 517,000 motor vehicles and 467 fatalities among people riding their bicycles. In Illinois alone, 10,331 bicycle crashes involved 8,700 motor vehicles and resulted in 944 injuries.
The study also found that children 14 years old and younger accounted for 19 percent of car-bike collisions with bicycles, 24 percent of the bicyclists killed, and 22 percent of the bicyclists' injuries.
Illinois Department of Transportation
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), rear-end accidents involving a bike rider and motor vehicle tend to be on the rise. In many incidents, the bike crash happened when a motorist avoided a slower-moving vehicle in front and instead rear-ended the bicyclist.
In 2009, 2,795 accidents involving cars and motorcycles where the motorist failed to see the cyclist. From 2006 to 2008, there were 534 fatalities from those accidents; 39 percent of those killed were not wearing a bicycle safety helmet.
In 2011, Chicago saw a rash in car accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians being struck from behind. In June alone, there were five deaths reported. The month prior, a 13-year old girl was killed while riding her bike in a "bike lane" on 73rd Street near Talman Avenue when she swerved into traffic to avoid a fallen bicycle and was rear-ended by a taxicab.
The city dedicated $4.75 million towards biker safety programs in 2012, including cycling education, bike lanes, signs, and other infrastructure. However, the question remains: Are enough motorists getting educated on sharing the road with bicyclists?
Avoiding Rear-End Bike Accidents in the Chicagoland Area
Although almost no rear-end accidents are the fault of the person being hit, there are ways to avoid these accidents in either bicycle or auto accidents. No one wants to be seriously hurt or even fatally injured while riding their bicycle.
When riding in traffic, there is little a cyclist can do to avoid a rear-end crash. Even with mirrors to see the traffic behind a rider, they will have difficulty getting out of the way of a vehicle that is about to hit them.
The best way to avoid a rear-end accident on a bike is to use bike lanes and stay out of traffic whenever possible. Instead of getting over into the left-hand lane with traffic, take the slightly longer route for left-hand turns.
Continue through the intersection in the bicycle lane, then turn left and go through the intersection again in the correct direction. It can take a little longer, but it can be safer.
If you are involved in a Chicago bicycle accident (rear-end or otherwise), you may have serious personal injuries, medical expenses, and other costs and harms. Therefore, it is important to consider bringing a claim with a reputable law firm. What can you recover?
Illinois law allows you to bring lawsuits for all of your damages. These include out-of-pocket losses (hospital bills, property damage) and intangible effects (disability, pain, suffering).
If you work with qualified and dedicated bicycle accident attorneys, you can better determine what financial compensation you may pursue. They may also craft a comprehensive legal strategy that maximizes your recovery.
How to Win Your Bike Accident Lawsuit
Our personal injury lawyers represent clients in bicycle accidents to ensure they receive maximum compensation for their damages. The injured party (victim) must show how the negligent motorist's actions led to the plaintiff's damages to win a case.
The bicycle accident lawyer working on behalf of the injured party must prove the four elements of a civil case, including:
- The party at fault had a responsibility to ensure the victim safety
- The party at fault breached that duty
- That failure to follow bicycle safety rules led to a bike/car accident, causing the victim's injuries and damages
- The victim can prove that their injuries and damages are real
Nearly all cases involving traffic crashes are resolved when insurance companies compensate the plaintiff. Most of these bicycle/motor vehicle cases are handled by local counsel.
Bicycle Accidents and Children
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the most deadly bike accidents involve children nationwide. Data shows that 60 percent of children killed in bicycle accidents were younger than 16. In 2009, 918 pedestrians and cyclists under the age of 20 were killed by a motor vehicle.
There is no statewide law that requires all bicycles to be equipped with reflectors or lights in Illinois. There are only two laws that apply to bikes:
- Bike riders over the age of 12 are required to have a helmet
- Children under the age of 8 are forbidden from riding on the street
One of the most dangerous times for cyclists is at dusk or in low-light conditions.
Reflectors provide an additional layer of safety, especially if there are no reflectors on the bicycle's tires. Bicycle lights also increase visibility to avoid accidents.
Bicycle lights are required to be visible from 300 feet away. A white light must be in the front of your bicycle, and a red light must be in the back of your bike.
Fatal Bicycle Accidents in Chicago
In recent years, there have been numerous rear-end bicycle accidents that have made the headlines. Unfortunately, many of these cases involved distracted driving even when the cyclist was operating their bike safely.
Child Killed Riding Bicycle
In 2021, a child suffered fatal injuries in the Chicago area after being struck by a vehicle while riding her bike. Initial details showed that the victim was riding in the designated bike lane when hit by a vehicle.
Even though she had all of her safety equipment, including a helmet and reflectors, the motorist failed to stop. As a result, the girl died at an area hospital shortly after the accident.
Male Victim Died After Bicycle Accident
In 2020, an older man was struck and killed while riding his bicycle in the Chicago area. The victim was riding on the right side of the street when an SUV traveling at 45 mph hit him.
Witnesses stated that there was no indication that the driver attempted to brake before striking the cyclist with his vehicle. The injury victim died at an area hospital shortly after being treated for serious head injuries.
The motorist was cited for failing to reduce speed and striking a pedestrian. It is unknown if the driver will face additional charges in connection with the case.
Teenager Bicyclist Struck and Killed
In 2019, a teenager was struck and killed in Chicago while riding in a bicycle lane after a motor vehicle left the traffic lane and entered a safe area for cyclists. Initial reports indicate that the cyclist was riding in a bike lane when she was hit from behind by a motorist who failed to see her.
The accident occurred on Chicago's Northwest Side when an SUV struck the victim while riding with another cyclist. The girl died at the crash scene, and no charges have been filed against the driver.
In the same year, a man was killed being struck behind by a motorist while riding a bicycle in Chicago. Initial reports indicate that the victim was traveling with two other cyclists when he was hit from behind. The accident occurred less than three miles away from where another cyclist had been fatally injured several days before this incident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 30 percent of accidents in metropolitan areas are caused by inattentive or distracted drivers, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NHTSA reports that serious bike accidents are increasing, mainly because bike commuters are rising. While it's hard to control distracted driving, bike riders can help protect themselves by wearing a helmet and reflective clothing at night.
Get an Attorney to Protect Your Rights When You are Involved in a Rear-end Bicycle Accident in Chicago
Even with the best defensive riding, not all rear-end bicycle accidents can be avoided. When a cyclist is rear-ended, there is a good chance they will have an injury that will need medical attention, make them miss work, and cause other expenses.
Having an experienced Chicago bicycle injury attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can ensure that the liable driver and their insurance company cover all the expenses caused by the accident.
Call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for a free case review.
Our bicycle accident lawyer accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures that no upfront fees are paid until the case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Our accident injury attorneys serve the following localities in rural and urban areas: Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Macon County, Peoria County, Will County, Winnebago County, and others.