Springfield Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The number of bike accidents in the United States is rising, with over 900 fatal bike accidents and 50,000 accidents with serious injuries like brain damage or spinal cord injury.
As a cyclist, you know how vulnerable you are to car drivers who don't see you on the road. However, at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury lawyers understand that it is often difficult for drivers to predict what cyclists will go next even if they notice your presence.
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, contact a Springfield 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 consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
National Bicycle Accidents Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 726 bicyclist fatalities in the United States in 2013. This statistic is the highest number of bicyclist fatalities recorded by the NHTSA. In 2012, there were 677 bicyclist fatalities.
Bicyclists accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities in 2013. These statistics represent the lowest bicyclist fatality percentage recorded since 1975.
Bicyclist Fatalities by Age
The NHTSA report found that about 20 percent of all bicyclists killed in traffic accidents were under 15. The next largest segment was 50-59-year-olds, with 10% of all bicyclist deaths in 2013.
Folks 60 and older only made up 8 percent of all bicyclist fatalities. Additionally, the injury rate for children 14 and younger was nearly twice as high as that for bicyclists aged 15 to 64.
Bicyclist Fatalities by Gender
In 2013, 85% of the bicyclists killed in traffic accidents were male; 15% were female. However, this is a lot lower than previous years as the percentage was much higher from 1975-1995, where men represented over 90% of all bicyclist fatalities.
Springfield, Illinois Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, bicycle accidents in Springfield increased 60% between 2010 and 2019.
The number of bicyclists injured in all accidents also increased, albeit at a lower rate with an increase of 40%. Bike accidents in Springfield resulted in four fatalities last year, higher than recently.
Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Data shows numerous factors lead to catastrophic bicycle accidents where large vehicles collide with an unsuspecting bicycle sharing the road. In many of these cases, the bicyclists are not at fault.
For example, the NHTSA found that in 2012, 42% (29 fatalities) of fatal traffic accidents involving cyclists were attributed to driver behavior such as failure to yield or disregarding traffic signs. The second leading cause was speed too fast for conditions at 15%.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the most common causes of bicycle accidents were:
- Motor vehicle turning left in front of the bicyclist (34%)
- Motor vehicle overtaking bicyclist (20%)
- A bicyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle (10%)
- Alcohol impairment involving the cyclists (8%)
- Alcohol impairment involving a motorist's (22%)
Nearly all of these bicycle accidents could have been prevented had neither the cyclist nor motorists recognized the dangers of sharing busy roads and city streets. Unfortunately, drivers are often unaware of cyclists' rules, while cyclists sometimes ignore traffic laws.
Failure to exercise proper precautions and adhere to traffic laws can lead to injuries and fatalities.
To avoid a catastrophic Springfield bicycle accident, local cyclists (and motorists) must know their rights and responsibilities when riding on public roads. In addition, many cities and municipalities have local ordinances about cyclists' rights and responsibilities.
For example, the Springfield city ordinance requires cyclists to ride in the same direction as traffic on one-way streets and prohibits them from riding two or more abreast. Additionally, it is unlawful for riders younger than 16 to operate a bicycle at night without a light.
These and other regulations are aimed at improving traffic safety and helping to prevent catastrophic bicycle accidents in Springfield and across the state of Illinois.
Location of Bicycle Accidents
Most bicycle accidents occurred in urban areas (64%), followed by rural areas (26%). However, more rural bicyclist fatalities occurred in rural areas than urban fatalities. It may be attributed to the higher speeds typically found in urban areas than rural settings, which raises the risk of collisions with motor vehicles.
The number of fatal accidents decreased significantly after nightfall, with 47 percent of all bicycle fatalities occurring between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., while only 25 percent of bike accidents happened during the daytime.
This statistic likely reveals that more motorists are on the road during the day, and they are less likely to be looking for cyclists.
The age group with the highest percentage of fatalities was those aged 55-64 years old, which accounted for 33% of all fatalities. This high percentage might be because this age group is more likely to be using a bicycle for recreation or transportation, and they are less likely to wear helmets than younger cyclists.
The number of fatalities decreased among those aged 20-34 years old and increased among 45-54 years old. This trend has been consistent since 2010.
Male cyclists were more likely to be killed in a bicycle accident than female cyclists (78% vs. 22%). This stat might reflect that males take more risks when riding a bicycle and are less likely to wear a helmet.
Only 48 percent of all fatally injured cyclists wore a helmet when the bicycle accident, leaving 52 percent who were not. This high percentage might indicate that relatively few bicyclists take safety precautions or wear helmets.
Though our Springfield bicycle accident lawyers do not know how many of those cyclists who wore helmets were killed due to the injuries sustained in the crash and related head trauma, wearing a helmet decreases the risk of fatality.
Bicyclist Helmet Usage by Age Group
Helmet usage was significantly lower for cyclists killed in a bicycle accident than those only injured in all age groups. In all but one group (21-24 years old), significantly more fatally injured bicyclists were not wearing helmets. It is disappointing, as helmets can prevent fatalities.
Bicyclist accidents are more likely to occur during the day in urban areas, with less than half of cyclists wearing helmets. Furthermore, there are increasing fatalities among older cyclists, though they are less likely to wear a helmet than younger riders.
More needs to be done to improve cyclist safety, such as increasing helmet usage and raising awareness of the dangers of cycling without a helmet. Additionally, municipalities should create more bike-friendly roads and signage to help reduce the number of accidents.
Why Metropolitan Areas Install Bike Lanes
In nearly every Metropolitan area, installing a single bike lane has proven to be highly effective at avoiding severe injuries and removing the cyclist from moving in part two cars along city streets.
Instead of a vehicle striking the unsuspected cyclist, a bike lane controls traffic better. As a result, the car is more likely to see the cyclist coming and avoid a potential bicycle accident.
Bike lanes also offer cyclists a sense of organization, who are less likely to weave in and out of traffic or run stop signs.
Bike Lanes Calm Traffic
In some personal injury cases, bike lanes have even been shown to calm traffic by reducing the number of car drivers who illegally pass stopped buses. Bicycle lanes also make it easier for drivers to see cyclists, which helps to avoid potential collisions.
The biggest pro is that bicycle lanes are inexpensive, easy to implement along the roadway, and do not take away any driving space or require major changes or reconstruction of streets. Instead, the painted striping on the road separates cyclists from motorists with a physical barrier.
However, there are criticisms of bicycle lanes, especially if they do not meet proper standards and limit traffic on streets that should be open to everyone. In some personal injury cases, bicycle lanes have restricted entrances and exits on busy streets.
Car Dooring is a Severe Safety Concern
Problematic traffic areas pose a major safety hazard to motorists who merge into oncoming traffic or pull out in front of oncoming traffic.
Likewise, cyclists are given the impression that it is safe to ride their bicycle right up against a lane of parked cars, opening them up to potential damage from doors being opened in front of them.
This problem illustrates the importance of municipalities following proper safety guidelines for bicycle lanes.
Before installing them on open streets, there needs to be enough room for cars, cyclists, and buses to travel safely. In addition, proper signage and markings should be in place so that everyone understands how the lanes are to be used.
Bicycling Legislation is Crucial to Save Lives
Bicycling legislation to protect bicycle lanes must be implemented to ensure everyone is protected from accidents on the road.
Our bicycle accident lawyers need to do better when it comes to cyclist safety. Municipalities can help by installing more bicycle lanes, raising awareness of the dangers of cycling without a helmet, and enforcing safety laws that protect cyclists.
In addition, cyclists should take responsibility for their safety by wearing a helmet and obeying the road rules. Bicycling legislation to protect bicycle lanes must be implemented to ensure everyone is protected from accidents on the road.
Common Injuries in a Bicycle Accident
In 2019, an estimated 494,000 people were injured in bicycle crashes. This stat is a decrease from the previous year when there were approximately 503,000 people injured in bicycle crashes.
Many of these injured victims were severely harmed or killed in the crash when colliding with large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles.
Some of these injuries requiring immediate medical attention include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Dismemberment (amputation)
- Paralysis, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, or tetraplegia
- Burns and road rash
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Broken bones and fractures, including pelvis fractures
Road rash is one of the most common injuries resulting from a tragic accident requiring ongoing medical care. It occurs when the skin comes in contact with the pavement or other rough surfaces at high speeds.
As a result, the skin will often be completely removed from the cyclist, leaving an open wound that must be properly cleaned and dressed to prevent infection. Road rash can also collide with other objects, including car doors.
Bike Travel Safety Tips in Springfield, Illinois
Bicycle safety is crucial to survival when traveling throughout Springfield or any congested metropolitan area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, over 805,000 people were living in the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area.
With this many people and automobiles on the road, both drivers and bicyclists need to be aware of the potential dangers and take necessary precautions to avoid accidents.
Here are a few basic safety tips for bicyclists when traveling in Springfield:
- Obey all traffic laws and signals.
- Use hand signals to indicate turns.
- Ride with the traffic, not against it.
- Wear a helmet and other protective gear.
- Make yourself visible to drivers by wearing bright colors or using lights at night.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the potential for danger.
- Use appropriate hand signals to show drivers which way you plan to turn.
- Ensure the tires on your bicycle are properly inflated and have good treads, especially in wet conditions.
- Don't ride too close to the curb or parked cars, and avoid weaving in the area
- Avoid riding in the dark whenever possible.
- Let others know your route and plan for delays due to traffic or other hazards.
- Always check local bicycle laws before traveling in a new area, as they vary from state to state and city to city.
Following all of these safety tips above can eliminate the potential of being severely injured or killed in a Springfield bicycle accident.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim
Were you severely injured in a bicycle accident, or did you lose a loved one to the wrongful death caused by another's negligence?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys can assist you in building your case and filing a bicycle accident claim for compensation.
Nearly every personal injury case is complex and requires a comprehensive understanding of civil tort law. As a result, our law firm wins legal battles by negotiating the maximum compensation for our clients or presenting evidence in front of a judge and jury.
The steps to filing a bicycle accident claim include:
- Speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights and options.
- Gather evidence, including photos of the bicycle accident scene, police reports, witness statements, and medical records.
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.
- Go to trial, if necessary, to seek a fair and just resolution.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Springfield bicycle accident, don't hesitate to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC.
Our law firm offers free consultations and always works on contingency, so you don't pay anything until your Springfield bicycle accident lawyers win your case.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Sadly, the incident rate of fatal bicycle accidents has risen significantly over the years as many more metropolitan areas become even more congested than ever before.
In addition, cell phone technology has made distracted driving a severe problem in every community, especially in Illinois' largest cities, including Chicago, Peoria, Springfield, and others.
Under Illinois law, the state legislature has provided a legal remedy for family members who have lost a loved one through wrongful death.
The act allows a family member, spouse, or even financial representative of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim in court against anyone who may have been at fault for their loved one's death.
To successfully win a wrongful death lawsuit, our Springfield bicycle accident attorneys must prove that the defendant was negligent and caused your loved one's death through their negligent actions.
In addition, financial compensation can be sought for medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering that the victim may have endured before their death.
Typically, qualifying family members include surviving spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and others. However, suppose the injured party died without a will or a named executor.
In that case, the judge will likely appoint a close family member or blood relative to serve as the administrator of their estate.
Not every family member will receive the same amount of financial compensation for losing a loved one. The judge will likely determine how much each plaintiff receives based on their relationship to the victim and the damages they have suffered.
If you have lost a loved one in a Springfield bicycle accident caused by another's negligence, don't hesitate to contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC.
Our law firm offers free consultations and always works on contingency, so you don't pay anything until your Springfield bicycle accident lawyer wins your case.
Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today for a free legal consultation by calling us at 1-888-424-5757. If you prefer speaking Spanish, our bilingual attorneys are happy to help with your case as well! You can also contact us online. Se Habla Espanol.
Filing an Injury Lawsuit
When you file a personal injury claim, you seek compensation for your reported injuries, damages, and losses, including bodily harm, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, ongoing medical treatment, pain, and suffering. Our law firm has decades of experience and has won hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
About Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, and their Springfield Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a personal injury law firm dedicated to helping people collect compensation through high-quality legal representation. Our top priority is our clients, and your Springfield bicycle accident lawyer will work hard to deliver results that can't be beaten.
When you choose Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, Jonathan Rosenfeld, and his team will fight for your legal rights and develop a plan of action designed to provide the most beneficial outcome for your case.
Our law firm fights aggressively with insurance companies delaying payment or denying claims to ensure that our clients with serious injuries have the funds to pay their medical bills and recoup their lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact a Springfield Bicycle Accident Attorney Today to Resolve your Compensation Case
Don't let the claims adjuster from the insurance company ignore you, offer you a lowball settlement check, or deny your claim outright. Instead, consider speaking with a Springfield bicycle accident attorney at our law offices today to discuss your case's merits.
Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation to discuss how you can pursue compensation.
In addition to working and Springfield, our law firm also offers legal representation in the following localities: Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Peoria County, Will County, Sangamon County, Kane County, Winnebago County, and others.