A bicycle accident can be difficult to recover from, physically, emotionally, and financially. Because bicycles offer little protection, injuries can be catastrophic, especially in accidents involving passenger cars or trucks. If you suffered injuries from a bicycle accident and believe negligence contributed to the situation, contact a lawyer from Clifford Law Offices.
Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits, and our firm has recovered more than $2 billion in compensation for clients since 1984. We practice open communication and treat all our clients as if they were family.
Chicago Bicycle Accident Statistics
In Chicago, our relatively flat city streets and beautiful parks make cycling a popular alternative to driving a car or taking public transit. However, this bike-riding culture leads to many accidents involving cyclists and motor vehicles. According to a 2012 report by the city of Chicago:
- Since 2000, bike ridership in Chicago has increased by 150%.
- Between 2005 and 2010, there were 9,000 accidents involving cyclists that resulted in injury in the city, averaging 1,500 per year.
- Between 2005 and 2010, bicycle accidents in Chicago increased by 27%.
- Between 2005 and 2010, bicycle accidents killed 32 cyclists in Chicago.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Illinois
Bicycle accidents often occur between a cyclist and a motor vehicle. They can occur because one or both parties involved violated a traffic law, confusion about the right of way, or perhaps because the motorist simply did not see the cyclist.
Common types of bicycle accidents include:
- Side-swiping, when a motorist traveling the same direction as a cyclist hits the cyclist with the side of the car.
- Dooring, when a motorist opens the car door into the path of the cyclist and the cyclist hits the door.
- Rear-end crashes, when a motorist hits a cyclist from behind.
- Left-hand turn impacts, when a motorist making a turn fails to see a cyclist in the bike lane or crossing the street and hits the cyclist.
Common accidents occur at stoplights, stop signs, and right-hand turns as well. Often, the cause of these accidents is:
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Poor visibility
- Failure to yield
- Confusion over right-of-way
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving such as texting and driving
Personal Injury Lawsuits for Bicycle Accidents
Illinois is a fault car insurance state, meaning that if you sustain injuries in a bicycle accident, you have three avenues available for compensation. You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Filing with your own insurance company and receive compensation up to policy limits is another option.
Your third option is to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages resulting from the accident and your injuries. Your compensation may include the following damages:
- Medical expenses for treatment and medication to heal your injuries
- Lost wages, if you had to stop working to recover from your injuries
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma suffered due to the accident
- Property damaged in the accident, including bicycle repairs or replacement
- Disability, if any of your injuries permanently or temporarily limited your mobility or quality of life
Under Illinois state law, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your claim involves property damage, you have five years to file. During the case, the jury will determine the liability of each party involved in the accident to arrive at the final settlement amount.
To prove that the at-fault driver is liable for the accident, the court will examine the facts of the case and review the evidence presented by both counsel. Illinois operates under a pure comparative fault standard, which means that if you are not 100% liable for the accident, you can receive compensation. However, the basis of your final settlement amount relates to your share of liability.
Contact Clifford Law Offices Today
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, you deserve fair compensation for your financial losses. We will work diligently to recover maximum possible compensation, handling the litigation process so you can recover. To schedule a free case review at our Chicago offices, contact us today.