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Chicago bicycle accident lawyer

Fighting for Illinois cyclists – bicycle accident representation statewide

In a busy city like Chicago, plenty of people use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation. The city currently has over 200 miles of bike lanes, along with convenient bike-sharing programs, increased bicycle parking areas, and more space to bring bikes on public transit.

As Chicago’s bike-friendly efforts increase, so too does the number of bicyclists sharing the street with drivers.

Unfortunately, this has also led to an increase in bicycle accidents, often resulting in serious or fatal injuries to the bicyclist. Below, we’ll explore some statistics about bike accidents not just in Chicago, but across Illinois and the United States, and find out how victims can seek help from a bicycle accident lawyer.

Common causes of bicycle accidents

Most often, bicycle accidents are due to the negligence of a motorist. What exact situations are the most common causes of bike accidents? Let’s take a look:

  • Right turns. When making a right turn at an intersection, motorists often forget to check their blind spot for cyclists, causing them to either hit the cyclist or obstruct the cyclist’s path, causing them to crash into the vehicle.
  • Left turns. Again, when motorists are turning left across lanes of traffic, they often forget to look around for bicyclists before proceeding.
  • Opening car doors. Urban areas like Chicago are full of street parking, and drivers sometimes forget to check their side mirrors before opening their doors. An unsuspecting cyclist may crash into the open door or swerve into traffic to avoid it.
  • Driving too close. While some bike lanes offer greater protection, many simply run alongside the far right side of traffic. Drivers are often unaware of just how close they are, and may “clip” the cyclist, causing them to crash.
  • Unsafe lane changes. Drivers who don’t check their blind spots before changing lanes can collide with cyclists.
  • Speeding. Drivers exceeding the speed limit have less time to react to cyclists and can cause more severe injuries in a collision.
  • Distracted driving. Drivers or cyclists who are texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise not paying attention can contribute to an accident.
  • Improper bike riding behavior. Biking the wrong way in traffic, failing to obey traffic signals, or riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs can all increase the risk of accidents.

Types of injuries that can happen as a result of bike injuries

  • Concussions
  • Skull fractures
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Bruises and road rash
  • Sprains and strains
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Dental injuries like broken teeth

If you’ve been in a bicycle injury in Chicago or Illinois – don’t hesitate to reach out to our office for a consultation.

Here are some additional tips for preventing bicycle injuries as a cyclist:

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
  • Obey traffic laws and signals.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for potential hazards.
  • Use hand signals to indicate your turns.
  • Ride in a predictable manner and avoid weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Use lights and reflectors when riding at night or in low-visibility conditions.
  • Maintain your bike in good working condition.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

Before we take a closer look at bike crash statistics, it’s important to note that the frequency at which the data is reported on a local, state, and national level will vary. The statistics detailed below are based on the most recently available information.

National Statistics

  • 45,000 bicycle accidents in the U.S. resulted in injury in 2015*
  • 818 bicycle accidents in the U.S. resulted in a fatality in 2015 (up from 2014)*

Illinois Statistics

  • 2,763 bicycle accidents occurred in Illinois in 2017**
  • 2,663 of those accidents resulted in an injury**
  • 26 of those accidents resulted in a fatality**

Chicago Statistics

  • Nearly 9,000 Chicago bicycle accidents resulted in injury between 2005 and 2010***
  • 32 Chicago bicycle accidents resulted in a fatality between 2005 and 2010***
  • More than half of these crashes occurred at an intersection***

Laws for cyclists in Illinois

In Illinois, bicyclists are protected by many of the same rights as motorists to ride on the road. 

  • Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers on the road.
  • Cyclists must obey all traffic laws, including stop signs and traffic signals.
  • Cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic, unless there is a designated bike lane going in the opposite direction.
  • Cyclists must use a headlight and taillight at night.
  • Cyclists must wear a helmet that is properly fitted.

Learn more about the law in Illinois.

If you’ve been in an accident, seek the help of an expert bicycle accident lawyer.

If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident or have a loved one who was killed in a bike crash due to the negligence of a motorist, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Your best course of action is to seek professional help with a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer who can provide the professional representation you need.

Consult with a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer at Rubens & Mulholland

Looking for a qualified Chicago bike accident lawyer to represent you as you seek compensation for a bicycle accident? Consult the professional attorneys at Rubens & Mulholland. Our private practice has served the greater Chicago area and throughout Illinois since 2001, and we are prepared to provide the representation and attentiveness you need during this difficult time. R&M has a history of taking bicycle accidents that were denied and obtaining substantial recoveries. Take a look at our personal injury settlements and verdicts to see how we have helped others, and contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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Frequently asked questions about bike accidents in Illinois

Can I collect damages for my bicycle accident?

If another party is deemed at fault, you may be eligible to collect damages that may include financial compensation, and pain and suffering.

What if I was in a hit-and-run bicycle accident?

You may still be able to collect damages if the other party was at fault. If you can provide a description of the vehicle and the police are able to locate them, you can seek compensation. If the police cannot locate the hit and run driver or the driver that hit you has no insurance and you have uninsured motorist insurance you may file a claim under your policy

What if I am found to be the responsible party in the accident?

You may still be able to collect damages, as Illinois law allows you to seek partial compensation if you were less than 50% responsible for the crash.

Can there be more than one driver responsible for my injuries in a bicycle accident?

Yes — under Illinois law, multiple parties may be held responsible for the crash.

When is it too late to file a vehicle or bicycle accident lawsuit?

In Illinois, you should generally file a lawsuit within two years of the accident date, though this may vary based on the circumstances of your injury. There are also other cases where you would need to file sooner. You should contact a lawyer right away if you have been injured in a bicycle accident.

Sources:
*https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/812382
**https://idot.illinois.gov/Assets/uploads/files/Transportation-System/Resources/Safety/Crash-Reports/crash-facts/2017%20Crash%20Facts.pdf

***https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/bike/general/BikeCrashReport2012.pdf