Riding a bike is fun and healthy. Not only is it good for your health, but bicycle riding allows you to take care of the environment as well. Additionally, cycling can save you a massive amount that you would have to pay on fuel.
While we can go on and on about the benefits of riding a cycle and how it is great to see people switching to this eco-friendly transportation mode, we cannot ignore the rising number of bicycle accidents. If you are a cyclist, you need to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and know when to contact the best Chicago bicycle accident lawyer to protect your rights.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
To understand how a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer can help you with the case, you need to have the knowledge of various kinds of accidents that you can be a part of. There is a whole range from which you can be the target of any negligence. While most of the time, it is the automobile driver because of which the cyclist faces an accident, there can be other consequences too. Let us now look at some of the most common causes of an accident in which an experienced Chicago bicycle accident lawyer can help you out.
A crash may occur if a motorist is driving next to you and his car hits you from the side. This happens because of the driver's negligence, so they should be held responsible for it. It is almost always unintentional when a vehicle driver side swipes a cyclist. It is most often because the driver is unaware that the cyclist is riding alongside them.
Often, a person in the car could cause an accident while trying to open their door. When a driver is not careful and opens a door without taking a look around them, they are mostly at fault. It can be difficult for a cyclist to suddenly stop their vehicle as they notice the door gets opened.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
DUI cases are classified as class 'A' misdemeanors and are treated accordingly. If a driver hits a cyclist while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs of any sort, they will have to face various charges. Your compensation will also be a part of it, along with other fines and jail time that the driver may have to face.
A rear-end crash occurs when motorists hit a bicycle from behind. It can happen if the driver is following the cyclist too closely. It can also occur on a signal when the signal goes red, and the cyclist stops. Regardless the reason, if you were hit from behind while on a bicycle, you deserve compensation for any injuries, damages, and lost wages caused by the accident.
When an automobile driver is turning their car, they can be negligent and not see the cyclists in the left lane, causing an accident. Turnings can be tricky, so you need to be extra careful while taking a turn. The position of bicycle lanes means that drivers have to cross the bicycle lane when making turns. This increases the risk of accident for both drivers and cyclists.
Often, a motorist would try to violate the speeding limit for various reasons. While they will receive a ticket for that violation, if they hurt you while doing it, they will be responsible for the crash too. Multiple infractions can lead to a severe punishment for them.
Ignoring the Signals
Not following traffic rules is never great for anyone. When you are on the road, you need to be extra cautious about your actions. Anyone can be responsible for a crash if they ignore traffic signals or signs while commuting. An experienced Chicago bicycle accident lawyer can help determine if traffic signals were ignored in your accident.
With the advancement in technology, people feel impaired without access to their phones. However, even if you aren't holding the phone in your hand but talking on the call with someone, you can get distracted while driving. This can cause severe injuries to cyclists who are responsible riders. Distracted driving is not treated lightly in the court, and you will have to pay for your actions, so it is best to concentrate on the road while driving.
Apart from the causes mentioned above, a cyclist can also face an accident if the road conditions are not excellent because of the weather or any other reason. In such cases, the local government would be responsible for the accident, and your Chicago bicycle accident lawyer will make a case accordingly.
Statute of Limitations
Now that you have a basic understanding of how a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer can help you no matter what the crash's cause was, you might wonder till when we can help you. Being aware of the statute of limitations for your state for a specific crime is necessary. For Illinois, if you are a victim of a cycling accident, you can file a lawsuit within two years of the incident. The limit will increase to five years if there has been property damage, too, along with personal injuries and emotional trauma.
While the statute of limitations allows you to file a lawsuit for an extended period, you should be aware that the longer you take to file it, the harder it will get to collect evidence. Living in a digital age, it is easy to gather data to prove your point. However, that data can get lost as with each passing day, the amount of information is only increasing. Hence, you should consult with our best Chicago bicycle accident lawyers at your earliest and get started with the case.
What if the Cyclist is Partially at Fault?
Two people can be responsible for a crash too. You may hesitate to carry on with a lawsuit if you think you are partially at fault. However, you should know that Illinois follows comparative compensation rules. This means that you can still get a certain amount of compensation based on who was more responsible for the accident. Under such circumstances, it is best not to talk about the case or give any statement until your lawyer arrives at the scene.
Insurance companies will try to persuade you to make a decision that may not work in your favor. Therefore, make sure to consult with your Chicago bicycle accident lawyer as soon as it is possible for you.
What Type of Compensation Can I Seek?
If you are injured in an accident, your Chicago bicycle accident lawyer will fight your case to get maximum compensation for you. Depending on the injuries and losses that you suffered from, and that may continue, your compensation will be decided. While it is subjective to your specific situation, it can include the following.
- Medical bills for all the past and future expenses.
- Compensation for any property damage.
- Lost wages because of the inability to go to work.
- Emotional trauma and suffering you had to face because of the accident.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, you can get compensation for any loss that you particularly had to bear due to the crash for which the other party was responsible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine the compensation you deserve for your accident and injuries.
Tips for Bicycle Riders
While we understand that most of the time, it is the motorist who would cause a cycle crash; you need to take care of specific protocols as a cyclist. These may include the following.
- Always make sure that you are wearing the proper gear. Bicycles are already very risky and open to injuries; not wearing adequate equipment will increase the chances of getting injured severely.
- Before hitting the road, you should also be confident that your bicycle is in proper condition. All the parts are working fine, and it is well-maintained.
- Lastly, it would be best to be extremely cautious while riding so that someone else's negligence doesn't cost you your life. To do so, you can start by avoiding the use of headphones while riding. This way, you will be more alert.
No matter how safe you are as a rider, you are still at risk. Most bicycle accidents are not caused by the rider but by vehicle drivers that are not aware of the cyclists presence. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact one of our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers today to discuss your options.
Contact a Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
We believe that people who ride bicycles and save their expenses along with saving the world are doing a great job. Our roads need to be friendlier towards bicyclists, and the state is taking such initiative every day. At Chicago Car Accident Lawyers, we offer a free consultation so that you, as a cyclist, can decide which plan to move forward with while fighting for your rights. Contact us today and get the ball rolling with your bicycle accident claim.