How Common Are Bicycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration (NHTSA), there were 857 bicycle accident-related fatalities in 2018. The number of injuries caused by bicycle accidents is much higher than the number of fatalities. Wearing helmets and using proper roadside precautions can help to reduce the number of bicycle accidents that take place overall. However, distracted drivers can make it more difficult for bicyclists to keep themselves safe on the road.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call (312) 598-0739
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
During a bicycle accident, it is the bicyclist that is most likely to get hurt. While soft tissue injury and musculoskeletal trauma are very common bicycle-related injuries, head injuries are common, too, and especially dangerous. A head injury is a common cause of death in bicycle injuries and can cause the rider other long-term disabilities.
Unfortunately, some bicycle riders don’t realize that they have a head injury until it is too late. You should always go to the emergency room if, during a bicycle accident, you crack your helmet, experience a headache, lose consciousness, are confused, or if your vision changes. Early medical intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome.
Chicago Bicycle Accidents Lawyer Near Me (312) 598-0739
Illinois Bicycle Accident Laws
As a cyclist, it is imperative that you understand and follow Illinois bike laws as you ride. Generally, Illinois bike riders have the same responsibilities and rights as cars. The state of Illinois does not have a statewide law that ensures that a bicyclist wears a helmet. However, there are laws in place that require delivery personnel and messengers to wear bike helmets when riding on their bikes while working.
You are allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk, as well as the right of most typical roadways. On a one way street, you can ride your bike on the left-hand side of the road, too. As a bicyclist using the sidewalk, it is your responsibility to yield to pedestrians who may also be using the sidewalk. Depending on where you are riding your bike, riding on the sidewalk could be prohibited to those over 12 years of age.
In Chicago, you must come to a full and complete stop at every red light and stop sign. You’re also required to use hand and arm signals to let drivers and other bicyclists know that you’re going to make a turn. Generally, bicycle riders are not supposed to impede traffic in any way.
Bicyclists aren’t the only people who have rules to follow. Drivers must allow for three feet or more space between their vehicle and any bicyclist. If a driver is caught driving too close to a bicyclist, injuring the bicyclist is a felony. Bicycles are allowed to pass motor vehicles on the right when it is safe to do so. A driver cannot intentionally put the life or safety of a bicyclist at risk, which includes not opening a car door unless it’s safe to.
If you’re in a bicycle accident, you need an experienced bicycle collision attorney protecting your interests. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights after a bicycle accident.
Bicycle Accidents and Safety Procedures
While bicycling is a fun and healthy way to commute, it comes with its risks. In 2012, 3,453 pedalcyclists (anyone operating a bicycle, unicycle, or other pedaled nonmotorized vehicle) suffered injuries and 29 died as the result of a cycling accident. In order to prevent accidents, cyclists should:
- Wear properly fitting helmets
- Take your bicycle in for regular tune-ups to ensure brakes, chains, tire pressure, and other bike parts are in good working order
- Wear bright colors and use a headlight, especially when traveling at dawn, dusk, or night
- Be aware of your surroundings: cyclists must be extra vigilant in keeping an eye out for distracted drivers and pedestrians
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Cycling around Chicagoland can be a challenge, especially in changing weather conditions and high traffic areas. Our bicycle accident attorneys are familiar with handling a variety of bicycling accident cases, including:
- Intersection accidents
- Bike lane accidents
- Collisions with trucks or buses
- Hit and Runs
- Pothole Accidents
Our lawyers will work with you to identify the party at fault in your collision to make sure you are fairly compensated for any injuries you sustained or property damage.
What to do after a bicycle accident
As with any accident, it’s important to make sure anyone injured in the accident receives prompt medical care. Then, be sure to call the police to the scene. It’s also important to document the scene and take down contact information for everyone involved in the crash. Gathering witness contact information is also essential. After the crash, our bicycle accident lawyers can shepherd you through the legal side of things, so that you can focus on recovering from your trauma or caring for an injured loved one.
Our bicycle accident attorneys are ready to help you
Our highly experienced Chicago bicycle accident lawyers and personal injury lawyers are here to fight for your rights as an injured person, and we will do everything to make sure that the liable party’s insurance company pays you the maximum compensation for injuries incurred during an accident.
Our bicycle accident lawyers are also available for in-home consults for Chicagoland Suburbs and in-facility consults are possible if you are unable to travel. In every accident situation, it is important to move quickly in order to protect your rights and preserve evidence that may be lost with the passage of time. If you have suffered an injury in a bicycle accident, call the Kryder Law Group at (312) 223-1700 or click here to request a Free Case Evaluation.