Bicycles are an increasingly popular form of transportation and recreation for adults and children alike. Although cycling is economical, environmentally friendly, and excellent exercise, it can be dangerous.
Drivers often do not pay adequate attention and might not see a cyclist until it is too late. Cyclists who get into crashes with cars often suffer life-changing, permanent injuries. Even when the injuries are less severe, a bicycle rider might require medical treatment, miss work, and endure significant inconvenience, pain, and suffering.
A Palatine bicycle accident lawyer represents bicyclists who suffer injuries due to another party’s negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney from The Kryder Law Group could help you get compensation for your accident-related expenses and pain and suffering following a bike crash.
State Laws Pertaining to Cyclists
When a Palatine attorney takes a bicycle collision case, they will investigate to determine whether anyone involved was breaking any laws. The state has enacted several statutes governing how cyclists and vehicles share the road, and if an involved party broke a safety law, it could be evidence they were negligent.
Cyclists are entitled to ride in the middle of a traffic lane if they are preparing to turn, to avoid a hazard, or if the road has no designated bike lane. However, if they are proceeding slower than vehicle traffic, they must ride as far to the right as possible unless it is unsafe. Cyclists must also obey stop signs and traffic lights.
Motorists must yield the right of way to cyclists as they would to another motor vehicle. When a vehicle overtakes a cyclist, it must leave at least three feet of space between the bicycle and the vehicle. If they are unable to pass with sufficient clearance, they must wait to pass until they have enough room. Motor vehicles cannot drive or park in designated bicycle lanes.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
If a bicycle and a motor vehicle collide, the bicyclist will likely suffer an injury. The force of even a slow-speed collision will usually knock a bicycle to the ground, and the cyclist has no protection.
Every accident is different, and it is impossible to predict the type of damage a particular event might cause. However, a dedicated bicycle crash lawyer from our firm in Palatine often represents cyclists who suffer:
- Severe abrasions and friction burns (road rash)
- Soft tissue injuries to the lower leg, wrist, shoulder, or neck
- Facial injuries, including eye damage and tooth loss
- Internal injuries such as punctured lungs, ruptured spleen, or kidney damage
- Spinal cord injuries
Illinois law does not require cyclists to wear helmets, so head injuries, including skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries, are a possible consequence of a bicycle accident.
Any cyclist who gets into an accident must seek immediate medical attention. An ambulance often attends the scene of a bicycle accident, but if an ambulance is not available, the cyclist should get a lift to the nearest emergency medical facility for treatment. Failing to get immediate medical care could endanger the cyclist’s health and weaken any claim for damages.
Holding the Responsible Party Liable
The party at fault in an accident is responsible for paying the damages of anyone who suffered injuries resulting from the incident. A cyclist who seeks compensation for the injuries they sustained in a crash must prove another party caused the accident.
In most cases, the responsible party will be a vehicle driver. A proactive Palatine cyclist injury attorney could prove the driver negligent by showing that they were breaking the law or not using the reasonable care required when sharing the road with a cyclist.
In many cases, the insurer for the motorist might assert that the cyclist also was negligent. If there is proof that the injured cyclist was negligent, 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/2-116 permits them to seek partial damages against the other negligent parties. However, a bike rider who is more than 50 percent to blame for an accident cannot collect any damages.
Contact a Palatine Bicycle Accident Attorney to Pursue Damages
If you or your child were injured while riding a bike, you might have a case for compensation against the parties who caused the wreck. Other parties are legally responsible for the result of their negligent acts.
Reach out to a Palatine bicycle accident lawyer from The Kryder Law Group soon after the crash to discuss your legal options. With the help of a knowledgeable legal professional, you could receive damages that cover all your economic and non-economic losses. Call today.