Bicycle riding is one of the most common transportation methods, with studies showing at least 580 million bicycles worldwide. Approximately 30% of U.S. adults rode a bicycle in 2020, with about one-third of riders starting the habit during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, bicycles offer no protection in the event of a collision, which can lead to severe injuries for bike riders in accidents involving a car.
The National Security Council reported 1,260 preventable bicycle-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020, illustrating the prevalence of these avoidable tragedies. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, the bicycle accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates may be able to earn you compensation due to the actions of a negligent driver.
Common Bicycle Accidents
Numerous cities across the United States have installed bike lanes to encourage bicycling, increasing the odds of riders encountering motor vehicle traffic. There are a few situations that place bicyclists in dangerous circumstances that can lead to a bike crash, including:
Bike lanes are often directly next to parked vehicles. A dooring accident occurs when a motorist opens their vehicle’s door to exit, striking a passing bicyclist. The rapid deceleration of the cyclist hitting the door can cause severe internal injuries to the bicyclist, including organ damage, broken bones, concussion, and severe lacerations.
In many large cities, such as San Francisco, dooring accidents account for 16% of all bicycle accidents.
A right hook bicycle accident occurs when a cyclist is struck while making a right turn at an intersection or junction. These accidents happen for various reasons and often involve severe injuries to the rider. The most common right hook accident occurs when a bicyclist passes a slow-moving driver on the right, who makes a right turn and collides with the bicyclist.
Left cross accidents are similar to right hook-type accidents, only reversed. The most common situation involves a bicyclist moving straight through an intersection and an oncoming motorist turning left and colliding with them.
One of the most dangerous types of bicycle accidents is a rear-end collision. Similar to automobiles, a bicycle rear-end accident involves a motorist colliding with the back of a bicyclist.
A report issued by the American League of Bicyclists found that rear-end accidents were the most common type of fatal bicycle accident, accounting for approximately 40% of all fatalities.
Illinois Bicycle Laws
One of the best ways to decrease your odds of being involved in a bicycle crash is to follow Illinois’ bicycle laws. Illinois considers all bicyclists occupying roadways motorists. This means bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motor vehicle drivers. Cyclists should signal turns, obey road signs and signals, and travel safely, exercising caution with others on the road.
As a bicyclist, you must ride as closely as possible to the right-hand curb. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, including making a turn, avoiding obstacles, and passing other riders, this rule is designed to keep riders safe.
If you follow Illinois’ bike laws and are struck by a motorist, contact a bicycle accident attorney with Nessler & Associates. Due to the duty of care drivers owe bicyclists when sharing the road, you may be able to hold them liable for negligent behavior. Our personal injury attorneys can help you earn financial compensation for damages you’ve suffered.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney After an Accident
The injuries sustained in an accident can lead to significant medical bills, time off work, and pain and suffering. An experienced bike accident attorney will earn you compensation for the injuries and expenses caused by the driver’s negligent behavior.
A lawyer will work to earn injured cyclists two types of compensation:
- Economic damages. Economic damages are awarded for financial expenses incurred due to an accident. These damages must be for quantifiable costs, such as medical bills, lost wages, caregiver expenses, and lost property.
- Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to non-quantifiable harm and reflect the accident’s impact on your life. For example, your bicycle attorney may help you seek compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured or your loss of enjoyment of life.
Illinois operates under a modified comparative negligence doctrine, meaning the court will assign each person involved in the accident a percentage of fault. You are ineligible for compensation if your actions contributed more than 50% of the accident. If the court finds you are less than 50% responsible, your damages may be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if the court finds that you are 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 20%. However, you are still entitled to receive the remaining 80%.
How a Bicycle Accident Attorney From Nessler & Associates Can Help
Bicycle accident cases can be complicated due to traffic laws, insurance companies, and legal processes. To ensure you get the maximum compensation possible for your case, your lawyer will gather evidence to prove that the driver behaved negligently.
This can include witness statements, police reports, photos, or videos showing the driver speeding, ignoring traffic laws, or driving under the influence. If your case goes to court, they may also recruit the assistance of expert witnesses, like doctors, who can use their knowledge to prove your claims.
Your attorney from Nessler & Associates will prove you sustained your injuries in the accident. For example, you suffered a back injury and are requesting damages for your related medical expenses. Your lawyer will provide medical records and expert witness testimony to prove that your injury resulted from the accident and was not a pre-existing condition.
Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to earn you a settlement. This process may involve issuing a demand letter and negotiating with the driver’s insurer regarding your case. Your attorney will use their experience to help you decide if a settlement offer is fair or if you should take the case to court.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Nessler & Associates
The skilled bike accident attorneys at Nessler & Associates have 45 years of experience in personal injury cases involving bicycles in Illinois, Texas, Florida, and Colorado. We can help you get compensation after a bicycle accident to pay for medical bills or cover daily expenses while you are out of work.
Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay for legal representation unless you win your claim.
Contact us at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers will review your case and determine how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.