Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Bicycle vs. Auto Injuries
As the number of bicycles on rural and city roadways increases, so has the number of accidents and fatalities involving riders impacted by motorists.
Cyclists injured during an accident involving a motor vehicle may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of wages from time off work, ongoing physical therapy or reconstructive surgery, pain and suffering and permanent disabilities.
Injuries On The Rise
Between 2010 and 2012, bicyclists killed in accidents involving automobiles nationwide increased 16%.
In Illinois alone, 27 bicyclists were killed in traffic fatalities during 2011.
Nationally, deaths and injuries for the same year paint a dangerous pattern: 677 bicyclists killed and 48,000 injured; a 9% increase over 2010.
Serious, life-threatening injuries can occur when a cyclist is involved in an accident with a vehicle regardless of the speed the vehicle is traveling, including:
- Closed Head injuries (concussion/bleed)
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Back pain and/or spine fractures
- Leg or arm fractures
- Internal bleeding
By law, motorists bear a responsibility and must …
- Yield to bicyclists’ right of way.
- Pass bicyclists slowly and allow at least 3 feet.
- Not park or drive in designated bike lanes.
- Allow incoming bicyclist on the right to pass before proceeding with a right turn.
- Stay behind bicyclists until a left turn is completed (when sharing a left turn lane).
- Check for passing bicyclists before opening a vehicle door.
- Not follow bicyclists too closely, and be prepared to stop.
Common Types of Cyclist vs. Auto Cases
A common injury to cyclists is ‘Dooring’ — cyclist injured when the passenger of a parked car opens their door in the cyclist’s pathway, such as a designated bike lane. In 2011, Gov. Quinn instituted new policy that requires tracking of ‘dooring’, something that had previously not been included statistically.
In addition to Dooring, the Chicago Injury Lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are experienced with bicycle vs. auto cases that may involve:
- Intersection accidents
- Side swipe injuries
- Right/Left Hook collisions
- Bike lane accidents
- Road Rage against cyclists
- Hit and Run bike accidents
- Bike vs. trucks/busses
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
For many reasons, the personal injury attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates advise all drivers, including cyclist who drive and the parents of young cyclists, to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. A cyclist involved in a hit and run accident with an auto may be able to file a claim against their uninsured motorist policy if the driver flees the scene and is unknown.
It’s important to remember that having such coverage and filing a claim may not result in your insurance company actually paying the claim without the assistance of an attorney. Claims are routinely delayed or denied in such cases without legal assistance, no matter how valid the claim or available coverage.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates has been advocating for clients wronged by their insurance company for decades and will not tolerate unreasonable delays or denials in the face of known coverage.
Insurance companies know which personal injury law firms fight for the rights of their clients and know which firms will (or won’t) take them to court if coverage is not honored to the fullest of policy limits.
Illinois State Bicycle Safety
Ultimately, all the safety equipment in the world cannot protect a rider during a dangerous impact with an automobile or truck. Wearing a helmet and being aware of the ‘Rules of the Road’ can, however, help keep riders safe.
For more information and resources regarding safe cycling in the State of Illinois, visit:
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of an accident with a vehicle while riding a bicycle, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys for a free consultation at (800)-985-1819, or submit our ‘Contact Us Today’ form.