Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Chicago has a complex system of streets, highways, and expressways. As one of the largest cities in the nation, travel to, from and within the great city of Chicago is constant and includes all types of transportation. This includes, cars, trucks of all sizes as well as trains.
However, bicycles are overshadowed by the long list of motorized vehicles. Bicycles share many roads throughout Chicago and because bicyclists are out in the open and are more vulnerable to accidents, they face unique safety concerns and risks different than any passenger in a car, truck or train.
According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and death than occupants of motor vehicles. The risks are even greater in urban areas with high populations where commuters are busy going back and forth to work.
From recreational cyclists, students commuting to school, delivery services and to those environmentally conscious commuters, the City of Chicago has a large population of bicyclists who face great personal safety hazards every day. If a cyclist has been involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle, they should retain the services of a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer who will fight for their rights and work hard to get them the justice that they deserve.
Illinois Bicycle Laws
Illinois bicycle laws are extremely complex and have changed in the last few months. These laws are important to understand because they are in place to help protect people while on the road and after an accident has occurred.
One of the new laws aiming to further protect bicyclists was passed in August 2016 and became effective on January 1, 2017. This law, known as Dennis’s Law, was passed by the Illinois State Legislature and gives bicyclists the same right-of-way traffic rights as any other vehicle on the road. The new law makes clear that bicycles are considered to be vehicles under the traffic laws.
Even still, if a bicyclist has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another driver, the accident victim must be aware of the other laws and rules that impact all personal injury claims. For example, Illinois law includes a statute of limitations that sets a strict time limit within which an injured accident victim must file a lawsuit to recover damages from the responsible party.
For most personal injury claims, Illinois law provides a two-year time limit for filing a personal injury suit within the state’s court system. If someone seeks to recover damages through a personal injury claim against a city or county government, then a one-year time limit applies. The laws relating to the applicable time limits for filing are complex, and change depending upon the type of claim, the party asserting the claim, and the defendant who caused the accident. For example, the time limits to file a lawsuit may be different for a child than an adult for the same type of claim.
Information like this demonstrates why it is crucial for an injured accident victim to obtain the services of a Chicago bike accident attorney after suffering a bicycle accident. An experienced attorney will know the current laws that apply to the unique situation and will thoroughly develop the facts of their case to effectively present the claims either in court or through out-of-court settlement negotiations directly with the responsible party or their insurance company.
What to do After a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries and can be very disruptive to the victim’s daily life. Most people will not know what to do in these types of situations and risk mistakes that can negatively affect the value of their claims and their long-term future. If a person is involved in a bicycle accident, then they should:
- Get medical attention as quickly as possible
- Work with their medical providers to develop a treatment plan that is unique to their injuries and provides all medically necessary treatment
- Contact law enforcement and complete a police report
- Collect any pertinent information, such as the name and telephone phone number of the driver who caused the accident
- Keep detailed notes of what happened at the scene, as well as take pictures of their bicycle, their injuries, the vehicle that cause the accident, the accident scene such as all relevant road conditions, streets signs and traffic signs.
Following these steps will certainly help protect the rights of a bicycle accident victim and put them in a better legal position. These measures will help the bike accident attorney in Chicago present the claim in the most favorable light and create a stronger bargaining position for settlement or a lawsuit.
Consulting With An Attorney
The hours, days, and weeks following a bicycle accident can be a very emotional time for a person and their family. With medical bills and lost wages mounting, most accident victims naturally fear for their future and get tempted by a quick solution to fix their problems through a settlement with the insurance company. With only one chance at a settlement, an injured cyclist should hire an attorney before they sign away their rights.
If you have suffered an injury due to a bicycle accident, contact a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer who can put your mind at ease and give you the patience you need to get you all the compensation you deserve for your injuries.