Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Knowledgeable representation after a bicycle accident in Illinois
Bicycle riders in Chicago have the right to travel on many Chicago roads. They have the right to cross at intersections. Car drivers must always respect the rights of cyclists. Tragically, many drivers fail to pay attention to bicycle riders, especially in residential neighborhoods where adults and children are likely to ride. When collisions happen, riders often die because a bicycle is no match for the size, weight, and metal of even a small car. The riders who do survive often suffer catastrophic injuries.
At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago car accident lawyers understand why bicycle accidents happen and how these accidents could have been prevented. We understand the laws that govern bicycle safety in Chicago and the types of driving conduct that are considered negligent. Our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers work with your doctors and our network of physicians to show what injuries you have and why living with those injuries is so unbearable and so costly. Our team is also skilled at filing wrongful death claims if a family member such as a child, parent, or spouse is killed in a car accident.
In one illustrative case, we obtained $100,000 on behalf of a 29-year-old male bicyclist who suffered a broken clavicle when he was struck by a motor vehicle that was making an improper turn. We settled the case for the insurance policy limits.
How can we help?
- How dangerous are bicycle accidents?
- What are the main causes of bicycle accidents in Chicago?
- Who is liable for a bicycle accident in Chicago?
- What types of injuries do bicycle accidents in Chicago cause?
- What laws regulate bicycle traffic in Illinois?
- What safety suggestions should bicycle riders follow?
- Do you have a bicycle accident lawyer near me?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD), almost 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in traffic accidents each year. The age range with the highest death rate is riders between 55-69. The highest rate of bicycle-related injuries that result in visits to the emergency room are youngsters, teens, and young adults. Nearly one in three visits to the ER due to bicycle-related injuries involve riders between 10-24. Males are much more prone to death and injuries than females.
Some of the additional risk factors for bicycle-related injuries and deaths are riding in urban areas and riding away from intersections. In nearly one-third of fatal bicycle accidents, alcohol is a factor.
Some of the leading causes of bicycle accidents caused by negligent drivers include:
- Distracted driving. Car drivers who are texting while driving, talking on their cell phones, eating, adjusting the radio, or just not paying attention to traffic are a risk to any bicycle riders in the driver’s path.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents. Drunk drivers and drivers impaired by drugs can’t control their own driving and bicycle riders have no way of predicting where the driver will go next.
- Speeding. The faster a driver travels, the less time he/she must react if a bicycle rider crosses the driver’s path or rides anywhere near the car.
- Passing improperly. Drivers need to make sure they leave enough room between their car and the bicycle rider – even when the rider is on the shoulder of the road.
- Improper turns. Drivers need to look for bicycle riders when they turn at intersections or from the highway into a parking lot.
- Opening their car doors without looking. Drivers who are parked should take the extra time to look for any bicycle riders before opening their car door. Many bicycle accidents involve a bicycle rider who is smacked to the ground by a car door.
Other causes of bicycle accidents due to negligent driving include failing to yield, failing to stop at a red light or traffic signal, and entering a lane specifically marked for bicycle riders.
It is not necessary to show that a car driver or truck driver who strikes a bicycle violated any traffic laws. Drivers can be held liable for a Chicago bicycle accident if they drive negligently in any way, and that negligence caused the accident. As long as a driver acted unreasonably and that lack of attentiveness caused your injuries, you can file a personal injury claim.
In addition to the driver, Gainsberg Law may file a bicycle accident claim against:
- An employer of the driver
- The owner of the vehicle if different than the driver
- A tavern, hotel, restaurant, or other alcohol vendor sold liquor to someone who was visibly intoxicated or a minor – and that person caused your accident
- The Department of Transportation of Illinois or other state agencies/entities that failed to properly design or maintain the roads or paths where the bicycle accident occurred
Some of the most common types of bicycle accident injuries our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers handle include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Loss of limb
- Permanent vision or hearing loss
- Organ damage
- Bone fractures
- Permanent scarring from lacerations
- Burn injuries
- Nerve, muscle, ligament, or muscle damage
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
The physical, financial, and emotional impacts of these injuries are serious and require the assistance of a serious Chicago pedestrian injury lawyer to guide victims and their families through the legal system.
Some of the laws that govern bicycle riding in Illinois, according to the Illinois Secretary of State, require that motorists:
- Must yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist in the same way they would yield to another vehicle.
- Must drive slowly and leave at least three feet of passing space when passing a bicyclist.
- Cannot drive or park in marked bicycle lanes.
- Cannot threaten or crowd a bicyclist.
- Must give bicycle riders plenty of room when the driver is following a bicyclist. Drivers should be ready to stop quickly. Drivers should take extra caution in bad weather.
- Should not use their high beams when they see an oncoming bicycle rider.
- Should check for bicyclists after parking and before opening vehicle doors.
Motorists need to be extra careful when turning:
[When] turning left and there is a bicyclist entering the intersection from the opposite direction, the driver should wait for the bicyclist to pass before making the turn. Also, if a motorist is sharing the left turn lane with a bicyclist, stay behind them until they have safely completed their turn.
Turning right and a bicyclist is approaching on the right, let the bicyclist go through the intersection first before making a right turn.
- Cannot ride on limited-access highways, expressways, and some other marked roadways.
- Must ride in the same direction as vehicles.
- Should travel to the right of faster-moving traffic – unless certain hazards like rough surfaces, drainage gates, or narrow traffic lanes require the bicyclist to move toward the center of the lane.
There are many other bicycle laws that govern riding in Illinois including the use of hand signals, lane positioning, riding shoulder-to-shoulder, and other laws. At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers understand the Illinois and Chicago laws that govern bicycle safety in Illinois.
As electric bikes become more popular, we all must be more aware of the risks – especially for children. A Class 3 e-Bike can travel at about 28mph, and even though you have to be 16 to ride one, there is no restriction for passenger age. Furthermore, a recent analysis published in the journal Surgery Open Science claims that almost 4,000 people were injured by e-bikes between 2011 and 2020, and 44.3 percent of those victims were children between the ages of 10 and 13. The National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) reports there were at least 53 e-bike related fatalities between 2017 and 2021.
Under Illinois law, low-speed electric or gas bicycles:
- Must have a motor of less than 1 horsepower
- Must be operated by someone who is at least age 16
- May only be driven on streets
- May not exceed 20 mph
- May not be driven on sidewalks
Otherwise, “low-speed and electric bicycles must follow all laws applicable to bicyclists.”
In addition to obeying the Illinois traffic laws, bicycle riders should consider the following safety suggestions:
- Wear helmet
- Ride a bike that fits your size
- Wear clothing that makes you visible to drivers – especially, if you’re riding at night
- “Tuck and tie your shoelaces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain”
- Plan your route in advance
- Ride with the flow of traffic
- Assume that drivers don’t see you
- Avoid any distractions while riding
- Ride in predictable patterns
- Use eye protection
- Pass pedestrians with care by announcing your position
Gainsberg Law meets clients at our office located at 77 W Washington Street, Suite 1215, right in downtown Chicago. You can also reach us by bus. Our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers, by appointment, conduct video conferences and meet immobile or ill clients away from the office.
We understand how traumatic bicycle injuries are. We’ll answer your questions and calmly and clearly explain the claims process.
Speak to a Chicago bike accident lawyer today
Don’t delay. If you were involved in a bicycle accident or a loved one was killed, it is critical that we examine the accident site and speak to witnesses and the police as soon as possible. We also need to review your medical treatment. We fight for full compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and all other damages. At Gainsberg Law, we consistently stand up for injured clients just like you. Trust our firm to advocate for the rights of you and your family. Call us today or fill out our convenient contact form to learn more about our services.