For many Chicago bicycling enthusiasts, summer is the best time of the year. Riding a bicycle instead of taking a car is one of the healthiest activities a person can do- and it can also be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, riding a bicycle also comes with certain risks. Even the most proficient bicyclist cannot prevent accidents caused by other people. If you have been hurt in an accident while riding a bike, read on to learn what your rights and options are for pursuing compensation.
Bicycle Accidents Responsible for Thousands of Injuries Each Year
It is estimated that 45,000 injuries were caused by accidents involving a bicycle in the United States in 2015. During the same year, 818 individuals were killed in these accidents. A bike offers significantly less protection against motor vehicles than even a motorcycle does. Many people do not wear a helmet or other safety gear while riding a bike, making this particular mode of transportation even riskier. Data shows that while uneven terrain or random falls contribute to many fatal bicycle accidents, the main way individuals are seriously injured or killed while riding a bike is by being struck by a car.
Determining Fault Is the First Step in Seeking Compensation
As with other personal injuries, liability for a bicycle accident lies with the individual or individuals who exhibited negligence. Within the context of the law, negligence means a failure to act with the level of care that another reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. Negligence often refers to actions, but failure to act when there is some duty to act is also negligent. In accidents involving motor vehicle(s) and a bicycle, the most likely scenario is a shared liability case. In a shared liability case, both the injured person and the defendant(s) showed negligence during the accident. Illinois law dictates that the parties must arbitrate the damages based on each party’s level of liability.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
If you have been stuck by a car or otherwise injured due to another’s negligence while riding a bicycle, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Tangible costs like medical bills, ambulance fees, lost wages, and physical therapy are recoverable damages. Additionally, bicyclists injured in an accident can sue for intangible suffering such as mental and physical anguish, disability, or disfigurement.
Illinois Attorneys for Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you need a trustworthy Chicago personal injury attorney who will fight for your rights. Contact Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered, to schedule your free initial confidential consultation today. Call 630-462-1980.