Whether used for recreation or as a form of transportation, bicycles are engrained in our culture here in Chicago. They are light, easy to use, and more affordable than other forms of transportation. Plus, for many families, bicycles are a great form of exercise and entertainment for all members of their household.
Finding yourself — or a loved one — involved in a bicycle accident can be unnerving and frightening. And, to make matters worse, when you request compensation from the defendant’s insurance, you may not receive what you expected.
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are not as uncommon as one would believe, and when there is an accident, they can lead to serious, life-altering injuries and even death.
With the help of The Fakhouri Firm Accident and Injury Lawyers, you don’t have to find yourself handling your claim on your own. Our team of legal experts is here to help. They will provide legal advice, guidance, and a case strategy that will help you seek the full compensation your case deserves.
The Fakhouri Firm is a premier personal injury law firm in Chicago that is ready to learn more about your case. Ready to see how we can help? Reach out to us today by calling 312-999-9990 or submitting our online form to get started.
How a Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
A bicycle accident is a situation that must be handled with utmost care. It is not just about the injuries that are sustained at the scene, but it is about knowing what to do afterward.
Whether that is taking pictures, collecting medical bills, or making a diagnosis, it can quickly become an overwhelming process, making things difficult when there are already a lot of emotions attached.
Cases of bicycle accidents are more complex than people realize. These accidents can cause serious injuries involving multiple parties, damage, and fatalities. Variables that add complications to a legal case.
Getting assistance from an experienced law firm is critical. A Chicago attorney dedicated to bicycle accidents will know what to look for when it comes to evidence, what questions to ask, and calculate any values contingent on your injuries and damage.
Bicycle accidents can happen out of nowhere. But with the help of The Fakhouri Firm, you will find that the road to receiving compensation will be as smooth as possible.
Working with a Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help with Compensation
A collision involving a bicycle rider can create serious injuries and a growing number of medical bills. Working with the right bicycle lawyer and their team can help build your case, gather evidence, and present a demand letter to the negligent party requesting all damages rendered in full.
Additionally, a bicycle accident lawyer will research, document, and track any part of your case, including but not limited to the following:
- Documenting the full extent of injuries — A bicyclist can face serious injuries resulting from an accident, including but not limited to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), broken bones, lacerations, internal bleeding, and more.
- Seeking repayment of medical expenses — Medical bills can pile up quickly after an accident. Injuries can be severe, including brain injuries, lacerations, broken bones, and more.
- Calculating appropriate damages for pain and suffering — Psychological conditions such as PTSD and other trauma can prevent the injured from participating in their everyday activities and routines.
- Recovering lost income and wages — Losses stemming from needed time off to recover, attend appointments, and carry forth other tasks can quickly drain benefits and cause severe reductions in wage earnings.
- Getting compensation for your damaged property — Includes damages to the bike and all accessories as well as things like helmets, clothes, and your cell phone. Bicycles may be a more cost-effective form of transportation, but they can still cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, making them difficult to replace.
If at any time you have questions on whether an item can be used as part of your claim, reach out to your legal team as soon as possible. Even the smallest of losses can add up, especially when it comes to the future medical expenses you will incur and the costs of replacing your bicycle and returning to your regular routine.
Accidents happen when you least expect them, but you do not need to be left in the dark when it comes to navigating your claim. The Fakhouri Firm is on your side and will guide you through the entire process while keeping you informed.
Chicago is Making an Effort to Reduce Accidents
In 2012, the City of Chicago developed a Crash Data Summary Report with recommendations that contained information from 2005-2010. In their report, it is determined that most bicycle accidents are avoidable and usually involve negligent drivers or cyclists.
Over 55% of fatal crashes happen in intersections shared with other vehicles from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., which are parts of the day when the roads are most congested. Fortunately, the City of Chicago is attempting to minimize bicycle accidents by implementing design improvements to areas with the highest crashes, expanding on the availability of bike lanes, and adopting traffic calming techniques to slow down the speed and make drivers more vigilant of their surroundings.
Collisions can happen for many reasons, but they are usually due to the negligence of another party. Riders can find themselves injured and involved in an accident they never thought they would be in.
From slamming into car doors to fighting off your neighbor’s aggressive dog, a bicycle accident does not limit its locations or victims.
The Use of Bicycles in Chicago is Growing
From 2000 to 2010, there was an increase of 150% in cyclists on Chicago roads. This increase in use also leads to an increase in bicycle accidents. There was an increase in those commuting to work from 5,969 riders to 15,096 riders by 2010 or 42% of all cyclists who ride their bikes to work.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Chicago
Bicycle accidents can happen in parking lots to traffic-filled intersections. The reality is that a bicycle is much smaller than a car, with next to zero protections. Any impact will be felt more, and the injuries will be more severe.
As a cyclist, you must do what you can to prevent an accident from happening, and that can be accomplished by following road rules, using signals, and always keeping an eye out for your surroundings and potential hazards. But even when all of these tips are taken into account, completely preventing an accident with another car or pedestrian can sometimes be impossible.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents are:
Opened Car Doors
Bike lanes are usually next to on-street parking spots, which means that if the driver of the car does not look before opening their door, they can easily open right before a rider, flipping them or forcing them to swerve and fall off their bike.
In the worst cases, riders can be thrown into oncoming traffic, leading to devastating consequences. Drivers exiting their cars tend to ignore what’s around them, displaying a lack of situational awareness that can result in someone getting seriously hurt.
While this can include opening a car door without looking, it includes other things, like cell phone use while driving, texting, zoning out, and plainly not paying attention.
Distracted driving proves there is a lack of situational awareness of their surroundings and the people. Often, the driver will maneuver into the path of the bicycle while turning or changing lanes. They may also strike a bicycle from behind because of a lack of spatial awareness.
Gap turn accidents involve stalled traffic on one side of the road, where a driver is trying to make a left turn in between the congestion to enter another road. What the driver making the left turn fails to realize is that someone riding a bicycle is attempting to pass at the same time. A collision suddenly occurs before either party realizes what is happening, and the bicyclist sustains severe injuries.
This might be seen more in suburban areas, but facing an aggressive dog while riding a bike in the city is terrifying. The natural reaction to seeing an animal aggressively chasing you is to flee, but this can trigger their natural instincts to give chase.
Dogs are naturally inclined to attack fast-moving objects, which is why they give chase to cars, mailmen, and, yes, even cyclists.
While there is not much that can be done in these cases, bicyclists must understand that often, the owner of the aggressive dog may not be around to take control of their pet, and predicting how a dog will react is pretty impossible.
In these cases, the best thing one can do is to get off their bike, place it between themselves and the animal, and call the police and animal control.
Turns are not the only causes leading to bicycle accidents. Many riders find themselves in a situation where the driver is merging right into them. When merging into traffic, drivers must look and ensure that no one is in the way.
Left merges are often seen in traffic-controlled areas, where merges and other traffic-calming designs are placed so cyclists can share the roads with other drivers. In reality, many drivers are impatient and still opt to speed on these roads, opening the door to making a deadly mistake.
Left Turns in Intersections
Similar to gap turns, left turns in intersection accidents involve a driver who is making a left turn. Drivers who are turning left are quick to move, as they have calculated a short period of time between two cars of oncoming traffic.
An accident happens when the driver takes off — likely at a higher speed — and a cyclist is crossing the intersection at the same time. Before either party knows it, there can be a serious accident that can potentially be deadly.
Rear-end collisions can quickly cause terrible injuries and severe damage. When a bicyclist stops, and a vehicle smashes into them, cyclists can not only be hurt from the impact but may even be caught underneath the vehicle’s tires.
Side-swipe accidents happen when cars drive too close to cyclists. According to Illinois state law, motorists must always maintain a minimum of three feet away from bicyclists. This includes when they share a lane or pass it as they drive by.
Drivers need to take extra care when driving near bicyclists, and just the same, cyclists need to ride as close to the road as possible to be safe from distracted drivers.
Feeling a moment of frustration while on the road is normal, but acting upon it and going out of one’s way to hurt another person is not.
Road rage is growing to be a more common occurrence in the United States, with drivers following other drivers, smashing into them, and getting out of their cars to yell and even fight.
As a bicyclist, experiencing road rage or the effects of someone else’s road rage can become deadly. While cyclists can do what they can to evade these situations, road rage incidents can quickly escalate, become dangerous, and carry potentially painful results.
To avoid these situations, bicyclists can avoid escalation by not reacting to the aggressive driver.
Call Our Experienced Chicago Bicycle Accident Law Firm For Help
Coping with injuries sustained from a bicycle accident is a difficult and overwhelming situation to be in. Working with the right legal team to fight for you is your best option if your goal is to recover compensation to pay for medical bills, lost work hours, pain and suffering, and more.
Starting as soon as possible is the best option to receive the desired results. When you work with the experienced lawyers of The Fakhouri Firm Accident and Injury Lawyers in Chicago, our skilled legal team will put their knowledge and familiarity with handling complex bicycle accident claims to work for you.
We know how to investigate, review evidence, and build strong legal cases to successfully defend our clients. As a result, we have helped many bicycle accident victims get full financial compensation for their losses.
Don’t just work with any bicycle accident lawyer! Let the Fakhouri team show you exactly why we are the best option for your case. Call us today to schedule your free initial case review. You can call our office at 312-999-9990 or complete our online form to get started.