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IL accident lawyerRiding a bicycle is a fun, healthy way to get from place to place. However, bicyclists must share the road with motorists. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and violation of traffic laws often put bicyclists' lives in danger. Many bicycle accidents result in serious injuries and death. In order to help prevent car-on-bicycle collisions, bicyclists are required to follow most of the same traffic rules that motorists must follow. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident and you were violating a traffic law, you may be considered to be partially at fault for the accident. Fortunately, you may still be able to bring a successful personal injury claim.

Bicycle Laws in Illinois

Bicyclists are expected to obey traffic laws and signage. They should travel in the same direction as the motor vehicles on the road. Traveling in the opposite direction of traffic is not only dangerous, it is also unlawful. Bicycles do not typically have electronic turn signals, but cyclists are still expected to indicate when they are turning. A left turn is indicated by placing your left arm straight out to the side. A right turn is indicated by placing your left arm at a 45-degree angle or placing your right arm straight out to the side. Bicyclists are also expected to stop at red lights and stop signs, travel the correct direction on one-way streets, and follow right of way laws at intersections.

Bicycle Accidents Involving Bicycle Law Violations

If you were struck by a vehicle while riding your bicycle, you have probably suffered personal injury as well as damage to your bicycle. A personal injury claim may allow you to collect compensation for the costs associated with the accident. However, if you were violating a traffic law at the time of the accident, you may be considered partially at fault. Illinois is a “modified comparative negligence” state when it comes to shared liability in an accident. This means that you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages as long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If the court determines that you were partially responsible for the accident, the damages you receive will be reduced according to your percentage of responsibility. For example, if you were struck by a car but you disobeyed a traffic signal, the court may determine that you were 20 percent responsible for the accident. If your damages were $10,000 in total, you would receive $8,000.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe weather is finally starting to warm up in Illinois, and that means that more and more people will be out enjoying the sunshine on their bicycles. Riding a bike is a healthy, environment-friendly, and enjoyable mode of transportation, but it is not without its risks. More than 850 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2018 and cyclist accidents continue to happen. Ideally, every motorist that shares the road with a cyclist would be especially aware of the cyclist’s safety, but unfortunately this is not always the case. If you or a loved one have been in a car accident while riding a bike, read on to learn about your legal options.

Bike Accident Injuries Can Be Severe

A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle. Most cars, trucks, and SUVS on the roads today weigh several thousand pounds or more while an average bicycle typically weighs about 20 pounds. Specialty bicycles, such as those for racing, can weigh significantly less than average. A cyclist has virtually no protection in the event of an auto accident. Bicycle riders who collide with a motor vehicle may suffer road rash, broken bones, amputations, traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries, spine and neck injury, dental and facial injuries, and more. These injuries may leave the cyclist severely hurt or even permanently disabled. The injured cyclist may require extensive medical treatment and be unable to return to work or care for his or her children. Injuries such as these not only reduce the quality of the injured person’s life, they can also result in crushing debt and long-term financial harm. Fortunately, some people injured in bicycle accidents are able to receive compensation for their damages.

Recovering Compensation for Medical Bills and Property Damage

If a driver’s negligence led to a bicycle accident, the driver will most likely be liable for the damages caused in the accident. A driver may be considered negligent if he or she was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, distracted by an electronic device, violated traffic laws, or otherwise acted carelessly. One option for individuals who are hurt by a negligent driver while riding their bike is to file a claim with the driver’s car insurance. Unfortunately, many insurance companies only offer minimal compensation that does not fully reimburse the injured party for his or her damages. If an insurance claim fails to cover the injured rider’s losses, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way to pursue full compensation.

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Waukegan Bike Accident Attorney

Motorists and bicycle riders together share the responsibility for keeping Illinois roadways safe for all and preventing bike accidents. This is especially true in Lake County, which contains more than 59 miles of bikeways and trails maintained by the Lake County Division of Transportation, over 45 miles of the Grand Illinois Trail, and over 25 miles of US Bike Route 37. Here are four safety points that everyone should keep in mind this summer: (1) Visibility, (2) Awareness, (3) Right of way, and (4) the Dutch Reach.

1. Visibility

Early mornings and late evenings are popular times for bike riding. Just remember that dim light, fog, and mist can make it harder for cars to see the small profile of a bike rider, especially on hilly or curvy roads where there is little or no paved shoulder. If you like to ride your bike at night or at times of low visibility, make sure your bike is equipped per Illinois law. Bicycles must have a white reflector or lamp on the front that is visible at least 500 feet away and a red reflector or lamp on the rear that is visible in a car’s headlights at distances between 100 feet and 600 feet. New bicycles are also required to have reflectors on the pedals and on the sides of the bike frame or tires.

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Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Lake County bike injury lawyer

With winter on its way out, bicyclists are starting to ride again throughout the greater Chicago area. Bicycling can be a good form of exercise and way to commute to and from work. Unfortunately, bicyclists are much more susceptible to serious injury than car occupants. Around 467,000 Americans are injured in bicycle accidents each year. The most severe bicycle injuries occur in collisions involving cars. If you or a loved one are injured in a bicycle accident due to driver negligence, contact a trusted personal injury legal team as soon as possible. 

How to Prevent Bike Accidents 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,000 Americans were fatally injured in bicycle crashes during a recent 12-month study. While many bicycle accidents are unpreventable because of car driver error or damaged pavement, there are a few steps you can take to increase your safety, as you hop back onto your bike this spring. 

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Chicago bike accident lawyerRecently, a man was killed in Chicago’s West Humboldt neighborhood in a hit and run accident. The man was found fatally injured with his bicycle was lying next to him. A witness to the accident said that she saw the 42-year-old man riding his bike just minutes before the collision. The accident reminded all Illinoisans of the reality that bicyclists face increased risk of severe and even fatal injuries in collisions with motor vehicles

Bicycle Accidents Statewide 

The huge size and weight differential between bicycles and cars often results in serious harm to cyclists who are involved in a bicycle accident. In the state of Illinois, bicyclists face increased risk of injury due to inclement weather, as well as the urban nature of many of our roadways. In a study conducted in 2014 by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Illinois ranked fifth among all states in bicycle injuries. Since the study was conducted, not much has changed. In 2016 alone, over 3,000 Illinoisans were injured while riding their bicycles. Additionally, 20 bicyclists suffered fatal injuries throughout the state in 2016. 

Nationwide Bike Injuries

Tragically, bicycle injuries are a massive issue throughout the entire country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bicyclists face a much higher risk of fatal injury than those traveling within motor vehicles. In 2015 alone, more than 1,000 Americans were killed in bicycle accidents. Even more alarming is the fact that an incredible 467,000 American cyclists suffered severe injuries throughout 2015. 

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