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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.

Staying Safe As a Summer Cyclist in Chicago and Northern Illinois

Gurnee bicycle accident attorneyAs the weather throughout the greater Chicago area continues to rise in temperature, more and more Chicagoans are electing to ride their bikes as a means of transportation and recreation. Commuting via bike has become a prominent alternative to driving throughout the United States. With zero carbon output and a number of health benefits, it is no surprise that more Americans are riding their bicycles than ever. Still, bicycling comes with risk. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 835 American bicyclists were fatally injured in collisions involving motor vehicles throughout 2016. The high fatality rate represented an increase from 2015 and was the highest nationwide cyclist death count since 1991. The next time you or your family enjoy a bike ride, practice extreme caution. In the event of a bicycle accident, it is important to understand how to obtain compensation that will address your damages and help you recover from your injuries. 

Staying Safe This Summer


Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

bike share fatalityWith the rise of bike-share programs across the nation, more Americans than ever are enjoying the thrill of riding around the city even if they do not own a bike. Chicago has introduced the Divvy bike-share system, which allows riders to take bicycles out and about in the city for 30-minute intervals for a small fee. While Divvy and other programs have made it possible for commuters to trade in their cars and leisure riders to enjoy the city in a different way, bicycling in an urban area can be risky, even for experienced cyclists. In a large metro area like Chicago, riders are vulnerable to collisions that may cause injury or even death. One Chicago family now mourns the loss of a daughter taken too soon because of a tragic accident.

An Experienced Rider Loses Her Life in a Crash

This past summer, a 25-year old woman from Chicago, was killed after a flatbed truck struck her while she was riding a Divvy bike. She was cycling in the Avondale neighborhood on Chicago’s far northwest side, traveling north on Sacramento. A truck, also traveling north on Sacramento, attempted to make a right-hand turn onto Belmont and did not see the woman, causing a collision that ultimately led to her death. Witness reports conflict over whether the woman was continuing to travel north or was making the same right-hand turn, but in either situation, as a cyclist, she had the right of way and the vehicle should have yielded to her.


Posted on in Bicycle Accidents
Illinois injury attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois bicycle accident lawyer,The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an astounding 48,000 bicyclists were injured in crashes back in 2013, and almost 750 bicyclists died due to vehicle-related collisions. Bike accidents continue to be a prevalent problem on Illinois roadways and all across the nation, which is why the NHTSA encourages drivers to be aware of their influence on the road and to hold themselves accountable for their behavior behind the wheel. Doing Your Part to Help Keep Bicyclists Safe Here are some simple ways you can do your part to help keep bicyclists safe when you hit the road: 1. Treat bicyclists as you would other drivers. Did you know that by law, bicyclists are considered vehicles, too? They technically have the same exact rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Many drivers are unaware of this simple fact. This means when you are sharing the roadway with bicyclists, you are required to yield to and extend the same driving courtesies to them as you would other motor vehicles. Use your signal, keep a safe, reasonable distance when following behind, and always watch your speed. 2. Do not drive distracted. Distracted driving is deadly no matter what, but driving distracted when surrounded by bicyclists is especially dangerous, as bicyclists have certain disadvantages, such as limited visibility and traveling at lesser speeds. Texting, talking on the phone while driving, interacting with other passengers, or fidgeting with GPS devices can all pull your attention from the road and cause you to miss bicyclists as they navigate the roadways around you. 3. Share the road. Mutual respect is key when it comes to protecting one another on the roadways. As a driver, you should always aim to share the roads with bicyclists. This means respecting their boundaries and making safety priority for you both. Bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic patterns and road rules as vehicle drivers. They must obey the same lights, signals, and road signage. Do not crowd, race around, or drive aggressively around them. Be patient, courteous, and most of all, vigilant.

Despite our best efforts as drivers, sometimes accidents happen. If you have been injured in a bike accident caused by a vehicle driver, it is important to speak with a professional Lake County bike accident attorney the moment you experience a collision. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 for a personal consultation.




Posted on in Car Accidents

bicycle crashHead injuries can be some of the most traumatic transportation injuries sustained by any road-user across the country. But in major cities like Chicago, where bicycle use has remained at a steady incline in recent years, the rate of head injuries caused in transportation incidents has increased on par. Yet according to WBEZ Chicago, the city’s National Public Radio affiliate, it can be difficult to quantify just how dangerous bike riding really is in the city, when compared to other modes of transportation and recreational activities.

According to WBEZ, the city began tracking specific types of bicycle injuries in April 2010, when reporters began to track the number of “dooring” incidents that occurred within the city limits. “Dooring” refers to an incident in which a cyclist is knocked off his or her bike by a car driver or passenger who opens the door of a parked car into a bike lane at the same time that a cyclist passes. In 2011, WBEZ reports, there were 336 dooring crashes in the Chicago area.

This seems like a small percentage, however, of the 1,302 bike injuries and seven deaths that occurred in the same time period in Chicago. The 2011 figure is significantly reduced from the 2010 figure of 1,583, however, and considerably less than the 2009 figure of 1,402. Still, warns WBEZ, these statistics can be misleading. As more people opt to ride bikes as their main form of transportation, more injuries are bound to occur. Mitigate this with an increased awareness of cyclists on the road and traffic safety measures implemented by the city (such as bike lanes and helmet laws), and the statistics can seem more convoluted than ever.

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