Illinois is consistently among the top five states for bicycle fatalities, and the number of bike accidents in the state continues to increase. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 467,000 bicyclists suffered injury and over 1,000 died in fatal bike accidents in 2015, resulting in $10 billion of medical costs and economic losses.

A Calumet City bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help protect you from suffering undue financial loss after such an incident. If you or a loved one suffered a severe injury after a crash that you believe someone else is responsible for, an experienced personal injury attorney could work with you to seek the compensation you need to cover all your expenses stemming from the accident.

Common Causes and Compensable Damages

There are a number of scenarios borne from negligence that could lead to a serious bicycle accident, which could include and is not limited to:

  • Inadequate space for bicycles to share the roadways with vehicles
  • Drunk or distracted drivers, including drivers who text behind the wheel
  • Speeding drivers
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Failure to yield
  • Poorly maintained roadways or inadequate signage or signals
  • Drivers failing to treat bikes as vehicles for purposes of merging and sharing the road

Expenses stemming from these types of conditions and careless actions often include lost wages, medical bills, hospital stays, and even damages related to general pain and suffering. No matter what type of bicycle accident or ensuing damages a rider suffers, a seasoned Calumet City bicycle accident injury attorney could investigate what happened and determine which party could possibly bear responsibility for causing the bicycle accident.

Comparative Negligence Laws in Bicycle Accident Cases

In certain cases, negligent parties in Calumet City bike accidents claim that the plaintiff is actually responsible for their own injuries. Illinois state law allows accident plaintiffs to still recover compensation for their injuries even if they shared partial fault in causing the accident that injured them.

So long as a plaintiff does not bear 51 percent or more of the total fault for their own injuries, they could still potentially recover damages through a personal injury claim. A well-practiced bicycle accident attorney in Calumet City could provide further guidance and advice about how this rule might affect a specific case. A person’s legal counsel could review their case and build counter arguments when disputing fault in the bike crash.

The Impact of Wearing a Helmet

In states with mandatory bicycle helmet laws, defendants in bicycle accident cases often point to the fact that a plaintiff failed to wear a helmet as evidence of the rider’s own negligence. It must be noted that just because an accident plaintiff failed to wear a bicycle helmet does not mean they are necessarily more at fault than the negligent driver who struck them.

Also, Illinois state law does not require most bicycle riders to wear helmet laws. Only bike messengers and delivery persons are obligated to wear bike helmets by law.

Even if a bike rider wore a helmet, the court will not automatically find in their favor. To determine how courts might apportion fault in a Calumet City bike accident case, it may be wise to consult with experienced legal counsel.

How a Calumet City Bicycle Accident Attorney Could Help

No matter how or why your bicycle accident occurred or how severely you are injured, you may be eligible to recover for a variety of both economic and non-economic damages. A knowledgeable Calumet City bicycle accident lawyer could analyze the facts of your case and determine what type of damages you may be eligible to seek, so call today to set up your initial consultation.