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Bicycle accidents are a common occurrence in Illinois and can cause severe injury to riders. Even when cyclists obey all traffic laws, they are still vulnerable to collisions with motor vehicles. Bicycles are always at a disadvantage in a collision with a car, and the resulting injuries can be devastating, including broken bones, back and neck injuries, head trauma, spine injuries, paralysis, brain damage, and even death. If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, a Hazel Crest bicycle accident lawyer could help you navigate your personal injury case.

Illinois Rules of the Road

Under §625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/11-708, bicycles are defined as vehicles, meaning that every cyclist is granted the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. Drivers are required to provide the same discretion and right-of-way to bicycles as they would to other vehicles. Under §625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1, bicyclists are protected under the same rules that protect pedestrians. This requires drivers to yield to bicyclists when turning at an intersection. An experienced Hazel Crest attorney could examine case specifics and identify the relevant laws to support a bicycle accident victim’s personal injury claim.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Hazel Crest

Most bicycle accidents are the result of a driver’s failure to recognize the cyclist’s presence in the roadway, including failing to look for cyclists when making turns or proceeding through intersections. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driving
  • Poor visibility
  • Drivers ignoring traffic signals
  • Driving under the influence
  • Improperly maintained roadways

Types of Bicycle Accidents

There are several different types of bicycle accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Dooring – occurs when a driver or passenger opens a car door directly into the path of a moving cyclist, causing injuries
  • Side-Swiping – occurs when a driver traveling in the same direction as the cyclist strikes the bicycle with the side of the vehicle
  • Rear-end Crashes – occurs when a car hits a rider from behind, often resulting in the rider being thrown from the bicycle
  • Intersection Crashes – occurs when the driver is passing through an intersection and fails to see the cyclist in the turn lane or crossing the street

No matter the reason or type of accident, a Hazel Crest bike accident attorney could argue that the fault rests with the motorist and bring relief to the plaintiff.

Holding Negligent Drivers Responsible

Most bicycle accident victims are injured due to the negligence of other drivers who fail to pay attention. To bring a cause of action for a personal injury in Hazel Crest, a plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent and failed to act as a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Negligence requires proof that the driver owed a duty of reasonable care to the cyclist, that the driver failed to live up to this duty, and that the cyclist suffered injuries as a result of the driver’s action.

Under Illinois state law, an individual injured in an accident has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the claim involves property damage, the claim must be filed within five years. Illinois operates under a pure comparative fault standard, which means that if a cyclist is found to be partially at fault for the accident, the court will reduce the total amount of damages awarded by the percentage the victim was determined to be at fault.

Illinois law allows an injured bicyclist to recover compensation for damages including:

  • Medical expenses, such as hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medication, and long term care
  • Pain and suffering from the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death

How a Hazel Crest Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help

Hazel Crest bicycle accident lawyers represent clients injured in bicycle accidents caused by the negligence or reckless driving of another person. We have the experience to investigate your case and provide you with the legal assistance that you need to recover damages for your injury. Consult an experienced attorney to determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim.