Bicycle accidents are increasingly common in Oak Lawn. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents are the fault of a negligent vehicle driver and have the potential to cause grave injuries to a bicyclist. However, Oak Lawn laws protect innocent bicyclists from reckless drivers who are not exercising the proper rules of the road. A skilled Oak Lawn bicycle accident lawyer may be able to assist those who wish to receive compensation for their injuries. Read on to learn more about how a professional injury attorney could help fight for your rights today. En Español.

Liability in Oak Lawn Bicycle Accidents

The driver of a vehicle may be liable for the damages resulting from a bicycle accident if they were negligent while operating the vehicle and that negligence caused the accident. In contrast, if the bicycle accident was due to the negligence of the bicyclist, then they may be responsible for the damages. The legal term negligence describes when someone behaves recklessly or carelessly. Most of the time, a defendant proves negligence by showing the plaintiff was in violation of some law or vehicle code in Oak Lawn.

When a bicycle accident is the result of the negligence of both the vehicle’s driver and the bicyclist, Illinois personal injury law follows a comparative fault system, per Section 2-1116 of the Illinois Civil Code of Civil Procedure. In these situations, a jury decides each party’s percentage of fault. The court may then reduce the injured party’s award by their percentage of fault. However, if the jury finds that the injured party is more than 50% at fault, then they may not be able to recover any money from the other party.

Potential Injury Compensation

In addition to proving that the negligence of another individual caused the bicycle accident, a plaintiff must also show that they suffered damages because of the accident. Typical physical damages for bicyclists include fractured or broken bones, head and neck injuries, dental or jaw problems, paralysis, or brain injuries. Under Illinois Jury Instructions 30.00, the types of damages that bicyclists can recover may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income or wages
  • Property loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Aggravating a previous ailment
  • Reduced life expectancy
  • Any disability or physical disfigurement
  • Emotional damages

Know that an experienced Oak Lawn bicycle accident lawyer can assist individuals who have suffered these injuries in the form of professional legal representation in court.

Traffic Laws for Bicyclists

The state of Illinois recently enacted legislation to further protect the rights of bicyclists. These laws are important to ensure bicyclists can make the best choice for their own safety. Bicycles must obey all the same traffic laws, signs, and signals that apply to motorists. Under Section 11-1502 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, bicyclists must observe the same rules that apply to vehicles, except where the law provides otherwise.

Under Section 11-703 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, a driver may now only pass a bicyclist in a no pass zone on the roadway if they satisfy three conditions. First, the bicyclist must be moving at a rate less than half the posted speed limit. Second, the vehicle driver must be able to pass the bicyclists without exceeding the posted speed limit. Third, the vehicle’s driver must maintain a three-foot distance from the bicyclist. If a driver does not follow this law and causes the bicycle accident, then it is likely the driver was negligent and the injured bicyclist may be able to recover the damages.

Riding on the Shoulder

Beginning in 2018, Section 11-709.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code permits bicyclists to ride on the shoulder of the road if it is safer than riding on the roadway. Previously, the law required bicyclists to share the roadway with vehicles, a potentially dangerous situation that could cause bicycle accidents.

Working with an Oak Lawn Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycle accidents can have severe consequences. Even in minor accidents, a bicyclist may suffer painful injuries that require medical attention. If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover compensation. However, Oak Lawn has strict time limits on when someone can file a lawsuit. To learn more about the laws on bicycle accidents in Illinois and how they may apply to your unique situation, reach out to an Oak Lawn bicycle accident lawyer today for your initial consultation.