Cyclists on Riverdale roads may be severely injured in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Whether the accident is due to a motorist’s failure to yield or noncompliance with traffic signals, a Riverdale bicycle accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation for damages. Speak to a committed personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and the best options for moving forward.

Common Bicycle Crash Injuries

Even when a cyclist is wearing a helmet and safety equipment at the time of the crash, they simply do not have the same barriers from injuries as drivers in enclosed vehicles. As such, a bicycle crash may inflict devastating and life-changing injuries on victims. Injuries such as the following are common:

  • Neck injuries
  • Amputations
  • Back injuries
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Fractured and broken bones
  • Severe cuts and bruising

If a motorist fails to observe their duty of care to avoid causing harm to others on the roadways, they may be held legally liable if a bicyclist is injured due to their negligence. A skilled Riverdale attorney could help an injured cyclist establish whether they could be entitled to compensation for their losses stemming from the crash.

Riverdale Bicycle Laws

As per 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/11-1502, bicyclists must adhere to the traffic laws governing other drivers on the roadways and are likewise afforded the same rights and privileges as operators of motor vehicles. The following are some important laws pertaining specifically to cyclists in the state:

  • Bicycles should not be used to transport more than the number of passengers it was designed to convey
  • Bicyclists riding on one-way roads should remain as close to the left portion of the road as possible
  • Bicyclists may not affix sirens to their device
  • Bicyclists are not required (in most cases) to wear a helmet unless mandated by local city laws
  • Bicyclists should adhere to the right side of the road, unless they are turning left, passing a fellow cyclist, or other limited circumstances
  • Bicyclists must fully observe all traffic and stop signals

Why Bicycle Wrecks Happen

Motorists driving impaired under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, sideswipes, and failure to obey traffic signals are among the most frequent causes of serious bicycle wrecks. A bicycle accident may also occur when a driver opens their vehicle door and obstructs the cyclist’s path or if a driver fails to yield and turns directly in front of a cyclist.

Collecting Monetary Compensation

If a bicycle crash victim decides to seek civil damages from the at-fault party, 735 ILCS § 5/13-202 states that a lawsuit must be filed no later than two years from the date of the underlying accident. Numerous types of financial damages may be available to bicycle wreck victims, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages are losses which have a specific value, such as medical bills, treatment costs, and lost wages. Non-economic damages do not have a set value assigned and include financial losses such as future reduction of earning capacity, pain, and suffering.

Punitive damages may be awarded in exceptional circumstances where the at-fault driver’s actions were so shocking or malicious that they must be penalized.

The Comparative Fault Rule May Bar Compensation in Certain Cases

The state’s comparative fault rule may reduce or entirely eliminate the financial damages an injured cyclist could recovery if the court finds them partly to blame for the crash. A person could still recover damages, minus their share of liability, as long as they are no more than 49 percent at fault. In cases where the court finds the injured party to be 50 percent or more liable, they could be denied compensation.

A diligent bicycle crash lawyer in Riverdale could fight back against claims of shared liability and implement effective strategies which may diminish allegations of fault on the victim’s part.

Speak with a Riverdale Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

If you are considering filing a legal claim for compensation, you should not do so without the aid of a skilled Riverdale bicycle accident lawyer. An attorney could help you determine whether a driver’s negligence behavior led to the crash and pursue the maximum compensation to which you could be entitled. Get in touch today to discuss your prospective claim with a bicycle crash attorney.