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Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

Bicycle accident injuries can be catastrophic. When you are hit by a car while riding your bike, it is crucial to get a respected bicycle accident lawyer from Mike Agruss Law working for you.

When you visit our personal injury law offices in Illinois, you can learn more about how the bicycle accident claim process works, who could be held accountable for your damages, and the value of your case. Schedule your free consultation today and start taking back control of your life.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Illinois

In the aftermath of your bike accident, you may have no idea what to do next. It can feel overwhelming to think about who could be responsible and how to hold them accountable. The initial steps you take after your accident could have a substantial impact on your ability to pursue your case and approve the liable party’s negligence. Here is a basic idea of what you should do in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks after your bike wreck:

Call emergency responders and police

No matter how much the at-fault driver tries to get you to avoid calling the police, it is almost always in your best interests to have law enforcement at the scene. Usually, motor vehicle drivers without auto insurance coverage, those driving without a license, and individuals with a warrant for their arrest may try to convince you to avoid calling the police. However, having a police report will provide valuable evidence that you can use against the liable party.

Get medical attention

Your injuries may initially seem minor, but there is no way to be sure without medical attention. If your injuries are untreated or you suffer from invisible injuries, they could be substantially worse if you do not get the treatment that you need. Furthermore, the medical records you get from your healthcare visit will help prove the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life.

Collect evidence at the accident scene

If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, collect as much evidence as you can immediately after the accident. This is a good time to get the names and contact information of anyone else involved in the accident. You should also get the driver’s insurance policy number so you can file a claim with their insurance company. Other evidence that could be useful includes photos of your injuries, photos of traffic conditions at the time of the crash, video of the collision, photos of property damages, and the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.

Hire a bicycle accident lawyer in Illinois

Your bike accident attorney can handle the legalities of your personal injury lawsuit and insurance claims. While you heal, get your ongoing medical treatment, and start to rebuild your life, your lawyer will work behind the scenes to build a powerful case against anyone who has contributed to your bicycle accident injuries. This way, you can maximize your financial compensation and ensure those responsible for causing your injuries are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Common Types of Bike Accidents

Bicycle accidents often occur when a car crashes into bike riders. However, bicycle crashes can take multiple forms, including:

These are just a few of the most common ways in which bicycle accidents occur. Our bicycle accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation so we can detail the cause of the accident and identify the liable parties to bring them to justice.

Top Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Generally, the cause of your bicycle accident will point us in the direction of those responsible for your injuries. Since Illinois is a fault state for accidents, the liable party will be ordered to compensate you for your damages.

For example, if you were hit by a negligent driver, you might assume that you have grounds for a claim against them. However, depending on the cause of the accident, there are other parties who you could sue as well. If the driver who hit you was drunk at the time of the accident, Illinois 235 ILCS 5/6-21(a) allows you to file a claim against negligent dram shops and social hosts as well.

Sometimes, the driver who hit you is not responsible for causing the accident. Defective auto parts or dangerous road conditions may have made it impossible for them to avoid crashing into you. For example, if the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) failed to construct bike lanes at popular intersections frequently used by bicyclists, despite repeated complaints, the IDOT may be sued for damages. If malfunctioning vehicle parts prevented the driver from avoiding a collision, auto parts designers, manufacturers, motor vehicle dealerships, and other third parties could share liability.

For this reason, it is crucial to get a bicycle accident attorney working on your case. This way, we can determine how the accident occurred and hold the liable party accountable accordingly.

How to Establish Fault

Establishing fault after a bike accident is essential. Your bicycle accident lawyer must gather valuable evidence to prove the defendant is at fault for your damages. To do this, we will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your bicycle crash. Some examples of evidence that may be most useful in personal injury cases include:

  • Traffic cam footage
  • Dashcam footage
  • Photos of your injuries
  • The driving history of the motorist who hit you
  • The blood alcohol test results of the driver
  • The data from the event data recorder from the vehicle that hit you
  • Your medical records
  • Witness statements and expert testimony
  • Reports from bicycle accident constructionists
  • Police reports
  • Bicycle parts recalls

The Value of Your Bicycle Accident Damages

Calculating the value of your bicycle accident case is one of our top priorities. The only way you can maximize your financial recovery is if we fully understand the total value of your place. There are a wide array of damages that you can recover in your bicycle case. These damages are economic, which have a tangible value, or non-economic, which have no intrinsic financial value.

Bicycle accident attorneys must quantify your non-economic damages. This way, you can receive fair compensation. Some examples of the various economic and non-economic damages you could recover as a bicycle rider include:

  • Lost wages
  • Personal property damages
  • Bicycle repair costs
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Medical bills
  • Future healthcare costs
  • Shame and indignity
  • Fear and shock
  • Anticipation
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Scars
  • Loss of household services

These are just a few of the recoverable damages that may be possible in your bike accident case. Generally, when you file a claim with the insurance company, the insurer will cover a portion of your medical bills and property damages. However, this is usually only up to the highest limits of the policyholder’s policy where applicable. Any remaining damages and excess losses the insurance company does not cover can be recouped when you file a bicycle accident lawsuit.

Illinois Bicycle Accident Injury Statistics

Bicycle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and happen nearly anywhere. The most recent bicycle accident statistics are available through the Illinois Department of Transportation. So far in 2023, the following information is available:

  • There has been a total of 590 fatalities
  • There are nearly 540 fatal collisions
  • 92 of these fatalities involved unlicensed drivers
  • In 134 crashes, seatbelts were improperly used or not used at all
  • 83 collisions happened in county townships
  • 188 accidents happened on city streets
  • 200 accidents happened on state US roads
  • 100 accidents happened on interstates
  • There have been 13 fatalities involving bicyclists

The most recent crash stats available are from 2021, and include the following:

  • Bicycle accidents accounted for 3% of fatal car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents accounted for less than 1% of total collisions
  • There were approximately 295,600 total vehicle accidents
  • Over 12% of accidents involved serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Almost 45% of fatal motor vehicle accidents happened during daytime
  • Nearly 85% of fatal collisions happened on dry roadways

You can learn more about which types of evidence are going to be most useful for your case when you discuss your bicycle accident lawsuit with your personal injury attorney.

Get Your Illinois Bicycle Accident Claim Filed Before Time Runs Out

According to Illinois law, time is limited to file your claim. The law only allows for a maximum of two years to pass before you will be prohibited from pursuing your bicycle accident lawsuit. The time may be even shorter if you are filing a claim with the insurance company. Some insurance companies require claims to be filed in a matter of days after the accident. You can protect yourself and your right to compensation when you have our experienced bicycle accident attorney in Illinois working on your case.

Illinois Bicycle Accident FAQ

We understand that the trauma of what you’ve been through can be overwhelming. In the hopes of helping you get answers and maximize your financial compensation, we have answered some of our most frequently asked questions regarding Illinois bicycle accident cases below. If there are other questions you have that we do not cover on this page, be sure to contact our personal injury team to discuss your specific concerns further.

When do bicyclists have the right of way?

Bicyclists are generally required to travel in the same direction as the flow of traffic and follow traffic laws. You must travel to the right of traffic in a bicycle lane where possible. Drivers are required to yield the right of way when cyclists need to move due to an obstruction. Drivers who do not yield to a bicyclist’s right of way may be found negligent and held accountable for the injured bicyclist’s damages.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are also commonly referred to as exemplary damages. These are not like compensatory damages, which include economic and non-economic damages you are entitled to recover. No one is entitled to punitive damages. The court system awards punitive damages when they find it necessary to punish the defense for reprehensible, grossly negligent, malicious, or intentionally harmful conduct.

These are awarded above and beyond your compensatory damages, so an award of punitive damages could significantly increase the amount of compensation you win in your case. However, since the eligibility requirements for punitive damages are so high, punitive damages are rarely awarded.

What if my child is injured in a bicycle accident?

Children have the same right to compensation after a bicycle accident that an adult would. However, children may have additional rights and protections. The statute of limitations may be temporarily paused until your child reaches the age of 18. If you decide to pursue a claim on their behalf in the meantime, you have every right to do so.

However, the statute of limitations will not bar you from pursuing your case since your child has two years from the date that they turn 18 to file a claim. The sooner you get started on your child’s bicycle accident injury claim, the sooner you will have access to the compensation you need to cover their medical expenses, get them the medical treatment they need, and help them improve their quality of life.

Meet With a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Illinois Today

Bicycle accident victims are often forced to deal with the impact of their injuries for the rest of their lives. Don’t let those responsible for causing your injuries get away with it. Make the liable party pay and recover maximum compensation for your damages when you meet with our experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Mike Agruss Law. You can further discuss your options for financial recovery when you fill out our secured contact form or call our office to schedule your 100% free consultation today.

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