What Are the Top Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Illinois?

Web Admin - Friday, June 14, 2019
Palatine bicycle accident lawyerIn the Chicago area and throughout the United States, many people enjoy traveling by bicycle. Whether they are commuting to and from work, getting exercise, or simply enjoying the outdoors, bicyclists have a right to use the roads, and drivers of cars and trucks should take care when driving around bicycles. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to do so, and bicyclists are likely to be seriously injured in bike accidents which occur when a bicycle is struck by a motor vehicle. In these cases, victims should work with an attorney to establish liability for their injuries and pursue financial compensation for their damages.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents

Driver negligence is often to blame for bicycle accidents. This negligence can take a variety of forms, including:

- Distracted driving - Even a momentary lapse in concentration can cause a driver to fail to see a bicycle on the road around them. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted by talking or texting on a cell phone, adjusting a car’s radio or navigation system, talking to passengers, or eating and drinking. Taking one’s attention off the road is a dangerous form of driver negligence that can lead to serious injuries for a bicyclist.

- Drunk driving - Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is a crime, and it can drastically impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Alcohol use affects a person’s coordination, reaction time, and judgment, and it is likely to cause a driver to be unable to avoid striking a bicycle.

- Aggressive or reckless driving - Some drivers do not like to share the road with bicycles, and they may drive too close to bicycles or fail to respect their right of way. In addition, bicycle accidents often occur when a driver proceeds through an intersection without looking or changes lanes or makes a turn without checking their blind spots. Drivers may be held responsible if they injure bicyclists due to their failure to follow the rules of the road.

- Dooring - Bicyclists can be seriously injured if a driver or passenger of a parked car opens their door into the bicycle’s path. This can occur when a bike is in a lane of traffic or a bike lane, and it can cause serious injuries if a cyclist is thrown from their bicycle.

Contact an Inverness Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured while riding a bicycle because of negligence by the driver of a car or truck, you may be able to receive compensation that includes the costs of medical treatment, income lost due to disability, and pain and suffering. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can provide you with dedicated legal representation in your personal injury case. Contact a Deer Park bicycle accident lawyer today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Serious Bicycle Accident Injuries Can Result from “Dooring”

Web Admin - Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Rolling Meadows bicycle accident injury lawyerRiding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and save on transportation costs. However, when sharing the road with larger vehicles, cyclists are at risk of serious injury in a collision. One type of bicycle accident that is becoming increasingly common is “dooring,” and both drivers and cyclists should be aware of the risks of these types of accidents and take steps to prevent them from occurring.

What Is Dooring?

Dooring occurs when a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle opens their door in the path of a cyclist. This often happens when a person who is exiting a vehicle next to a bike lane fails to check to make sure the lane is clear.

A large number of people in Illinois and Chicago have been injured by dooring accidents in recent years. According to data from the City of Chicago, there were 181 dooring accidents in 2017, and there have been over 100 dooring accidents so far in 2018. While this has decreased from 302 reported cases of dooring in 2015, the increasing number of people using bicycles for transportation in the Chicago area means that these types of accidents are becoming more and more likely.

Dooring Injuries

Colliding with the door of a vehicle can cause a wide variety of serious injuries to a cyclist. Depending on the speed at which a cyclist is traveling, they may be thrown from their bike, and they can suffer broken bones, dislocated shoulders, serious bruises, neck and spine injuries, sprained wrists or knees, injuries to internal organs, and disfiguring lacerations and abrasions.

While cyclists can protect themselves from head injuries by wearing a helmet, they may still suffer traumatic brain injuries in dooring accidents, especially if they are knocked into the path of a moving car. In some cases, cyclists have been caught underneath vehicles, which can result in loss of limbs, paralysis, and death.

Contact a Schaumburg Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Drivers and passengers of motor vehicles should take steps to prevent dooring accidents by always looking behind their vehicle before opening their doors, and they should take extra care when driving or parking near bike lanes. Failure to protect the safety of others is a form of negligence, and cyclists who are injured because of dooring may be able to pursue compensation for damages caused by a negligent driver. If you have been injured in a bike accident, contact an Arlington Heights personal injury attorney at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC today. Call our office at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Pedestrian-Bicycle Collisions in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, March 06, 2014

illinois pedestrian bicycle accident attorneyPedestrians walking down the sidewalk or crossing the street know to watch out for cars, but many are unaware of just how dangerous a passing bicycle can be and what to do in the event that they end up in an accident with a bike. Collisions between bikes and pedestrians are surprisingly dangerous and more common than many people expect. While exact numbers are difficult to find, since many bike accidents go unreported, a study from Hunter College estimates that over 1,000 pedestrians are hospitalized each year for injuries resulting from bike collisions in New York State alone.

Part of the reason for this is a lack of understanding on by both cyclists and pedestrians about what rules of the road bikes must obey. This leads to confusion on the part of the pedestrian about what the cyclists will to do in any given situation. The Illinois Secretary of State maintains a good guide regarding how traffic laws apply to bikes, but the rule of thumb is that a bicycle in the street must obey all laws that any other vehicle would, and a bicyclist on the sidewalk must obey the laws and signals used by pedestrians.

Harm from Bicycle Accidents

While bicycles lack the mass and speed of a car, they can still do serious harm to unprotected pedestrians in an accident. Some of the most common severe injuries that result from these sorts of accidents are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Pedestrians can develop these types of injuries if they suffer a hard blow to the head after a bike knocks them down. The most common symptom of a TBI is a concussion, but they can also result in nausea, vomiting, headaches, seizures, and even coma in more serious cases. Bike accidents can also frequently cause broken bones, depending on the speed at which they happen and the way the pedestrian falls.

What to Do after a Bicycle Accident

The steps to take after a bicycle accident are similar to those that follow a car crash: make sure everyone is ok, call for medical attention if necessary, alert the police, and exchange information with the other party. The major difference is that bike accidents are more prone to turning into hit-and-runs. While bicyclists are obliged to stay at the scene of an accident just like drivers, many do not realize that they have that duty, and some who do know choose to flee the scene anyway. The best course of action here is to get as much identifying information about the fleeing cyclist as possible, and then make a report to the police.

If you have been the victim of a pedestrian versus bicycle accident, reach out to an Illinois personal injury attorney today. They can help you seek the full and fair compensation that you deserve. Our firm lends its experience and knowledge to clients across the northwest suburbs, in places such as Inverness, Deer Park, and Crystal Lake.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

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