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.


Bicycle Dooring Accidents in Illinois

Web Admin - Wednesday, July 09, 2014

bicycle dooring accidents in IllinoisWith the summer weather in full effect, more and more bikes have begun to appear on Illinois streets. o the colloquial term for a driver opening a door into the path of a bicyclist. This can result in either the door hitting the cyclist and injuring them, or the cyclist being forced into traffic to avoid the door, which can also result in serious injuries.

These types of accidents used to be a legal gray area, with both bicyclists and motorists sometimes being found at fault for the collision. However, a recent change to Illinois law now plants the fault squarely on motorists, giving them the responsibility to watch for passing bicyclists.

A Change to Illinois’ Vehicle Code

Illinois’ vehicle code contains a law forbidding any two-wheeled vehicle from passing another vehicle on the right without eight feet of unobstructed pavement. It was not clear that this portion of the code applied to bicycles since they do not technically fall under the vehicle code’s definition of a vehicle. However, they are required to obey all of the same rules as vehicles. Consequently, some bicyclists who were being doored were also being found at fault for the accident since they were passing too close to the car whose door they hit.

However, at the start of 2014 a new version of the law went into effect. This version clarifies that vehicles that operate under human power are not subject to that portion of the law. With that change, it is now clear that motorists are the party with the responsibility to watch out for bicyclists before opening the door.

The Law Against Dooring

This responsibility comes from another portion of the vehicle code. This section (625 ILCS 5/11-1407) forbids drivers from opening the door of their vehicle “on the side available to moving traffic,” when it is not reasonably safe to do so. Some municipalities will fine a motorist for carelessly opening their door into traffic, but that is not the only legal implication. An injured cyclist may also sue a driver for negligently opening their door into traffic. If the motorist failed to use due care when opening the car door, then the cyclist may be able to recover for their injuries. Such recovery may include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the motorist’s carelessness.

If you have recently been involved in a bicycle dooring accident, contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our skilled team of lawyers represents clients across the northwest suburban area, including in towns like Arlington Heights, Deer Park, and Inverness.

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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