peoria bicycle accident lawyers
Vehicle drivers are supposed to share the road with bicyclists in Illinois. Statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation show that more than 3,000 people are injured each year in bicycle accidents, and about 25 of those incidents include fatalities. While most bicycle accidents happen in Chicago, there are reports in smaller cities such as Peoria.
How Are Bicycle Accident Victims Compensated?
If an insured driver hits a bicyclist, the at-fault driver’s insurance company or the driver may offer to pay the individual’s medical bills directly. However, it is better to seek the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to ensure adequate compensation. Private payment offers are not reliable, and the sums are never enough to pay for current and future expenses.
When an injured bicyclist has cause for a lawsuit, he or she is entitled to compensation for all injuries and the effects of them. Award amounts vary depending on the severity of the injuries. For example, one person may only have a broken bone that requires treatment but will heal. A modest award to cover medical expenses and time away from work may be sufficient.
In a severe accident, a bicyclist may be injured badly enough that he or she is partially paralyzed. The bicyclist may need money for medical equipment and treatment in the future. The individual may also need to hire a caregiver to help with personal care. Only a good attorney can assess the situation to determine the extent of damages. Our attorneys look at current and future needs to help victims seek enough compensation for a comfortable future.
How To Determine If A Driver Is At Fault
To establish a bicycle injury case in Peoria, an injured bicyclist must show that the vehicle driver was acting negligently before the crash. If there are multiple parties contributing to the accident, establishing fault can be more difficult. However, bicyclists always sustain the worst injuries. They are more vulnerable than people who are protected by the doors and windows of vehicles.
Our attorneys have worked with many bicycle injury cases and understand the different causes. One of the most common causes of bicycle injuries is a driver opening his or her door without checking the side mirrors first. If a bicyclist is going toward the open door fast enough that a safe stop is impossible, the driver’s careless action causes the bicyclist to collide with the open door. In Chicago and in some other cities, local laws require drivers to check their mirrors for bicyclists before opening the car door. These are some other causes of bicycle accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to yield
- Improper turning
- Traffic sign violations
- Reckless driving
How Our Peoria Bicycle Accident Attorneys Help
Our attorneys know the legal processes involved in seeking compensation for injuries. They also know the state’s traffic laws and what to look for when investigating an accident. With our ability to gather as many details as possible, we fight for the highest allowable compensation amount. These are some of the steps taken in the process:
- Reviewing police reports
- Collecting witness statements
- Photographing the accident scene
- Researching driving records of involved parties
- Hiring experts to reconstruct the accident
- Analyzing medical bills and records
- Reviewing the victim’s health prognosis
Types Of Bicycle Accident Injuries
A brain injury is a devastating but common type of trauma associated with bicycle accidents. Brain injuries can be extensive and permanent. Some people who are in severe bicycle accidents are partially or fully paralyzed. Broken bones, fractures, sprains and joint dislocations are common. Victims may sustain injuries to the spine that require surgery. Also, some individuals have bad cuts that leave facial scarring or extensive scarring on their extremities.
How To Prevent Bicycle Accidents
According to state laws, bicyclists should not ride more than two abreast in traffic. Wear reflective clothing at night. Use appropriate bicycle headlamps after dark. Pay attention to all surroundings, and always react with the assumption that drivers are not paying attention. Never ride a bicycle without a helmet and proper protective gear. With good riding habits, bicyclists can reduce their risks. However, accidents can still happen to people who practice strict bicycle safety.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, contact Zayed Law Offices. We serve Peoria and several other cities in Illinois. We can help you determine if you have a case. Please call for a confidential and free consultation.