bicycle accident lawyers
In 2014, the Governors Highway Safety Association released statistics that put Illinois in fifth place on a list of states with the most bicycle accident fatalities. The Illinois Department of Transportation reported 3,165 bicycle accident injuries in 2015, and there were 26 fatalities. Unfortunately, this trend has been rising for several years. The bicycle accident death rate increased by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. Rockford has its share of unnecessary bicycle accidents since it has one of the largest metropolitan areas outside of Chicago. Unfortunately, bicyclists are always the ones to suffer the most when they collide with vehicles.
Causes Of Rockford Bicycle Accidents
WIFR reported a story earlier this year about a bicyclist in Winnebago County who was struck from behind by a vehicle. The bicyclist died even though she was wearing a helmet. She was riding her bike near Rock Cut State Park when she was hit. A local biking group’s president said that one of the biggest issues in and around Rockford is the lack of infrastructure to keep bicyclists safe. Narrow shoulders, roads without bicycle lanes and a lack of awareness among motorists are major contributors to the bicycle accident trend.
In the Rockford metropolitan area, two of the most common types of accidents are door collisions and turning collisions. Door collisions happen when a motorist opens his or her door while parked without looking, and a bicyclist in the right lane does not have time to stop to avoid hitting the door. Turning collisions happen when motorists do not see a bicyclist to their left or right and make a turn in that direction. The root of the problem is not checking mirrors properly. Drivers are supposed to check their mirrors before turning or before exiting the vehicle to ensure that there are no bicyclists coming toward them.
Are Bicycle Accident Victims Entitled To Compensation?
If another motorist or bicyclist is to blame for a person’s injuries, the injured person has a legal right to pursue compensation. Although drivers or their insurers may offer to pay the victim’s medical costs, such settlements are untrustworthy and rarely cover all expenses related to the accident. Victims must contact a bicycle accident attorney in Illinois for maximum compensation.
In some cases, determining fault can be difficult. Attorneys can investigate bicycle accidents and find the at-fault party. Distracted driving, reckless driving, speeding, improper turning and failure to yield are common causes of bicycle accidents. To find important details, our attorneys look at police reports. They go to the accident scene to take photos, and they work with experts to recreate the accident. If there were witnesses or cameras, the lawyers gather statements or surveillance footage. Our attorneys dig for every possible detail to help build the strongest case for each client.
Our lawyers always fight for the maximum amount allowed by the law. While a judge may not award as much to someone who has temporary injuries that have no impact on long-term abilities, people who are left with partial or permanent disabilities are entitled to much more. Brain injuries are common with bicycle accidents even when people wear their helmets. When long-term abilities are affected, compensation is awarded to supplement the victim’s income. If the person must retrain for a new type of career due to injuries, our attorneys seek compensation for those expenses. Extra medical care, medical equipment, long-term medication needs, physical therapy, lost living expenses and continuing family expenses are all considered as well.
Preventing Bicycle Accidents
Rockford bicyclists and motorists must work together to keep the roads safer. Motorists can help by making a habit of checking their mirrors before exiting the vehicle and before making a turn or merging into another lane. Bicyclists can contribute by following safety rules. They must wear reflective gear and have their bikes properly outfitted with reflective stickers and headlamps for riding in the dark. Additionally, bicyclists should use signals to let motorists know when they are turning or merging. For bike riders, a good rule of safety is to assume that drivers cannot see them and to react accordingly.
While practicing safety can help reduce bicycle accident rates in Rockford, accidents can still happen because of human errors and the lack of infrastructure for safe bicycling. If you or a loved one were in a bicycle accident, contact Zayed Law Offices. Our Illinois bicycle accident attorneys handle many cases and can help you seek compensation to protect your future security. Please call us today for a free consultation. We also serve residents in other Illinois cities.