Springfield Bicycle Accident Lawyers
When a bicyclist is in a crash, other than maybe a helmet, he or she is virtually unprotected. In traffic, bicycles present smaller and narrower profiles. Motorists just don’t see them, or they don’t see them until it’s too late. Once an impact occurs there isn’t a steel frame or body surrounding a rider. There aren’t any air bags or seat belts to protect them either. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 840 bicyclists died in accidents across the country in 2016.
Bicycle Crash Research Findings
The University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research compiled a pedestrian and bicycle safety plan for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Here are some of its findings:
- About 17 million new bicycles are sold in the United States annually.
- If a bicyclist isn’t wearing a helmet and is involved in an accident, he or she is 17 times more likely to die in that accident.
- Most bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas at night. Many of those fatalities involve bicyclists who were not obeying the rules of the road, including being intoxicated, drugged or both.
- Only about 50 percent of all bicyclists occasionally wear a helmet, while about 30 percent of them wear a helmet at all times.
- People between the ages of 15 to 24 and adults who are 45 and older have the highest fatality rates.
- More than one-third of all bicycle accident fatalities involve a car overtaking or passing a bicyclist who is traveling in the same direction.
- A minimum of 75 percent of all bicyclists who die from accidents every year die from traumatic brain injuries.
- Children who are from five to 14 years of age and young adults have the highest rates of bicycle accident injuries that aren’t fatal. They represent about 60 percent of all emergency room visits involving bicycle accidents.
- More than 20,000 people are injured in bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles
- Another 67,000 are seen in emergency rooms every year for accident-related head injuries.
- Males are far more likely to be involved in fatal bicycle accidents than females.
- In the United States, a bicyclist dies every six hours from injuries suffered in an accident.
Some Other Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Accidents with motor vehicles aren’t the only causes of injuries and deaths involving bicyclists. Some other causes involve poor roadway conditions, dooring accidents, loose or missing storm sewer covers and drain grates and being chased, knocked over and attacked by loose dogs.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
According to the American Association for Family Physicians, most bicycle accident injuries occur on the upper and lower extremities. Those most likely involve fractures and joint injuries. Those injuries are followed by injuries to the head, face, teeth, thorax and abdomen. Road rash and deep cuts are also common. Accident victims become at risk for infection quickly. Embedded debris must frequently be removed from the skin or below it.
If your bicycle accident injuries were caused as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, you’re probably eligible to obtain monetary compensation for the damages that you suffered. Here are some of the damages that Illinois law allows you to claim:
- Past medical bills from the accident, and medical bills reasonably expected to be received in the future.
- Lost earnings in connection with the accident along with any earnings that are reasonably expected to be lost in the future.
- Any permanent disfigurement.
- Any permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering.
- Diminished quality of life.
- In the event of a wrongful death, other substantial damages along with funeral and burial costs.
Even if a motorist turned left in front of you while you had the right-of-way, the opposing insurance company is going to try to either devalue your claim or deny it altogether. That’s why it wants a recorded statement from you. Politely refuse to give one. There is no law in Illinois that requires you to give any type of a statement to an opposing insurer without a lawyer being present on your behalf. That insurer only wants to put words in your mouth and use them against you in order to attack your credibility in the future.
Rather than give that statement, protect your rights by contacting us as soon as possible after your accident. We’ll be pleased to arrange for free consultation and case evaluation. We promise to listen to you carefully, and we’re going to answer your questions too. After that, you’ll be advised on the full range of your legal alternatives. Contact us as soon as possible after being injured in any bicycle accident in or around Springfield.