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Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer

With an increased likelihood for serious and even fatal personal injuries to occur on bicycle, it is important that you or your loved one have an experienced Chicago bicycle accident lawyer standing by your side.

Chicago Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycles serve a great purpose in getting people to and from their destinations, but unlike other vehicles, do not protect cyclists in the unfortunate event of an accident. Many drivers do not recognize the need to split roadways and are oftentimes unaware of the specific needs that bicyclists need. In these situations, accidents are likely to occur.

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How Can a Chicago Bike Accident Lawyer Help?

If you are in a bicycle accident, you need an attorney from Duncan Law Group on your side. Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Chicago to represent your bicycle accident lawsuit or insurance claim can provide significant benefits to your case, including the following:

  • Your attorney can represent you during negotiations. Many bicycle accident victims must engage in negotiations with insurance representatives during the claims process. However, these representatives do not always have your best interests in mind. Your lawyer will advocate for you and handle these negotiations on your behalf, helping you fight for your maximum possible financial recovery.
  • Your lawyer can help calculate your damages. After a bicycle accident, it is important to understand the full extent of your injuries and the compensation you qualify for. If you accept an insufficient settlement, you could face additional hardship later on. Your Chicago personal injury attorney will help you identify all avenues of compensation and accurately calculate your estimated award.
  • Your attorney will have years of experience representing similar cases and will handle the investigation on your behalf. The aftermath of a bicycle accident can be painful and navigating the complex litigation process can feel overwhelming. Your lawyer will guide you through this process and handle all aspects related to your claim, conducting an in-depth investigation to gather necessary evidence.
  • Your lawyer will protect you against accusations of shared liability. You could see a reduced or denied award if the court or insurance company believes you are partially responsible for the accident. Your attorney will work diligently to protect you against these accusations and prove the at-fault driver’s negligence, gathering evidence and seeking testimonies from witnesses and experts to establish the correct sequence of events.

Find out how a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer from Duncan Law Group can help you by calling our law offices for a free initial consultation.

What Damages Can I Recover for a Chicago Bike Accident?

Under Illinois law, bicycle accident victims have the right to recover compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to your financial losses related to the accident, which non-economic damages involve the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endured. Some of the most common damages in bicycle accident claims include the following:

  • All past and future medical expenses
  • Disability accommodations and live-in caregivers
  • Property repairs and replacements
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Chronic pain, disability, and disfigurement
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of care, companionship, and consortium
  • Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident

To prove your right to these damages, you will need to submit evidence showing the extent of your losses. For economic damages, this documentation may include medical bills, invoices, paystubs, and correspondence with your employer. Non-economic damages are intangible and more difficult to calculate, but your bike accident attorney from Duncan Law Group will have tools to estimate these losses. You can also start a journal to record how your injuries impact your daily life; you could use these notes as evidence of your pain and suffering.

Who Is At Fault for My Bicycle Accident?

Illinois is a fault-based accident state that requires at-fault drivers to pay for the damages of their victims—including other drivers, passengers, and cyclists. If you are in an accident with a negligent driver, you will need to prove that his or her actions caused the collision and your subsequent injuries.

During an insurance claim, an adjuster will investigate of your accident and review all pieces of evidence. He or she may ask for a statement or to speak to your bicycle accident attorney. At the conclusion of this investigation, the adjuster will determine who caused the collision and whether or not you deserve compensation. If the adjuster believes that the driver caused the accident, you will receive a settlement offer. If the adjuster believes the accident is your fault, the company will likely deny your claim.

If you choose to file a bicycle accident lawsuit, you and your attorney will present your case to a court in front of a jury. The jury will then decide whether the driver is at fault and if you are eligible for compensation. To prove your claim, you will need to provide sufficient evidence to support the four elements of negligence.

  • Duty: The driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. All drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely.
  • Breach of duty: The driver breached his or her duty of care. For example, a driver running a red light breaks Illinois law and therefore breaches his or her duty. Making an illegal turn, speeding, and driving under the influence are also examples of breaches of care.
  • Causation: The driver’s breach of duty directly caused your accident. For example, if a driver makes an illegal turn while you are lawfully crossing an intersection and collides into you, he or she causes the accident and your injuries.
  • Damages: You sustained damages in the accident that you can claim in your lawsuit.

If you can establish the above facts, you will likely prove the at-fault driver’s liability. However, the court may believe that you share liability for the collision. In these situations, Illinois’s comparative negligence laws will apply. These rules will reduce your award by the amount of fault you share; if you are more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will not receive any compensation.

For example, say that you are in a bicycle accident and claim $50,000 in damages. However, surveillance footage shows that you were illegally crossing the street at the time of the collision. The court assigns 40 percent of the liability to you, and you will only receive $30,000 out of your original award.

How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?

Bicycle accident settlements vary based on the circumstances of each case. As a result, it can be difficult to estimate your potential award without speaking to an experienced bicycle crash attorney. However, there are certain factors that may affect your award value.

Specifically, the more severe your injuries, the higher your award will likely be. You will likely require extensive medical care and spend more time away from work, which will increase your economic damages. Pain and suffering awards are often tied to the amount of your economic losses, and you may receive more compensation in this category as well. To determine the full extent of your bicycle accident damages, speak to an attorney from Duncan Law Group as soon as possible.

How Long Will My Case Take?

Bicycle accident claim timelines vary depending on the severity of the injuries and the pathway to compensation you choose to pursue. Insurance claims typically resolve within a few months, while personal injury lawsuits can take between one to two years to reach a conclusion. However, if you accept a settlement too early or an insufficient amount, you may face financial difficulties later. It is very important to pursue your claim to the furthest extent possible, even if the timeline is lengthy.

There are certain factors that influence the length of your case.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) Timelines

Your attorney will not want to begin your claim until you reach MMI, or the point where you have fully recovered from your injuries. The more severe your injuries, the longer it will take to reach MMI.

High Damages

If you sustain thousands or even millions of dollars’ worth of damages, your case will likely take longer than average. Insurance companies and at-fault drivers will likely fight a very large claim versus a smaller one that they can settle earlier on. However, it is important to hold the at-fault driver accountable for the full extent of your damages so that you can make a full recovery.

Complex Liability

If it is unclear who was responsible for the collision, it may take longer for your case to reach a conclusion. Both parties will need to fully investigate the accident and identify the liable party. An insurance adjuster may need more time to complete his or her investigation, and a court may need to hear more evidence from both sides.

Trial

Many bicycle accident cases settle before reaching the courtroom, and even before an attorney files the lawsuit. However, there are some cases where it is necessary for your claim to go to trial. If your case goes to court, it will likely take longer to resolve.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Chicago, Illinois

There are numerous ways that our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys have seen clients injured in biking accidents. Motor vehicle drivers do not usually train themselves to look out for bicyclists riding in the lane with them. Without the protection of a larger steel shell surrounding their bodies, drivers may not realize they might be involved in an accident until it is too late.

While there are many ways that a bike rider can be injured, some of the most common bicycle accidents our personal injury law firm encounters involves:

  • Auto makes a left turn in front of a bicyclist
  • Driver opens their door as a bike is approaching
  • Abruptly backing up into the street without checking
  • Changing lanes or merging without noticing bike riders
  • Drifting into a bike lanes
  • Ignoring traffic signals or stop signs
  • Passing bike riders without a safe distance
  • Colliding at an intersection
  • Unsafe road conditions

Common Injuries Sustained in a Bicycle Crash

When these accidents, or any other accidents, affect those riding a bike, numerous serious injuries can occur. While protections such as helmets, lights, and biking clothes can reduce the types of injuries that can be suffered in bicycle accidents, there is no guarantee that injuries will not occur. Specifically, concussions and other closed head injuries, bone fractures, spinal injuries, cuts and scrapes, and internal bleeding are only some on the injuries that may be suffered.

If you lost a loved one in a Chicago bicycle accident, speak with a wrongful death attorney to explore your options for financial compensation.

What to Do After a Bicycle Collision in Chicago

If you have been hurt in a bike accident, the first thing you should do is call for immediate medical attention. Due to the shock of the event, you may not realize the extent of your injuries until later.

Taking care to medically document your case can help you recover the financial compensation you need. Additionally, collect information of witnesses, get a police report written, collect all medical expenses and medical bills, and take photos of the scene of the accident. Do not admit fault or guilt if you are contacted by an insurance adjuster.

Contacting Duncan Law Group during this time is an asset to your case. With an experienced Chicago accident lawyer on your side, you can be sure that your bicycle accident case is getting the attention it deserves.

Chicago Bicycle Accident Statistics

Bicycle accidents are unfortunately common on Chicago roads, leading to several injuries and deaths each year. The Active Transportation Alliance provides the following statistics on Chicago bicycle collisions.

  • In 2016, 6,805 pedestrians and cyclists were killed or injured in Chicago.
  • 72 percent of fatal crashes involved speeding, failure to yield the right of way, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic signs, and driving under the influence.
  • Since 2005, there has been an 11 percent decrease in bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths in Chicago.
  • 55 percent of all pedestrian and bicycle crashes in Illinois took place in Chicago.
  • Chicago neighborhoods that experience economic hardship saw three times as many crashes versus higher income neighborhoods.

Contact Duncan Law Group For Bicycle Accident Claims in Chicago

Duncan Law Group, a Chicago personal injury law firm, has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of their clients. Taking a personalized and individual approach to each and every case, our experienced bike accident attorneys can examine your accident case, develop a unique approach, and present this information to the court to help you recover the financial compensation you are entitled to. Our law office in Cook County wants to help victims of negligence fight for justice against negligent drivers, insurance companies, and other responsible parties.

Our award-winning Chicago bicycle accident lawyers have devoted themselves to fighting for your rights. Call our law firm today at (312) 202-3283 or contact us online to get more information.