Bicycle accidents continue to occur in Chicago and the broader Chicagoland area. Bicycle accidents can cause a broad range of injuries that vary in severity. While some bike accidents result in fatalities, many more result in non-fatal injuries.
Due to a variety of factors, bicycle accidents have been increasing over the last few years. One of the reasons is that there have been more miles ridden, due in part to increased commuting by bicycle. As well, many areas have seen increases in riding a bicycle for recreation.
Chicago bicycle accidents are discussed in a November 19, 2019 Chicago Sun-Times editorial titled "Let's invest, Chicago, and make our streets safer for cyclists." It quotes City of Chicago statistics indicating that there were 1,940 non-fatal bicycle accidents during 2018 in Chicago. This compares to 1,308 incidents in 2017.
Bicycle accidents can happen for many reasons. Some accidents involve only the rider, who may crash for a number of reasons. To bicyclists, road conditions are very important to safe riding. Adequate road conditions are needed for the bicyclist to maintain the balance needed to maintain control of the bicycle. If there are potholes or other significant road deformities, the bicycle rider may lose control of the bike and crash.
Many bicycle accidents involve a collision between a bike and a vehicle. Various types of these collisions, and the reasons these accidents occur, are further discussed on the “Chicago Bicycle Accidents” page. These crashes include “left-cross accidents” and “right-hook accidents.” As seen in many Chicago bicycle accidents, these types of crashes have caused a range of injuries, including those that have resulted in fatalities.
Many bicycle accidents that involve collisions with other vehicles occur because the motorists “fail to see” the bicyclist. This lack of awareness on the part of the motorist can occur for many reasons. Some motorists are not adequately aware of other road users because they are distracted while driving. Distracted driving remains a primary reason that accidents occur. While there can be many reasons as to why a driver may be distracted, texting is a foremost reason.
Another reason for a lack of awareness while driving is drivers impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. There have been many Chicago bicycle accidents in which the bicyclist has been hit by an impaired driver. In many cases, the impaired driver leaves the accident scene, i.e. the accident is a “hit & run.”
Another prominent types of crash that can occur is bicycle “dooring” crashes. In these types of crashes, the driver of a vehicle opens the door of the car or other vehicle, and a cyclist who is approaching the vehicle from the rear runs into this opened door. These crashes are usually highly physically traumatic to the rider, as the rider is hitting a fixed object (the opened door) at speed.
These “dooring” crashes usually occur in urban areas where there is parallel parking; other factors, such as relatively narrow streets and high levels of traffic can also increase the likelihood of “dooring.” Although such accidents often occur in urban areas, they can happen anywhere there is parallel parking and people riding bicycles.
When such a “dooring” incident occurs, resulting injuries are usually significant – if not substantial in nature. As further discussed in the April 26, 2017 post titled “Bicycle ‘Dooring Accidents’ In Illinois,” such “dooring” incidents occur in significant numbers. As seen in many such accidents, injuries range in severity, and in some cases these can be life-threatening in nature.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, there are many steps that should be taken. These steps include those to safeguard your health, as well as to attend to various legal issues. A personal injury lawyer should be consulted as soon as possible, as there are many steps one should take – as well as not to take – following being injured in a bicycle accident.
If you have been injured in an Illinois bicycle accident – or if you represent someone who has died in a bicycle accident – call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney for the Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC – for a free legal consultation regarding the situation. The Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC, a Chicago personal injury law firm, has been handling Chicago area personal injury cases for over 25 years. During this time, the firm has handled over 10,000 personal injury lawsuits, including bicycle accident injury cases.
During this free legal consultation, Tony can tell you what actions should be taken to protect your legal rights, as well as what should be done in order for you to maximize the potential for accident injury compensation. Tony can be reached any time at (773) 392-8182.