Over the years, biking to work has steadily increased in the Chicago region. As the number of bicyclists and bike commuters continues to rise, so does the number of bicycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over 600 cyclists die each year and over 52,000 are injured in bicycle-motor vehicle crashes.
Bicycle riders can be nearly invisible to cars in certain situations and with that comes dangerous collisions. These types of collisions can often spell injury or death for cyclists who have little protection from the impact of an automobile. We are here to represent those who have become injured due to the negligence of an automobile driver.
Bicyclist Tips To Keep In Mind:
- Bikers have the same rights as do the driver of a vehicle
- Always ride with the traffic rather than against it
- Ride close to right-hand curb or edge of roadway
- In a large group, single file riding is usually the safest option
- Bicyclists should always use signals
- Cyclists need to have reflectors on all night rides (front lamp and rear red reflector)
- Wear a helmet
- Don’t be distracted by music or your phone while riding
- Do a quick bike test – make sure brakes and wheels are working properly
“We have the experience, the compassion that’s necessary, and we get results.”
Some Illinois Bicyclist Laws To Remember
As cycling continues to grow in popularity, the Illinois legislature has enforced laws to not only protect bicyclists from accidents involving vehicles, but also to ensure that road traffic is managed in an orderly manner for all commuters.
Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles
Just like vehicles, cyclists also must obey traffic lights and stop signs. According to the code, every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to drivers. Cyclists also must follow traffic control devices and yield to vehicles before making a left-hand turn just as motor vehicle drivers do.
Riding on roadways and bicycle paths
Unlike vehicles, you do not have the right to ride in the center of the lane of traffic. The law states, “any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle upon a roadway at less than normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…”
Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.
Just as cars need to have operational headlights, so do bicyclists. “Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear….”
Turn and stop signals
“…A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, and shall be given when the bicycle is stopped waiting to turn. A signal by hand and arm shall need not be given continuously if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.”
Bicycles on sidewalks.
While some cities have restricted the use of bicycles on sidewalks entirely, Illinois regulations do not prohibit the practice in all situations. Rather, bicyclists in Illinois may not use sidewalks if there are signs restricting them from doing so. Additionally, “[a] person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstance.”
Bicycle messengers in Chicago must have a liability insurance policy to be paid for by the individual, firm or corporation. “The policy shall be issued in amounts no less than the minimum amounts set for the bodily injury or death and destruction of property under section 7-203 of this Code.”
Learn more rules of the road provided by the Secretary of State.
What Can HSPRD Do For You?
- Work with investigators. We work with the police and investigators of the accident to help identify what really happened and who is really at fault.
- Help gain value. We help you quickly get the real value for your bicycle so you can get out and ride again.
- Provide knowledge and navigation. We help you understand and navigate the medical treatment process and billing issues.
- Negotiate. We powerfully negotiate with the insurance companies and protect you from their attempts to undersell your claim.
- File a lawsuit. We file a lawsuit if necessary and go to trial.
Frequently Asked Questions
ACCIDENTS HURT, EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS CAN HELP.
When it comes to making this decision we ask our clients to keep in mind that defendants frequently have teams of attorneys on staff prepared to find ways to pay out as little as possible on every claim. So why not hire an accomplished team of attorneys who focus on personal injury litigation and workers’ compensation to level the playing field for you?
The value of your case depends greatly on the evidence provided. You may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages caused. Some of these damages may include:
- Past medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
In most cases, yes, your personal injury lawsuit has to be filed in a courthouse within a certain period of time or it is forever barred in Illinois. A typical personal injury case must be filed within two years. Exceptions to that rule include filing against a municipality, which must be filed within one year, or filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, which has to be filed within three years. It is important to get an attorney involved as early as possible so we can best advise you.
Yes, you can file a case if you are undocumented in the workers’ compensation department as well as the personal injury department. We can defend your rights and recover fair compensation for you.