Let’s say you were riding down the street and out of nowhere, a vehicle hits you from the back. You are thrown several feet from your bike and suffer skin abrasions and are unable to move your neck which requires you to be hospitalized for a few days. As you begin to recall details from the incident, you are almost certain you were following all of the roadway rules but you can’t say the same for the driver who hit you. Now, after being discharged, you are receiving hospital bills and statements from your physician for the medical treatments you had to have rendered but you know you shouldn’t have to pay them.
So, what can you do and how can you prove the motorist was at fault so they can then be held responsible for covering these accrued expenses?
Understand Your Position as a Bicycle Rider in Chicago, IL
If you are currently facing similar circumstances and suffered an injury in a bicycle accident in Chicago, IL, you first need to determine what your position was as a bicycle rider to be sure you didn’t play a partial role in causing the accident. To do this, you need to understand what laws you are required to abide by which can then help determine if, in fact, you may have contributed to the incident occurring. Below are some of the laws cyclists in Chicago are currently required to abide by and you can become more informed on the others by clicking here and reading Illinois’ Bicycle Rules of the Road.
- Bicycle riders are required to obey the same traffic laws, signs, and signals that apply to motorists.
- A bike rider must ride in the same direction in which traffic is traveling.
- A bicyclist must use the appropriate arm signals to communicate their intentions with the motorists traveling around them.
- Bicyclists must adhere to the right of way laws. These include:
- Two-way Intersections- When a rider approaches a stop sign at a two-way stop intersection, they must yield the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles on the cross street before going ahead.
- Four-way Intersections- At a four-way stop intersection, the motorist or bicycle rider who arrives at the intersection first should be the first to proceed.
- Unmarked Intersections- When approaching an unmarked intersection or crossing where there are no traffic signs or signals present, the driver or bicycle rider on the left must yield to those on the right.
What was the driver’s role in the accident?
Once you determine your position as a bike rider and whether you played any role in causing it to occur, you then need to understand what the motorist’s obligations were to you to see if they were breaking any traffic laws themselves. Some roadway rules motorists in the state of Illinois are required to abide by include:
- Motorists are required to leave at least three feet of space between them and a bicyclist.
- Drivers must abide by the right of ways laws stipulated above.
- Drivers are “not allowed to drive, park, idle, or pick up passengers in lanes that have been designated for bike riders.
- An individual operating a motor vehicle “shall not, in a reckless manner, drive the motor vehicle unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist.” Crowding a bicyclist is considered to be a “Class 3 felony (in the event of great bodily harm) or a Class A misdemeanor (if no significant bodily harm inflicted)” [Source: State of Illinois].
After taking the time to assess both your position and the driver’s in the wreck, you have a better chance of identifying who was responsible for causing the accident and why it occurred. And that is how fault is determined. Now, in order to recover the compensation you believe you are entitled to, you will want to contact a Chicago, IL accident lawyer who can work with you to build a solid case using the evidence you have along with what they collect during their own investigation. Just because you are able to identify a law the driver broke doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to win your case.
In order to obtain a favorable outcome and collect the money you are due for the damages incurred, you need to be represented by a qualified and experienced accident attorney. The lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. have over 50 years of combined legal experience and will know exactly what approach to take with your case once you have contacted them for your free consultation.
To get connected with a legal expert now, simply call 312-384-1920 so you can begin taking the steps toward reeving the money you deserve.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601