Illinois bicycle accident raises question of legal remedies

Bicycle accidents in Illinois: statistics and remedies.

Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation. Bikes provide an efficient way to get around while giving the rider health benefits. Although generally a safe means on transportation, there are some risks. One of the more dangerous risks involves the potential for a collision with a motor vehicle.

How common are bike accidents in Illinois?

Unfortunately, such collisions are not rare. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that there were seven bicyclists killed due to a fatal car accident in 2018 as of June 26, 2018.

Children are at particular risk. A recent study published in the Accident Analysis & Prevention journal found an average of 600 children ranging in age from five to seventeen require emergency department care after a bike accident every day.

Are there legal remedies for victims of bike crashes?

Those who are injured while biking when struck by a car may be able to hold the driver of the vehicle legally responsible for the accident through a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits are generally based on the legal theory of negligence. The law defines negligence as, essentially, a failure of the duty of someone to act with a level of care that would be expected at an ordinary level of prudence in a given situation.

A victim generally needs to establish four elements to have a successful case based in negligence. First, the law required the victim establish the driver owed the victim this duty. This first element is fairly easy to establish. The law requires drivers to operate their vehicles with a duty of care. The second element involves establishment of a breach of the duty. The presence of an accident could help to establish this element. The third, that the victim suffered an injury. Medical records can serve as evidence for this element. The final, that the driver's action caused the injury.

If these elements are present, the victim may have a successful case. This can lead to monetary awards to cover medical expenses such as ambulance fees, medical treatments and tests as well as any prescriptions or equipment needed to aid in the healing process. The victim may also make a claim for lost wages if he or she had to miss work due to the injuries. This can also extend to include an award for future earnings if the accident was so severe the victim could argue future earning capacity is diminished.

Victims of catastrophic bicycle accidents have options. Legal remedies are available. Contact an attorney experienced in these matters to help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a bike injury.