Illinois is within the top five states in the Country in terms of serious injuries arising out of bike accidents. And as Chicago and the outlying suburbs make increased efforts to designate bike lanes within and adjacent to busy city streets, these numbers could go up. As part of both green and health initiatives, bike traffic is being pushed and promoted – clearly one can see the City of Chicago’s stamp on this issue with the blue Divvy bike program.
The problem is that with increased bike traffic comes increased accidents and serious personal injuries. The Active Transportation Alliance released a report stating that the states which reported the largest number of bike related fatalities were California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois and Michigan. The report indicated that these states represented over half of all deaths in bike accidents, obviously due to the fact that those states were high-population states having large cities where there is an increased level of bicycle exposure and interaction with cars.
The report further indicated that almost two-thirds of the bike accident deaths involved cyclists not wearing helmets. Clearly this fact is impactful on reducing the severity of head injuries in bike accidents but it might not be impactful in reducing the number of bike accidents involving automobiles. Bike traffic will only increase as cities make lanes for bike travel more accessible and individuals look for cheaper, healthier, greener and more cost effective ways to get to and from their destinations.
For persons that were riding a bike and injured due to the negligence of a car driver, please know that even though you were on a bike you still need to call the police and have a report generated of the facts of the accident. Take photos of the scene of the accident and your bike and the parts of your body that show visible injuries. Make sure to get the name and number of any person that was a witness to the accident and make sure to exchange insurance information with the driver that struck you. Treat the matter just as if you were driving your car!
In addition, seek immediate medical care – don’t wait! The longer you wait to seek medical attention between the date of the accident and your first visit to the doctor, the easier it is for the insurance company to make the argument that the accident in question was not the cause of your injuries. I understand that we all have work and family responsibilities and our free time to see a medical provider is so limited, but you can’t afford to delay these things when they can have such a negative impact on your ability to get the recovery you deserve resulting from someone else’s negligent driving.
If you were involved in a bike accident and want to discuss your case and your rights to a recovery please call our office for a NO CHARGE consultation. Take advantage of speaking with one of the attorneys at Stein & Shulman so you can decide how best to proceed.