Bicyclist riding on the side of the road

Personal Injury Claims and Bicyclists: What Injured Riders Need to Know

Bicycle riding is a popular mode of transportation and recreation in the Northbrook area. The benefits are many—it’s good exercise, a cost-efficient way to get around town, and it’s better for the environment than using a gas-powered vehicle. The downside is that bicycle riders are vulnerable on the road and may suffer injuries in accidents involving motor vehicles. 

When such accidents occur, understanding personal injury claims is essential for injured cyclists looking to seek compensation and navigate the legal process effectively. The first phone call should be to an experienced bicycle accident attorney

What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?

If you were involved in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent motorist in the Northrbook area, know that you have every right to file a claim and hold the at-fault party accountable. You may be seriously injured and dealing with medical expenses and lost wages. 

Medical attention should be the priority after a bike accident involving a vehicle. Even if you think you are fine. Sometimes minor injuries can have underlying complications. You need to have everything officially documented if you are going to file a successful claim. 

Next, you need to gather as much evidence as you can from the accident. This evidence at the accident scene is vitally important. Start with contact information from witnesses, taking photographs of the scene, and getting a copy of the police report. This evidence can strengthen your case during negotiations or in court.

How Do I Go About Recovering Compensation?

In the Chicago suburbs, cyclists injured in accidents involving motor vehicles can typically seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This compensation may cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. 

It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Illinois, which is generally two years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in you losing your right to pursue compensation.

Also, it is important to know that if the driver who struck you while you were on your bicycle either (i) did not have car insurance or (ii) was a hit-n-run driver, you may be entitled to coverage for your personal injuries through your own auto insurance policy.  Your auto insurance policy, even though you were on your bicycle, provides coverage when you are injured by an uninsured driver and a hit-n-run driver.  

The compensation is for any damages you have sustained. Damages refer to the losses you have suffered as the injured party. These may include economic damages (for example, medical bills, physical therapy costs, and lost wages). And may also include non-economic damages (for example, pain and suffering). Documenting all relevant expenses and losses is essential for accurately assessing damages.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Illinois, like many other states, uses the legal standard of comparative negligence. This means compensation may be awarded even if the injured party is partially at fault for the accident. However, the degree of fault of the bike rider may affect the amount of compensation they receive. 

So if you have $10,000 in medical expenses because of the accident, but the evidence shows you were 20% responsible for the accident, you will only be eligible for $8,000 in compensation. If the evidence shows you are more than 51% at fault for the accident, you will not be awarded any money for damages.

Call a Northbrook Bicycle Accident Attorney with Questions

It’s beneficial to speak with a bicycle accident attorney with experience in handling these types of cases. The attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC can provide legal guidance, evaluate your case’s strength, negotiate with insurance companies, or go to court on your behalf. Contact our office for a consultation today.