Over the past few years Chicago has been implementing programs in order to become a more bicycle friendly city. By 2014, the Mayor plans to install 100 miles of bike lanes and additional 10 miles of bike lanes each year thereafter, as an initiative to make bicycles an integral part of daily life and to make bicyclists feel safe on the streets of Chicago. Moreover, the current Divvy program implemented by the Mayor has demonstrated the City’s continued desire to increase cycling as a more popular mode of transportation.
As you would imagine, the increase in bike traffic can lead to more bicycle related injuries. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration 2012 data reported that 726 bicyclists were killed and an additional 49,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Obviously if you were injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. People need to understand that if they were struck by an automobile while on their bicycle they are entitled to make a claim with the at fault party’s auto insurance carrier.
Also, many cyclists are injured as the result of hit and run drivers and the injured cyclists do not realize they are entitled to make an injury claim with their own auto insurance carrier. The City of Chicago 2012 Bicycle Crash Analysis reported that twenty-five percent of bicycle crashes were hit and run crashes, where the motorist did not remain at the crash scene. We all have provisions within our auto insurance policies that protect us if we were the injured by a hit and run driver and it makes no difference whether at the time the hit and run driver struck us we were in a vehicle, a pedestrian or on our bicycle. This is called Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and protects us where the at-fault party left the scene of the accident or if the at-fault party did not have auto insurance.
Also be aware that when you do file a claim with an insurance company they may start out being very reasonable and agree to pay you for your injuries. However after you have received treatment the insurance company may refuse to compensate you for the full amount you deserve – greatly undervaluing your injury. The insurance company may claim that your treatment was not necessary or that your bills were not for a reasonable amount. It is important that you speak with one of our experienced attorneys so this does not happen to you. Let us deal with the insurance company and make sure you are sufficiently compensated for your injuries.
Cyclists on the roadway have the same legal rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. If you or a loved one was a victim of a bike accident do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys at (312) 422-0500. Delaying will not help your case. We are here to answer any and all questions that you may have free of charge.
As a bicyclist, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities and the current laws applicable to bicyclist safety. Below are some helpful resources: